by Hunter Dawkins, Publisher

For the third time in six years, the Long Beach School District hired a Head Football Coach to play in one of the toughest regional districts in the state of Mississippi.  The school board approved the hiring of Jacob Massey, from Decatur, Mississippi, who is leaving his position as Offensive Coordinator from the 6A powerhouse Petal High School Panthers to take over the Bearcats squad.

Even though the Bearcats hired Petal’s former Defensive Coordinator Philip Pigott four years ago to lead the squad, Massey brings different experience from the northern portion of the state where he coached for nine years before moving to Petal in 2021.  Massey graduated from Ole Miss in 2011 and took an assistant football coaching job at Desoto Central in 2012 and stayed until 2014 before departing.

In the special meeting called for the Long Beach Board of Trustees, Friday, January 14, 2022, Massey was hired to fill the vacancy left by former Head Football Coach Ryan Ross after he announced his retirement in late 2021.

When it comes to his coaching philosophy, Massey has clear expectations for his team.

“As head coach of the Long Beach High School football team, I want to create positive relationships with the players, coaches and the community,” Massey said. “Teamwork, discipline, and accountability will be fundamental principles guiding our program. Embracing hard work will be the identity of our football program and we will relentlessly pursue success on and off the field.”

His goals for the Bearcats are not only to provide a competitive and winning environment everyday within the program, but to extend beyond the field of play and create a winning atmosphere in the classroom, the community, and the football field.

“I want to prepare our players to be outstanding members of society and make positive contributions toward our community. I want the Bearcats to positively impact the Long Beach School District and the Long Beach community.”

Superintendent Dr. Talia Lock looks forward to great things from Coach Massey.

“I am so excited to welcome Coach Massey into our Bearcat family and community.  After meeting with him, it became quite obvious he would be the perfect fit for Long Beach,” Lock said.

“Not only does he bring extensive knowledge of the game, but he generates a level of excitement that our players really deserve and need.  I am confident he will contribute much to the success of our student athletes on and off the field through his commitment to create a positive culture and climate for them. He values the importance of building our players as well-rounded people who do better today than the day before. I can get on board with that any day!”

The former 6’4 successful quarterback out of Union High School coached for 5 years at Amory High School where he enjoyed successful teams by making the MHSAA 4A State Playoffs all six years there, two district championships, and two state quarterfinal berths as an offensive coordinator.

Massey received a scholarship out of high school to East Central Community College where his play was recruited heavily among four year colleges, eventually landing him on the Louisiana College roster.

The Bearcats have not won a game since September 4, 2020 with a road victory over “cross-interstate” rival West Harrison High School.  In the last three years, they are 2-28 and haven’t won a district game since 2018.

The last winning season was 2017 for the Bearcats finishing 6-5 and the last MHSAA playoff appearance was more than a decade ago in 2011, five coaches during this time period.

Massey is from Decatur, Mississippi and married to Courtland.  They have one son; Gray.