Mary Persons has hired new basketball coaches for both the boys and the girls.
Lemetrice Ray has been named the boys coach. He had been coaching the boys at Wayne County High in Jesup since 2016. He led the Yellow Jackets to a 16-10 record this year.
Ray compiled a 109-78 record with region titles in 2018 and 2019. During those two years, he was named the Region 2-5A Coach of the Year. He also led his teams to six berths in the GHSA state tournament. The Jackets advanced to the Sweet 16 in three of those years. The 2018 team set a school record of most wins in a season with 20.
In making the announcement, Ray said, “I’m not sure it’s possible to fully express the gratitude that I have to the Wayne County school system for taking a chance without hesitation to hire a first-year coach in 2016. I want to give all praise to God for allowing me to lead young men through these years at the helm. The last eight years have been amazing from the classroom to the court.”
Wayne County athletic director Justin McDonald spoke highly of Ray.
“Can’t say enough about what Lemetrice has meant to Wayne County basketball and athletics,” said coach Justin McDonald. “He has done a tremendous job of taking our basketball program to be state contenders each year. The culture of the program speaks for the type of person Coach Ray is, and how he went about his day-to-day operations within our school and athletic program. Our basketball program is better because of Coach Ray, and we wish him nothing but the best moving forward.”
He replaces Jason Morrow, the MP football offensive coordinator who filled in for one year after long-time coach Greg Nix retired.
Meanwhile, Tray Tucker was named the new MP girls coach. He comes to Mary Persons from Lanier County in South Georgia. Tucker replaces Lamon McElhaney, who led the MP girls to their first region title in a decade this year with a 25-5 record. Lanier County was 1-23 this past season but was 13-8 in 2020-21.
Neither Mary Persons athletic director Robert Lindsey nor Ray or Tucker returned messages for comment.