The rustic halls of the Greensboro Center have silently witnessed many things since the doors first opened in 1927.
It has been a place of education and community, a structure where many Starkvillians grew up and spent so many days of their young lives.
On Tuesday night, Greensboro Auditorium was the setting for an evening of laughter and good-natured ribbing as those who have been touched by a legendary coach and amazing individual came together to roast Danny Carlisle.
The guest of honor has served as the Starkville High School baseball coach for the past 29 seasons and will be calling it a career when this year’s squad ends its run through the playoffs. During this time, he’s touched many lives and helped teach the ways of the world to so many of Starkville’s youth.
“I learned some valuable life lessons from coach Carlisle,” said Chris Correro, who played for Carlisle from 1984-86.
Ryan Taylor played under Carlisle’s leadership during the 1989-91 seasons and shared his experience as a youngster taking driver’s education from Carlisle, stating he learned how to drive by going through the drive through at Hardee’s.
If you graduated from SHS, there is a strong possibility you took drivers education under coach Carlisle and according Kevin Randle, that explains for why traffic is horrific in Starkville, everyone learned to drive from Carlisle.
Once the former players were done sharing their memories and tales it was time for his fellow coaches to take the mic.
First up, coach John Patton, and both Patton and Carlisle should consider themselves fortunate there were no law enforcement officials on hand due to the numerous admissions of traffic violations and mishaps on Mississippi highways. But let it be known, Patton did win four bus races over Carlisle in 25 years of carting SHS athletes to and from various sporting events, a fact Patton was certainly pleased with.
Perhaps the most intriguing question of the evening was raised by Patton. Just how does a guy who lives in Starkville, went to school at Mississippi State, sent his children to Mississippi State, send his money to Mississippi State, still considers himself an Ole Miss fan?
It remains one of life’s great mysteries.
Coach Tate Fisher stepped to the podium and reminded everyone that we all make poor choices from time to time, even Carlisle. He claims Carlisle went through what he called his “Garth Brooks” stage, a time when he wore wild rodeo shirts to school. Needless to say this was not one of Carlisle’s finer periods.
“This was just a humbling experience,” said Carlisle. “I really enjoyed having these guys come back for tonight. But about 90 percent of what they told up here was a lie and all of what I told was the truth.”
In all seriousness, Tuesday night was a wonderful evening spent paying tribute to one of Starkville’s finest citizens and a true mentor to the thousands of young people that walked the halls of Starkville High School.
“The thing about coaching and teaching is trying to have a positive influence on young people, trying to have a better person in the community,” said Carlisle. “Baseball, gosh dog, it just teaches you so many life lessons.”