On Tuesday, Gainesville High School officially announced the retirement of head boys basketball coach Kelly Beckham.
Beckham coached in Florida for 39 years, at Bronson and GHS, and he retires with 798 career wins.
“I was scheduled to retire in June from my Dean’s position after 40 years in education and just thought that it was the right time to allow someone else the opportunity to coach,” he said.
He led Bronson to Class A state championship games in 1989 and 2002, finishing as state runner-up twice.
Beckham has been the head coach at Gainesville High since the 2008-09 season, when the Hurricanes went 29-3 and defeated Clearwater 63-56, at the Lakeland Center to win the Class 5A state title.
He led the Purple Hurricanes to the 2013 state semifinals, where they lost to Norland (Miami), while his 2014-15 team finished 29-3 as state runners-up, falling to Norland in the Class 6A title game.
Beckham finished with a record of 268-108 at GHS and had eight seasons of 21 or more wins.
“I’ve been fortunate to have a very successful career and much of the credit has to go to all of the great assistant coaches and players that I’ve had the opportunity to work with,” Beckham said.
Assistant coach Phillip Knight will serve as interim head coach until the Hurricanes can fill the vacancy.
“It has been an honor to work with Coach Beckham,” said GHS athletic director Cindy Boulware. “His integrity, character, work ethic and basketball knowledge are second to none. He will be greatly missed, and we wish him nothing but the very best in his retirement.”
Individuals interested in applying to be the boys basketball head coach can send a resume to Boulware. GHS will begin interviewing for the position soon.