Jimmy Meeks

Jimmy Meeks

Retirement carries different connotations, varied interpretations amongst different audiences.

Jimmy Meeks is closing in on a year of retirement, but don’t tell that to the faithful denizens of high school baseball parks throughout West Tennessee.

A Halls, Tennessee native, Meeks is more than three decades deep as an umpire/official on the Tennessee high school baseball scene, one of the most competitive and talent-laden state associations in the nation.

For his tireless, dedicated service, Meeks also is an 2023-24 TSSAA Distinguished Service Award winner.

“I just grew up in the business,” said Meeks, a UT Martin graduate who also earned masters degrees from both then-Memphis State and Trevecca. “Coach (Andy) Pugh was such a great influence, and I just always wanted to teach and coach. Then, the longer you do it and stick with it, and make such good friends, I’m fortunate to know people all over the place. I’ve aged with those people, and one time we’re all coaches, now administrators.

“I’m just very blessed. I don’t feel old. I still do about a game a week. I think I can keep going.”

Meeks isn’t previously known as the Energizer Bunny, but there’s a route for the nickname. He’s logged more than 39 years in public education, spanning roles from football coach to baseball coach to administration and then to overseeing transportation in the school district.

Along almost every single career milestone, Meeks also carries memories from his work as a baseball umpire in the TSSAA. Meeks’ stops include Bolivar, including time as the head football coach, and three seasons as head football coach at Covington High School; his roles at Halls include assistant football coach, assistant principal and 14 years as the transportation supervisor for the school system.

He’s worked six TSSAA State Baseball Championships as an umpire, most recently in 2012, and he’s spent the past decade as a site supervisor for the baseball championships at Spring Fling.

Between all that spare time, Meeks also spent 20 years as a collegiate baseball umpire.

Nothing, however, has topped his affinity for the work he’s put in helping call baseball games at the high school level in Tennessee.

“The TSSAA has always been great to me; Gene Menees has been a great friend,” said Meeks, quick to praise his wife, Mary Nola, of nearly 36 years. “I just like working a baseball game, like umpiring. As long as I’m healthy, I’ll still go do a high school game in a heartbeat. I’ve probably umped one game a week this year.

“It’s been a lot of fun.”

TSSAA proudly salutes Jimmy Meeks for his years of service and dedication as an official, coach, and administrator.