GERALD RAY. Born on November 5, 1960, in the small town of Mantee, Mississippi – about twenty-five miles northwest of Starkville, Mississippi – Gerald Ray is the son of the late Jerome Ray of Ackerman, Mississippi and Charlotte Henderson Ray of Mantee. He began his baseball career in high school at Cumberland High School (now known as East Webster High School), graduating in 1980. He was recruited to play baseball at Mississippi State in 1980, staying one semester.
Gerald transferred to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, and remained there until his graduation in 1982. He earned a degree in Physical Education from Mississippi College in 1985, playing baseball during his three years there.
Upon graduation, Gerald headed into coaching, taking his first job at Houston High School in Houston, Mississippi. Wearing many hats, he coached football, baseball and basketball in 1985 and followed up by serving as Head Baseball Coach and Offensive Coordinator in football in 1986.
In 1988, Gerald left coaching to pursue a successful career in sales, but coaching was never far from his mind. “Being involved with baseball and sports has always been important to me and the competitiveness of sports served me well in the sales field but I could never completely shake the coaching bug and always knew I would probably return to it one day,” says Coach Ray. In 2003, Gerald Ray once again became “Coach Ray” when he came to Canton Academy.
While at CA, he served as head baseball coach for 9 seasons, assisted in football for 2 years and was also the girl’s fast pitch softball coach for a couple of seasons and as Ass’t. AD and AD for four years. Coach Ray concluded his time at CA with an overall record of 135-85 record with several district titles and a couple of North State appearances by making the playoffs 7 or his 9 years there. Numerous players from his program have went on to successful college baseball careers. Coach Ray was named Coach of the Year three times for the Mississippi Private School Association’s 2-AA District. He was also named 2005 MPSA All Star Coach. Coach Ray is the father of Orrin, age 20, a graduate of Madison Central now attending EMCC in Starkville, Jordan, age 19, a graduate of CA now attending MSU as a freshman and Grayson, age 16 who is a sophomore at Germantown HS. Gerald will have been married to his wife Martha for 25 years this year and they reside in Gluckstadt.
Coach Ray says, “ I am thrilled to be at Ridgeland High. The facilities are extrodinary and the faculty, administration and parents have made me feel welcomed. I look forward to working with Coach Wilkerson and his staff to help continue an already rich tradition of baseball in a still young school.”