HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Steve Knight has been the William Carey head basketball coach for 35 years. He's Mississippi's all-time winningest coach at the same four-year institution and many of those wins came in Clinton Gymnasium.
After the tornado that ripped through Hattiesburg on Saturday morning, Carey Athletic Director D.J. Pulley said the William Carey's last games may have been played in Clinton Gym.
The Crusaders' last home contest on January 16 was a 79-75 win over Middle Georgia State highlighted by Troy Salvant's go-ahead lay-up with 3.3 seconds left. The Lady Crusaders beat Middle Georgia in overtime the earlier that day.
"First biggest memory is when we won the district championship in 1984, my second year coaching," Knight said. "It sort of let everybody know that we were going to be a force to be reckoned with for many years to come and it turned out to be true."
Knight celebrated his 600th win in Clinton Gym. Cheerleader Ashlee Arnau's half-court shot went viral in 2013. An arena that's stood since 1963 may have seen its final days.
William Carey's next home game is scheduled for February 4. Knight said he's heard from Southern Miss, Jones County, Pearl River and a number of local high schools offering up their gyms to the Crusaders.
"We'll play somewhere and we'll have fun doing it," Knight said. "I think it's very important that we get some games going pretty soon so that people know we're still out there and we're going to bounce back from this."
"Our athletic teams, we want to get them back," said William Carey president Dr. Tommy King. "And that sort of binds a campus together."