Stacy Hester became the third high school baseball coach in Mississippi history to win 900 games when he led Carroll Academy to a doubleheader victory over Benton Academy Tuesday. Hester, in his first year at Carroll, now has a 901-255 career record, a 77.9 winning percentage, in 34 seasons. Hester, the winningest active coach in Mississippi, is third in career wins in Mississippi behind Jerry Boatner, who won 1,202 games in 50 seasons, all at West Lauderdale, before retiring in 2018 and Rex Berryman, who won 1,068 games in 38 seasons, all at Mooreville, before retiring in 2010.

Hester, 62, has coached at Greenville Washington School for six seasons, New Hope (18 seasons), Brandon (six seasons), Central Hinds (two seasons). This is his second season at Carroll. He coached there one year after New Hope before Brandon and came back this season. Hester won 551 games at New Hope and was 43-0 in 1996, the most wins by an undefeated team in high school baseball history. New Hope won 68 consecutive games against Mississippi teams. He has won five state championships, two at Washington in his first two years of being a head coach, and three at New Hope.

Hester’s wife, Ann, is from Carroll County and the couple, who have been married 41 years, own a farm in Carroll County. Hester played at Greenville Christian and went to Delta State on a basketball scholarship but finished his college career playing baseball for Coach Boo Ferris.

“Six of my nine guys who started haven’t played high school baseball,” said Hester, whose team is 14-1 this season. “For example, Brennan Blaylock (a sophomore quarterback who led Carroll to a MAIS Class 3A state runner-up finish) hasn’t played since he was 12 or 13. I’ve got several guys like that. We are teaching a lot of fundamentals. It’s fun. They are getting better. I play two seniors, two juniors, three sophomores, one freshman and one eighth-grader.”

Carroll head football coach Bo Milton, who has been at Carroll for six seasons, was the head baseball coach last season. He is Hester’s assistant this year.

“I have truly enjoyed working with Coach Hester,” Milton said. “He is extremely knowledgeable about the game and really a hard-nosed baseball coach. Practice hard, play hard. Do things right every time and you cannot help but get better. That seems to be his approach.” “Bo has been a big help,” Hester said. “He knows all of the players and can give me insight about them. I think kids are having a great time, learning about baseball and winning.”