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Tribute to Julian Cunningham from 1/8/09

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In Honor of Coach Cunningham


Tonight the MCHS Indians will travel to Bath County to participate in the Julian Cunningham Classic. Coach Cunningham's legacy lives on.


JV Game 6:00

Varsity Game 7:30


Julian R. Cunningham

Nov. 20, 1932 - April 11, 2008


Julian R. Cunningham's coaching career spanned nearly 40 years at seven different schools throughout Kentucky. Coach Cunningham's teams were known for their toughness and tenacious defense. His teams were always competitive and played a demanding schedule. His goal was to prepare his teams for the post season by playing the best competition available, not worrying about his win-loss record. Coach Cunningham was known throughout his career for helping young players get scholarships to further their education, and avid about working basketball camps to help young players learn the fundamentals of the game. He believed, "You can't get better if you don't play the best." He is also well known by his opponents for turning up the heat in the gyms where his teams played.


Along the way his teams were successful in winning many games, titles, and championships. Coach Cunningham's teams won over 607 games, 11 district titles and many regional runner-up teams. Two of his teams won regional championships. In 1975 he led Bath County to the Kentucky State Tournament, and in 1990 he led Jessamine County to the quarter finals of the Sweet Sixteen.


A few of his individual honors include Mid-State Conference Coach of the Year in 1974-75 at Bath County and again in 1978-79 while at George Rogers Clark. He was inducted into the 10th Region Hall of Fame in 1987. While at Jessamine County, he and his team were invited to Ecuador to play in the Good Will Games. At that time they were the first team from Kentucky to be invited to participate in playing basketball games as well as spreading good will and friendship.


Coach Cunningham not only displayed his competitiveness on the basketball court, but also in the horse show arena. He enjoyed showing his road horses and winning many blue ribbons and championships. His love for basketball and horses is shared by his family, his wife Jennette R. Cunningham, daughters Becky Kelley, Julie Gomes, Susan Cunningham, and son Les Cunningham, along with his grandchildren Bryce Gomes, Brett Kelley, and Haley Kelley.

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