Vincent native to be inducted into community college Hall of Fame

Published 1:09 pm Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Vincent native Don Acton found success as a student-athlete and later as a coach. He continued his love of sports by participating in various league competitions for 62 years, and has won several gold medals in the Senior Olympics.

In recognition of his lifelong and distinguished career in sports, Acton, of Knoxville, Tenn., is joining the list of other standouts in the East Central Community College Athletic Hall of Fame. His induction will be held during the College’s homecoming activities scheduled Saturday, Oct. 3 on the Decatur, Miss., campus.

“There is not a person in the entire world more happy and excited over this honor bestowed upon me by the ECCC Alumni Association,” said Acton. “ECCC has been a firm foundation for so much in my life. Being elected into the Athletic Hall of Fame is a humbling and gratifying experience. I will be forever grateful for the honor.”

Acton, a 1953 ECCC graduate, said his love of sports enabled him to attend the college.

“I love sports….and my participation in football, baseball and basketball was truly a mountaintop experience,” he said. “Every day of my life, I am aware of how blessed I am to have spent two wonderful years at ECCC!”

Acton arrived at ECCC in the fall of 1951 following a stellar career at Vincent High School, where he was a four-year letterman in football, baseball and basketball and served as team captain for football and baseball.

At East Central, Acton was a two-year starter in football and baseball and served as co-captain and captain of the two sports, respectively. He also served as manager of the 1953 championship Warrior basketball team.

Acton continued his education and athletic career by attending Bethel College in McKenzie, Tenn. While there, he was a two-year standout on the baseball team and served as team captain.

Acton’s coaching career began in 1955 at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, where he served as head coach for the freshman football team. He also earned a master’s degree at Western Kentucky.

But the highlight of his coaching career came later at Warren Central High School, also located in Bowling Green. He was 26 years old when he was hired as the school’s first head football coach.

Acton continued his coaching career at Vincent High School, his alma mater, where he was head coach for baseball and basketball and was assistant football coach.

He later coached girls’ basketball and softball and served as headmaster at Warrior Academy in Eutaw.

Acton completed his coaching career by winning an astonishing 87 percent of all games played.