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A native of Mendenhall, MS, Hank was married to the former Frankie Elizabeth Bryant (53 years). He was the father of three: Missy Gaines (Perry), Russ (Shely), and Greg, and the grandfather of six (6): (Missy’s) Lindley Brooks and Henry Griffin “Grif” Gaines; (Russ’s) Cashe Newell, Emily Crawford, and Jack Langston Shows; and (Greg’s) Saxon Suede Shows. Hank loved his family dearly and, to him, each grand was the “apple of his eye.” He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Coldwater, MS, where he served as a deacon, member of the Personnel Committee and Sunday School Teacher. His being chosen as a deacon by his church congregation was most humbling and definitely a highlight of his many achievements throughout his life.
In 1964 Hank graduated from Mendenhall High School. His senior year, his team played in The Mississippi Bowl and he was voted Most Valuable Offensive Player of the game. He was truly blessed by having outstanding coaches at Mendenhall High School, A.J. Mangum, Wally Beech and Carroll Greer, and each one had a strong, positive influence on his life. In 1964, he played in the Mississippi All-star Football Game and was also elected Mr. Mendenhall High School.
Hank began his higher education at the University of Mississippi where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Health and Physical Education. He later attended William Carey College and was awarded his Master’s Degree in School Administration. During his years at Ole Miss, he, as well as his brother, James Larry, were scholarship members of the Ole Miss Rebels football team playing for legendary coach, Johnny Vaught. Hank was a member of the Ole Miss “M” Club, lettering in football for three years. He caught Archie Manning’s first college touchdown pass, which incidentally was against Alabama. After the game, Alabama legendary coach, Bear Bryant, went to the Ole Miss dressing room and congratulated Hank on his catch. Ole Miss defeated Alabama that Saturday! Hotty Toddy! The Ole Miss Rebels played in the following post season bowls all three years: the 1966 Liberty Bowl, the 1967 Sun Bowl and the 1968 Liberty Bowl, and Hank was named Most Valuable Offensive Player in the 1968 Liberty Bowl. He was chosen as Co-Captain of the 1968 Ole Miss Rebels by teammates, and he received the 1968 Ole Miss Leadership Award, the highest award given to a senior, also chosen by his teammates. He is a lifetime member of the Ole Miss “M” Club Alumni Association and is an active member of the Ole Miss Alumni Association. He loves Ole Miss football!
His life’s dream was to become a coach. He began fulfilling his dream in Greenville, MS, at GHS in the fall of 1969. His coaching career began as an offensive line coach at GHS working with Principal Bill Dodson and head football Coach Gary Dempsey. The following year, he moved to Laurel, MS where he became offensive line coach and tennis coach with the R.H. Watkins High School Golden Tornadoes under head coach, George Blair, who was a member of the 1960 Ole Miss Ole Miss Rebels National Championship Team. Working with George Blair and his coaching staffs for 7 years was a blessing for Hank on and off the field. And following George Blair’s departure to Oxford in 1977 to become the Ole Miss Freshman Football Team Head Coach, Hank was named Athletic Director and Head Football Coach at R.H. Watkins High School. During his 10-year tenure, several championships were won. The Golden Tornadoes won the South Big 8 Championship in 1974 and played for Big 8 Championship. Hank was recipient of the Coach of the Year Award numerous years for both football and tennis. He was elected President of the Athletic Directors of the Big 8 Conference (member of the MHSAA) at their annual convention in 1979.
In February of 1980 following his 10-years with RH Watkins High School Hank was hired as the offensive coordinator for the Northwest Mississippi Junior College football team, the Rangers, where he coached with his brother, for the next six years under Ray Poole, Sr. and Bobby Franklin, both former Ole Miss Rebels. In 1982, the Rangers were the MACJC State Champions as well as the 1982 NJCAA National Champions. In 1983 and in 1985, the Rangers were the MACJC North State Champions.
Following his 6 years with the Rangers, in February of 1986, he accepted the position of High School Principal, Athletic Director, and Head Football Coach at Magnolia Heights School in Senatobia, MS. There he worked with outstanding educator, Headmaster Dr. Marvin Lishman, for 8 years. Two of his former NWJC Rangers, Jon Wilson and Cliff Young would join him as his assistants during his tenure at MHS. James “Jim” Patterson also served as an assistant football coach during Hank’s leadership. Cliff Young was later named head football coach at Magnolia Heights School in 1997 (still maintains the title today), and he has been a most successful leader of the Chiefs’ Football team. Hank coached both his sons at Magnolia Heights, Russ and Greg, and that was an awesome, fulfilling experience for him and his sons. In 1987 the Chiefs were AA North State Football Champions and played for the State Championship. During the years 1986, 1987, 1989, and 1992, they were North AA Conference Champs. His win–lose record for the 8 years was 65-25. During those years, Magnolia Heights also won the girls overall state championship, boys overall state championship, and baseball state championships. All three of his children, Missy, Russ and Greg, were members of a Magnolia Heights Overall State Basketball Championship team. Missy was MAIS AA State Tennis Doubles Champion in 1985 and later played one year for the Lady Rebels under Coach Van Chancellor. Greg also played on the 1990 Magnolia Heights State Baseball Championship team. Russ went on to play quarterback at Ole Miss and was elected co-captain of the 1992 Ole Miss Rebels football team. His wife, Frankie, was an outstanding basketball player scoring 32 points in a Jones County Championship game and winning both 50 yard dash and 75 yard dash in a Jones County Track Championship. Several of her tennis teams have won 3.5 Women’s State Championships. The love for sports and for competition has been a tradition of the Shows family through the years. During his tenure at Magnolia Heights as athletic director, all sports won state championships. Hank’s three children are graduates of Magnolia Heights School. The administration, teachers, students, and patrons have always been like family to him and his family. And after retirement, as long as he was able, he stood on the MHS sideline as an assistant football coach, loving and enjoying just being a part of the Cliff Young’s Chiefs’ organization. Then he sat in the end zone at every game he could attend.
In the summer of 1994, Hank’s next journey led him to Pillow Academy located in Greenwood, MS, where he became High School Principal, Athletic Director, and Head Football Coach, working with Headmaster Termie Land. After a most enjoyable year with the Pillow Academy family, Hank then ventured to Columbus, MS, to become Headmaster of Heritage Academy where he spent eight wonderful, successful years with the Heritage Academy family. He was also head football coach during his first year at Heritage, which was his last year as a head football coach. His son, Greg, while attending college, coached with Hank at MHS, PA, and HA and made his coaching extra enjoyable sharing time together on and off the field. Jon Wilson and John David Weeks followed him to Heritage to be his assistants the first year. The following year Jon was named the head football coach at Heritage Academy. During Hank’s 7th year in Columbus, he was diagnosed with Melanoma Level 5 and underwent Interferon treatments for twelve months. His survival was a miracle, but the treatment took its toll. During that time, he never missed a state conference or committee meeting whether he felt like traveling or not. He loved his job and took his responsibilities seriously. In January of 2004, he joined Desoto County Schools where he enjoyed his association with the administration, staff, and students at Hernando High School for 8 years before retiring on December 31, 2012.
In addition to Hank’s love for coaching, he loved the outdoors. He was an avid sportsman and enjoyed to the fullest every minute, whether deer hunting, rabbit hunting or fishing. And, when he and his boys returned from hunting or fishing trips, the boys knew they would be “skinning” or “scaling”, depending on that day’s harvest. His beagles were a joy to him and his boys, whether deer or rabbit hunting. Sometimes up to thirty (30) beagles were housed in the backyard fenced dog pen. If beagles were born during wintertime, he saw that the pups were kept inside and fed with bottles, if need be. Many fishing and hunting days with his buddies from both his college days and his coaching days left him with many fond memories. He spent many hours fishing and hunting with his grands, and did not miss many events in which they were participants. They inherited the family’s competitiveness and “desire to win” attitude. Many hours were spent by Hank enjoying the “most wonderful grandchildren” in the world.
Reflecting upon his association with the MAIS (Mississippi Association of Independent Schools) from 1986 to 2003, he deemed them most rewarding. The administration and leadership of the MAIS, Magnolia Heights School, Pillow Academy, and Heritage Academy were second to none, and he considered it both an honor and a privilege to be associated with each of these educational institutions. He served on the MAIS Academy Activities Commission (AAC) from 1988-1993, 1996-1998, and 2000-2003 and served as its President from 1992-1993 and again from 2000-2003. Hank was honored to be the recipient of both the Joe B. Bradshaw Academy Activities Commission Service Award in 2002 and the Joe F. Sheppard Memorial Service Award in 2003. He was so blessed to be have been associated with the MAIS for 17+ years.
During his 43 years as an educator, his greatest accomplishments were the positive influence he had on the young people he came in contact with and the profound difference he made in each of their lives. His players loved him, and he loved his players. Everywhere he coached, the coaching staffs, the players he coached, and the people he met, enriched his life, and he held them dear to his heart. He loved the profession he always believed God chose him to follow–being an administrator, teacher and coach. God blessed him with a personality that made him easy to love and easy to respect. While following his dream through the years 1969-2012 being a coach, teacher and administrator, the roads traveled were truly rewarding, successful, and a most memorable journey. Friendships he made during those years were truly a blessing to him and his family, and he thanked God for leading him down these roads to professional success. God bless each person who played a part in his fulfilling his dream. There were many roads to each destination, and what really mattered in the end was, did he remain true to himself and did he fight a good fight? Hank Shows did fight the good fight and remained true to himself. Hank Shows was a role model for his players, his family, and his character was beyond reproach.
Hank’s Motto: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
A visitation will be held from 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Tuesday, February 9, 2021 at Coldwater Baptist Church. The service will begin at 1:00 p.m. Burial will follow in Senatobia Memorial Cemetery.
A live stream of the 1:00 p.m. service can be viewed here: https://www.fbccoldwater.org/about-us/
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