Necaise named to NW State ‘N’ Club Hall of Fame
By Joseph W. Gex, II
Oct 22, 2013, 20:12
Greg Necaise, an educator and football coach for the Bay-Waveland School District, was named to the Northwestern State University of Louisiana ‘N’ Club Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday, October 19th.
Necaise, a Bay native and 1987 graduate of Bay High, has always had a deep love for the game of football and Bay St. Louis. However, it was not his first love. Necaise commented, “Early on, I wanted to be a basketball player. I loved both football and basketball and played both throughout high school. But, soon I figured out that I was much more suited for football. And, I think what really motivated me was the discipline and grind that surrounded football. I fell in love with the training. I realized early in my career that I could control how hard I worked and I did not want to be outworked by anyone. That same discipline has carried over into everyday life and my profession. I still continue to drive and push myself today and I want to impart that discipline into the young students and athletes entrusted into our care.”
The love for the game and the discipline to succeed was evident early on in Necaise’s career. He was a part of the Tigers’ only division title in football in school history during the season of 1985. Following his senior season in 1986, he was selected to play in the Mississippi All-Star football game. He was the first Tiger to receive that honor.
Following his playing days as a Tiger, he suited up for Pearl River Community College in 1987 and 1988 where he was named All-Region 23 first team and played in the Junior College All-Star game.
Following his graduation from PRCC, Necaise accepted a scholarship to continue playing football for the Demons of Northwestern State University of Louisiana.
In just two seasons as a Demon defensive end, Necaise tallied 191 total tackles including 40.5 tackles for loss and three interceptions. He was named first team All-Louisiana in 1989 and 1990, Louisiana Newcomer of the Year in 1989, second team All-Southland Conference in 1989, first team All-Southland Conference in 1990 and was named a first team All-American by Sports Network and Walter Camp in 1990.
Necaise set the single-season sack record of 15.5 sacks and the career sack record of 28.5 while a Demon. In 2007, Necaise was named one of the top 100 players all-time during Northwestern’s Centennial Celebration.
Joe Shaw, a longtime prep coach who coached against Necaise in his prep days and now coaches alongside him at Bay High, stated, “Greg is a gentle giant who is the best position coach that I have ever worked with in my career.”
Necaise’s former college coach, Sam Goodwin, described Necaise, “He was the best pass rusher I worked with in my 17 years at Northwestern. He was a tremendous football player who did not brag but was humble and a true joy to coach. He worked hard at everything he did and did what was expected of him.”
Rory Island, a former Tiger student-athlete under Necaise who was named a pre-season All-American at Delta State, said, “The part that I admire and respect most about Coach Necaise is his uncontrollable passion that he brings to how he coaches the game. He taught me how to play with relentless effort and to never give up.”
Being the relentless defensive coach for the Tigers, many would assume that Necaise struts through the halls of the high school as a watchdog. But, not true. Necaise spends his work days at Waveland Elementary School with some of the youngest children in the district. While they are some of the youngest, they are at the age where they can be molded.
Waveland Elementary principal Dr. Amy Coyne stated, “Greg is a true asset to Waveland Elementary and the entire district. He spends his days with the youngest of children in the district and does a phenomenal job. His presence, heart-to-heart talks and acknowledgement that he cares and believes in the young children is invaluable. He is humble, kind and compassionate. Although his size could be intimidating to young children, the children admire and respect Greg because he learns their names, wishes them good luck, gets to know them and helps them in their early positive decision making.”
Necaise continued, “The same discipline that carried me on the football field carries me through life now. I hope that I am able to look back and say that I helped someone see their potential and help them achieve it. If all I ever taught someone is football, then I did not do a good job.”
This sportswriter had the opportunity to play against Necaise while he was suiting up for the Tigers. And, yes, he was as relentless as described. And, yes, he trained incessantly. Now, as we enjoy life as professionals, we get to enjoy the friendship, as well.
Necaise was an All-Star while at Bay High. And, he has coached the other two Tiger All-Stars, as well. He was Phalen Booker’s position coach when he was selected for the game last year. This year Patrick Ponder has been selected to participate in the all-star game. Necaise was an All-Star player who has grown to become an All-Star educator in more areas than just the gridiron.