Milam Coaches: Jerry Clayton, Bubba Thompson, and Walker Wood
Jerry Clayton was the head basketball coach at Milam until he succeeded Kermit Davis as the basketball coach at the high school. Davis left to become the head basketball coach at Mississippi State after winning back-to-back Grand Slam titles in 1965 and 1966 (I think). Clayton left coaching a year or two later when he was elected Lee County Chancery Clerk. When Coach Clayton left Milam to go to the high school, he was succeeded by Freddie Joe Chiles.
Bubba Thompson was the laid-back head football coach at Milam. I remember having him for PE in the seventh grade. It seems like he popped popcorn everyday and ate it while he watched us sweat. Coach Thompson was a gentle sort, but he could swing a mean paddle if he were pushed too far.
Walker Wood (even now I cringe at the thought of calling him anything other than Coach Wood) was just out of the Marines when he came to Milam to coach eighth grade football and assist with ninth grade football. He swung the hardest paddle of anyone I ever saw, and he seemed to enjoy doing it. I had him for eighth grade health, and we were all absolutely terrified of him. Those who knew him best could tell story after story about how he gained his reputation. I ran into him in Tupelo several years ago and really enjoyed visiting with him. He had really mellowed. More recently I ran into a group of his former football players enjoying a reunion with him over lunch. What a guy.