2009 Recipient: James Drewry, Booneville High School, Booneville, MS

AFCF CONTACT: Vince Thompson, Coordinator of Publications, 254 754-9900


WACO, Texas—Booneville (Miss.) High School head coach Jim Drewry has been named the 2009 Power of Influence Award recipient. The Mississippi High School Activities Association nominated Drewry. The award, which is presented jointly by the American Football Coaches Association® and the American Football Coaches Foundation®, will be presented to Drewry at the AFCA Coach of the Year dinner on Tuesday, January 12, at the 2010 AFCA Convention in Orlando, Fla.

The Power of influence award was created as a way for the AFCA and AFCF to honor a deserving high school football coach for his effect on his players, school and community. This award is not based on wins and losses, however, it is noted that coaches of powerful influence have longevity and success. It is the first AFCA award specifically designed to honor a high school coach.

“It’s a tremendous honor and a lot of young men have helped me receive this award,” Drewry said. “It’s one of the greatest honors I’ve ever received.”

Drewry began his coaching career at Kossuth (Miss.) High School in the spring of 1958. He spent two years at Kossuth, then moved to Brandon (Miss.) High School as an assistant coach in 1960. After five years, Drewry took the head coaching job at Booneville (Miss.) High School in 1965, beginning his first stint at the high school. He led the Blue Devils to three bowl games and a Tombigbee Conference co-championship in 1977.

After a second stint as head coach at Kossuth High School from 1979 to 1986, Drewry took retirement and was out of coaching for two years. Selling insurance wasn’t enough for him, so he got back into coaching as head coach at Tishomingo (Miss.) High School in 1989. After just one season, Drewry headed back to Booneville for the second time in 1990, guiding the Blue Devils to a Class 2A state title.

Since returning to Booneville, Drewry has led the Blue Devils to three state championships (1990, 1999 and 2000), finished runnerup four other times and won three division championships. He has an overall record of 336-151-5, as of release date, making him the most successful public school football coach in Mississippi.

In addition to receiving the 2009 Power of Influence Award, Drewry has been inducted into the National Federation of State High School Associations Hall of Fame and is a member of the Mississippi Association of Coaches Hall of Fame. He has numerous coach-of-the-year honors, including being named State 2A Coach of the Year in 1999 and 2000.

Drewry even has a street named after him in Booneville. In a letter of recommendation, David R. West, Jr., a member of the Board of Aldermen of Booneville, stated the following about Coach Drewry: “It was fitting and proper to name a street after Drewry even though it was but a small thing to do in recognition of a man who has spent his life leading and encouraging young men to become real winners. He must feel great satisfaction when he looks about in our community and sees that many of his team members have continued to excel in life using those values and attitudes he fostered as ‘coach.’”

Other finalists for this year’s award were: Buddy Anderson, Vestavia Hills High School (Vestavia Hills, Ala.); Stacy Luker, Sweet Water High School (Sweet Water, Ala.); Jamie Riggs, T.R. Miller High School (Brewton, Ala.); Ronnie Peacock, Rogers High School (Rogers, Ark.); Michael Gimenez, Whitney High School (Rocklin, Calif.); Rich Yonker, Poudre High School (Fort Collins, Colo.); Don Dobrino, Mt. Olive High School (Mt Olive, Ill.); Russ Isaacs, R. Nelson Snider High School (Fort Wayne, Ind.); Robert McCoy, Bedford Community High School (Bedford, Iowa); Dave Nelson, Blaine High School (Chanhassen, Minn.); Randy Vigen, Central Valley High School (Buxton, N.D.); Terry Dosch, Roncalli High School (Aberdeen, S.D.); Tim Teykl, B.F. Terry High School (Rosenberg, Texas); Tom Ingles, Puyallup High School (Puyallup, Wash.); and Jerry Sinz, Edgar High School (Edgar, Wis.).

Past Power of Influence Award winners include: Larry Dippel, Amarillo (Texas) High School (2002); John McKissick, Summerville (S.C.) High School (2003); Marcus Borden, East Brunswick (N.J.) High School (2004); Ron Stolski, Brainerd (Minn.) High School (2005); Sid Otton, Tumwater (Wash.) High School (2006); Rob Younger, Sweet Home (Ore.) High School (2007); and George Smith, St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.) High School (2008).

“Coach George Smith is not only an influence on young people, but the influence is multiplied many times in the beliefs of the young people he helped mold into amazing human beings. George is an outstanding coach, but more importantly, he is an outstanding gentleman.” —Tina Jones, Principal of St. Thomas Aquinas High School