Petal Schools Athletic Director announces retirement

PETAL, MS (WDAM) - Petal School District Athletic Director Larry Watkins has announced his retirement effective June 30.

The retirement will be only for his duties as Athletic Director. He will continue to serve as head coach for the award-winning Petal High School baseball team.

Watkins began his career at Petal in January 1977 as Assistant Baseball Coach. During his 35 seasons he has always coached baseball, serving 4 years as assistant coach and 31 years as head baseball coach.

Watkins also served in the classroom and as an assistant principal.

In 1990 Watkins was name the athletic director. He currently oversees over 20 athletic teams at the middle school and high school levels.

In 2010 Coach Watkins was named the National High School Baseball Coaches Association District 6 Coach of the Year and the 2010 American Baseball Coaches Association District 6 and National Coach of the Year.

Watkins will continue to lead the Panther Baseball Team after his retirement. He has led the team to five state championships, six state runner-up titles, nine south state championships and numerous district and division championships.

Steve Buckley, Petal Head Football Coach has been named the new Athletic Director effective July 1. Buckley has been with the district since 2007.

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