KHSAA Hall of Fame coach John D. Wilson dies at 84

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Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 3:40 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 21, 2023 at 6:49 AM EDT
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HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - Long-time basketball coach John D. Wilson has died. He was 84.

Wilson was a native of Harlan County and graduated from Loyall High School in 1956.

The KHSAA Hall of Famer coached at many different schools in Eastern Kentucky. His high school coaching record stands at 554-369.

“It wasn’t about just basketball, it was about working hard to be something in life, and most of these guys that been around him know that, and I’ll be honest with you, he showed me a lot. He showed me a lot in life,” said Billy Wilson, John’s brother and former player.

Wilson last coached at Red Bird Christian School, where he was the boys’ head basketball coach and athletic director for 25 years.

“He brought this school in athletics from way down to really high. As he put it, little bitty Red Bird is coming up big,” said Daugh Sizemore, Wilson’s Assistant Coach for more than 20 years.

Those who knew John D. say his legacy goes beyond the hundreds of wins on the court.

“His love for basketball I’ll never forget, but it’s about how to be a good person once you get out of basketball, what you need to do, and for me, John D. Wilson will never be forgotten, in these hills and nowhere else,” said Wilson’s brother Billy.

Wilson’s visitation will be Friday, March 24 from 12:00 p.m. until 2:00 p.m. at the Loyall Funeral Home with the funeral immediately following.