By Josh Mitchell
Corinth Today News Editor
Coach Johnny Plummer loves Corinth.
He had never been to Alcorn County prior to taking his first coaching job after graduating from Mississippi College.
Plummer was recruited to coach at Corinth because of his long list of qualifications, including playing ball for the Marine Corps at Parris Island, S.C. and lettering in three sports at Mississippi College.
After 55 years of guiding young athletes, which has included head coaching positions at Delta State University, Northeast Mississippi Community College, Corinth High School and other jobs, Plummer’s mantra remains “Go Warriors.”
Plummer was back in the city that means so much to him on Saturday when he was honored by the Corinth Old Geezers Organization, which brings together friends from decades ago.
“It was a really wonderful thing they put together,” said Plummer. “I was glad to be part of it.”
He estimated about 300 people attended the event at the Crossroads Arena, and of those about 150 were former players he coached.
“I can’t tell you how much it meant,” said Plummer, who grew up in Canton and now resides in his wife’s hometown of Winona.
He praised the loyalty his wife, Kay, has shown over 52 years of marriage as she has attended all the games and even practices.
Plummer, 82, has retired three times and now serves as defensive coordinator for his son, who is head coach at Terry High School.
Corinth will always be Plummer’s favorite when it comes to the places he coached. The players, fans and community made Corinth a special place, he said. He recalled downtown parades that were held before games and said the residents “adopted me right off the bat.”
“I love everyone in Corinth, Miss.,” he said.
Plummer’s “wonderful career” started in Corinth where he coached the first time for six years. He remembered the 1963 undefeated season when Corinth tied Provine in the Mississippi Bowl the year President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. His annual salary was $3,600.
He then went to Cleveland High School and then returned to Corinth High School from 1970-1978. After his second tenure in Corinth, he went to Delta State University for four years, three of which he was head coach.
His resume continued to grow when he went to Mississippi State to coach under Emory Bellard for three years.
He later turned down a chance to coach at the University of Kansas and instead took a head coaching position at Northeast Mississippi Community College for four years.
Plummer was also head coach of the Mississippi Pride regional football league and coached at various other high schools.