The Lake Highlands High School Alumni Association and the Wildcat Club will partner in April to honor football coach Jacky Russell and baseball coach Jay Higgins.

Russell was an assistant under the legendary Bill Georges on Sept. 1, 1961 when the Wildcats beat Anna High School for the first varsity win in school history. He coached offensive and defensive backs to earn district football championships in 1963, 1971 and 1975. As cross country coach and head track coach, he earned state cross country championships in 1963 (2A), 1964 (3A) and 1975 (4A, the largest UIL classification at that time). He taught math for 14 years at LHHS.

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Speaking to Dr. Bob Iden, former LHHS principal and member of the Alumni Association board of directors, Russell said his days coaching and teaching at LHHS were “a special time – great parents and students, the Wildcat Club was tremendously supportive, just as they are today. Coach Georges and I used to commute to LH from our homes in Richardson, and we would frequently remind each other how we were the luckiest guys in the world to be able to teach and coach in one of the best school districts and high schools in the nation. I always tell people that because it was so enjoyable, it didn’t even feel like work.”

Higgins came to LHHS in 1967 as the head athletic trainer and head baseball coach. By day, he taught biology and sports medicine classes to scores of Wildcat students. After school he was a steamroller, earning 798 career wins and 16 district championships. He was inducted into the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2010.

“I would regularly tell my students that I hope when they pursued their future vocations that they would be as lucky as I have been — to have a job that they truly love,” Higgins told Iden.

The 2024 Distinguished Service Awards Dinner will be held April 14 from 5-7 p.m. at Royal Oaks Country Club. You may sign up online here to become a sponsor or purchase a table. Individual tickets go on sale Feb. 20.