Football & basketball facilities -

MT. JULIET -- The previously anonymous football and basketball venues at Mt. Juliet High School will now have familiar names thanks to action taken during Monday's regular meeting of the Wilson County Board of Education.

The football facility will be named "Elzie Patton Stadium" in memory of the late MJHS principal. The varsity basketball venue will become "Tommy Martin Gymnasium".

Thanks to a motion from School Board member Mike Gwaltney, the names have been "transferred" from the football field and gym at Mt. Juliet Middle School -- which once upon a time -- was Mt. Juliet High.

For those new to the area, Mr. Patton, who died in January of 1998 at the age of 72, served as principal at Mt. Juliet High for nearly two decades.

Prior to his time in administration, Mr. Patton taught and coached girls basketball.

As principal, he was heavily involved with the launching of Mt. Juliet High's "Band of Gold."  The school was also accredited by the Southern Association of Schools during his tenure as principal.

Coach Martin amassed over 400 wins in 20 seasons as the head coach of the Mt. Juliet Lady Bears.  His 1982-1983 team finished 36-1 and won the Class AAA state championship.

Having taken over at MJHS when Larry Joe Inman embarked on a successful college career at Middle Tennessee State, Martin retired as coach of the Lady Bears in the spring of 1998.

Upon retirement, he turned the reins over to Chris Fryer, who has been the head coach since.

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