Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Coach James Self-Quarantined With Virus-Like Symptoms Prior to His Death

By Adam Brown
Sports Editor

Nacoma James died Thursday.

With only a couple of days back at school under their belt, Lafayette County school teachers and students learned of the death of one of their own.

Local teacher and coach Nacoma James, 42, died Thursday from what some say was complications from COVID-19.

“No one has told me officially that he had COVID, but I do know he was self-quarantining this week,” Pugh told Mississippi Today Thursday. “Last Thursday would’ve been the last contact he had with any students, at summer workouts for the (high school) football team. I’m not exactly sure what symptoms he had, but he wasn’t around students or teachers this week.”

James dedicated his life to education, teaching 17 years in the Lafayette County School District where he taught math at both the middle and high school. He was an assistant high school football coach and girls powerlifting coach and previously served as the head basketball coach.

James was originally from Webster County and graduated from Eupora High School in 1996. He attended the University of Mississippi where he graduated in 2000. 

He helped to bring home three football state championships at Lafayette, most recently in 2016. 

Commodores athletic director Greg Lewis called James a “great guy.”

“He was here before I got here,” Lewis told Friday. “The one thing that you always noticed about him was how well he got along with the teachers and staff here, the players and the people out in the community. He will be dearly missed.”

“He was always at games, he coached football here since I have been here. Always saw him at other games telling the kids good luck or good game always positive with them all the time,” Lewis said.

During his tenure with the program, he helped lead the team to three state championships and play for a fourth.

“He won one with Coach (Michael) Fair and a few with Coach Hart also made it to the championship game,” Lewis said. “He actually won three state titles while he was here as apart of the coaching staff’s.”