The Kirk Academy family came out in droves Saturday afternoon at Kirk Academy to honor former Kirk Academy basketball coach and former Holmes Community College Head Women's Basketball Coach Ronnie Aldy by naming the gym floor "Ronnie Aldy Court" for him.
With the stands full of Kirk Academy supporters and the court full of Aldy's former players, Kirk Academy presented Aldy and his family with a piece of the old hardwood playing surface Aldy spent countless hours on molding male and female athletes into outstanding basketball players. The court signifies his name with a temporary marking that will be inscribed permanently when basketball season is over.
Aldy spent 17 years at Kirk Academy as coach of both the boys and girls basketball teams. He also coached baseball and golf and served as athletic director during his time there. As the girl's coach, Aldy's teams won four Overall Tournament titles. They also won 14 North State titles, four State AA titles and four State AAA titles. In 1977, the Raiderettes won the Southeastern Tournament Championship titles involving teams from Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Louisiana. They also won the Mississippi-Louisiana Tournament Championship.
During his tenure, Aldy's boys were 314-185. The girls had a mark of 449-110.
"There are so many people that I share this honor with," Aldy said. "I can't thank them enough and everybody in this gym enough for the support that they gave us to help us build the type of program that we built here at Kirk Academy that's being carried out today. It makes all of us feel really special.
"I can't thank my family enough, and the sacrifices they made. My wife did a tremendous job helping raise our family when I was away. The good Lord has just blessed us tremendously. A lot of us don't understand sometimes his plans for us as far as where we are at that time or where we will be in the future. God's plan was for me to be here for those 17 years. We feel like we're the luckiest people to be here during that time."
After leaving Kirk, he coached at Holmes before leaving for a stint as associate head coach at the University of Florida under his former player at Kirk, Carol Ross, and later becoming the head coach at Ole Miss. After coaching at Ole Miss, he returned to Holmes and finished his coaching career as an assistant at Alabama.
In the 11 seasons at Holmes, the women's basketball team made seven postseason appearances with one of them in 1992 resulting in a dramatic 34-1 record which included a MACJC state title, a Region XXIII title and a fifth place finish in the NJCAA tournament finishing with a No. 3 national ranking. He finished with a 156-126 record at Holmes.
When he returned to Holmes in 2005, he picked up where he left off taking the Lady Bulldogs to the state and region in 2006, the state in 2007 and the state and region in 2008. His teams missed the playoffs in 2009 and 2010 but returned to both the state and regional tournament in 2011 and 2012. He was named MACJC Coach of the Year twice and Region XXIII Coach of the Year. In 1990, he also developed and implemented the golf program at Holmes.
Aldy's wife, Wanda, and their son, Jay, and his wife, Sonya with their children, Skyler and Logan, and their daughter, Brittany, and her husband, Bill, and their children, Weston and Jay were in attendance Saturday.
The Grenada Star contributed to this report.