LOGAN - During their regular session Monday, the five members of the Logan County Board of Education unanimously voted to change the name of the Logan High School football stadium to the Willis-Nisbet Stadium in honor of longtime coaches Todd Willis, Jimmy Joe Willis and George Nisbet.
The idea was originally brought to the table by alumni Doug McElwain at the June 10 meeting of the LCBOE. McElwain, who was originally from the now-defunct coal camp of Dehue, graduated from Logan High School in 1965 and played football under the three coaches.
When he found out the item was to be on the agenda for Monday's meeting, McElwain, who now lives in Hendersonville, Tennessee, made the drive back to Logan. McElwain became emotional at times while talking about the character of his former coaches, and he recalled a time in later years when he postponed a flight due to a visit with Nisbet in a nursing home that ended up lasting four hours despite being planned for 30 minutes.
When the board members took up votes on the agenda's action items, all five unanimously voted in favor of the proposal. As soon as it happened, LCBOE President Debbie Mendez proclaimed, "Mr. McElwain, you are official."
A visibly elated McElwain threw his hands up in the air and said "Touchdown!"
"It means something to me that my coaches are finally properly recognized," McElwain said after the meeting, "and if someone would go over on the island, somebody might ask the question - 'Who is Willis? Who is Nisbet?' - And somebody will tell them."
Mendez said that an arrangement can hopefully be coordinated with Logan High School Principal Kelly Stanley and incoming athletic director Gary "Daniel" Hensley to dedicate the stadium's new name at the first home game of the 2019 season on Sept. 13. McElwain floated several ideas on where to put the name, including above the press box. He promised that it would be "tastefully done" and architecturally sound.
"Mr. McElwain, I'm honored to be a part of this board that granted your wishes," Mendez said. "We're happy this was done for you, and the sign will be up as soon as possible."
"Doug, buddy, I tell you - you've done something here that's out of this world," said LCBOE member Barry Mullins. "He (Nisbet) is probably looking down on you."
Dylan Vidovich is a news reporter for HD Media. Contact him by phone at 304-896-5196.