Madison-Ridgeland Academy’s Richard Dueasebecame the winningest boys and girls high school basketball coach in Mississippi history Friday night with a 74-45 victory over Jackson Academy in the MAIS Class 5A semifinals at Parklane in McComb.
The win gave Duease 1,698 wins, breaking the record held by Norris Ashley, who won 1,697 games at Coahoma County and Ingomar from 1969-2012.
Duease is more concerned about championships and winning the 5A state on Saturday and the MAIS Overall Tournament title next week at Mississippi College in Clinton. If MRA can do both, Duease will capture his 39th state title and 15th Overall crown (13 boys and two girls).
MRA, 29-6, will play the Jackson Prep-Parklane winner Saturday at 7:15 p.m. for the 5A state title. The Patriots would have to win four more games next week for their 11th Overall title in the past 16 seasons. MRA has won three of the last four Overall titles, losing to Hillcrest Christian in last year’s quarterfinals.
“Getting this record is nice, but I’m glad it’s over with. My focus is on winning championships,” said Duease who is assisted by Mark Alexander. “I’ve been doing this 45 years(the last 38 at MRA). This record isn’t about me, it’s about the boys and girls I’ve coached and the coaches that have helped me over the years. They are just as much a part of this as I am. It’s time to look toward winning another title and I hope we can.”
Duease, who turned 68 earlier this week, has been successful his entire career. The Indianola Academy, Mississippi Delta Community College and Mississippi State graduate started coaching at Manchester Academy in 1975, coaching boys and girls basketball. Then he coached girls at Clarksdale Lee Academy from 1978-82 where he won his first state championship. Duease left the Mississippi Delta to come to MRA in 1982 and has been there ever since. He coached boys and girls from 1982-2002 and just boys since then. Duease had a 592-271 girls record. He is also the winningest boys coach in the state with 1,106 victories. Duease passed Ashley’s record of 1,023 on Nov. 9, 2017.
Kim Duease, Richard’s wife of 34 years, is very proud of her husband’s accomplishment Friday and also for his successful career.
“Richard is a highly loyal and fully committed man in all aspects of his life,” Kim said. “He also expects the same from his players. Over the years his players have had the same qualities and they have turned those qualities into successful seasons, which has lead to this point. While he is grateful to have this recognition it’s not the end goal by any means. He’s not one to rest on his laurels and will never slack up. It’s not his nature. I’m immensely happy for him and all the players and assistants that have been on this road to success. There are countless selfless individuals that have contributed to a time such as this and we are so thankful they are part of the fabric of our life.”