FRANKFORT – The Kentucky State Senate on Wednesday adopted Senator Johnny Ray Turner’s resolution (Senate Resolution 71) honoring well-known basketball coach, Elhanan “Pete” Grigsby Jr.
“Pete Grigsby is a true eastern Kentucky sports legend,” Senator Turner said. “He was a great basketball coach and a great person. He worked for almost 50 years for the good of public education in the mountains of eastern Kentucky.”
Grigsby is credited as being a gifted teacher, coach, principal, assistant superintendent, and superintendent in the Floyd County School System. While he was the coach at McDowell High School, he won the 15th regional title three times. The Grigsby Fieldhouse in McDowell was named in his honor in 1976.
“I had the good fortune to watch him coach and to go through practices with him,” said Senator Turner. “The things that I learned from Coach not only helped me as a coach, but as an individual. He was a mentor to many people including myself. His passing is a tremendous loss to our community. Coach was a very dear friend of mine and I am a better person for having known him.
“I believe that Coach should be a candidate for the Kentucky High School Athletics Association Hall of Fame and I hope to see that come to fruition sooner than later,” added Senator Turner. A retired teacher and coach of 28 years, the senator coached Pete Grigsby’s daughter, Geri, Miss Kentucky Basketball 1977.
After retiring from coaching, Grigsby took another career path – though he still remained connected to the high school sports he so loved. Grigsby became a radio broadcaster for high school basketball games with WPFG and WLXR. He was also a businessman.
Grigsby was a member of the Mormon faith, serving as president of the Martin Branch, first bishop of the Martin Ward, president of the Martin District, and a member of the Stake High Council. He was instrumental in instituting the first Sunday Schools in Owensboro, Hazard, and Paintsville and was a leader in the development and construction of the LDS Martin Ward building.
The son of the late Elhanan Pete and Marena Hayes Grigsby, he was also preceded in death by his wife, Phyllis Eileen Martin Grigsby, and brothers, Dr. Charles (Brenda) Grigsby, David Lee Grigsby, and Stephen Jan Grigsby.
Grigsby, who died Jan. 18, 2016, was survived by his children, Melinda (Lee) Gay Majakey, Geri Eileen Grigsby, and Elhanan Pete (Michelle) Grigsby III; brothers, Jerry Roger Grigsby and Richard (Phyllis) Van Grigsby; sisters, Marena (Gary) Grigsby Evans and Margaret Lynn Grigsby Hamilton; five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
When the Senate adjourned on Wednesday, it did so in honor and loving memory of Pete Grigsby Jr.
Senator Turner represents the 29th senatorial district that includes Floyd, Harlan, Knott and Letcher counties.