Former Cherokee coach dies at 80
February 08, 2013 10:29 PM | 3956 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
From staff reports

A former Cherokee High School basketball coach and member of the Cherokee County Sports Hall of Fame died Wednesday at the age of 80.

James E. “Jim” Denney of Cochran died at the Bleckley Memorial Hospital.

Funeral services are scheduled today at 11 a.m. at the chapel of Mathis Funeral Home in Cochran.

Denney is remembered locally for coaching the last Cherokee County elementary boys championship basketball team at Hickory Flat Elementary in 1986 and for being a member of the 1951 Georgia Boys State basketball championship team.

Denney was born in Canton and had resided in Cochran for 37 years. He was the son of the late Claude and Pearl Adams Denney.

He was educated in the Cherokee County School System and graduated from Canton High School in 1951.

The gifted athlete attended college on a full athletic scholarship at Georgia Southern University, Brewton-Parker Colllege and University of Georgia, where he played basketball for renowned coach Red Lawson.

He began his coaching career at Cochran High School as the assistant basketball coach to Shelly Hayes. He was a member of the House of David Professional Basketball Team from 1958 to 1959.

He was named Coach of the Year in 1965, coaching winning Class A basketball team from Cochran High School.

He then returned to Cherokee High School and later coached at Hickory Flat Elementary, which included seventh and eighth grades at the time.

He was inducted to the Hall of Fame at Brewton-Parker College and into the Cherokee Sports Hall of Fame in 2005.

The former coach returned to Cochran in 1994 to make his home.

He was also a U.S. Army veteran.

Survivors are his wife of 53 years, Syble Coley Denney of Cochran; his daughters, Teresa Denney of Bonaire and Stacey Denney Eavenson of Lizella, grandson, Hunter Cole Denney of Bonaire; brothers, Carl Denney of Roswell, Billy Ray Denney, Claude Junior Denney and George Denney of Canton; brother-in-law, Cranston Hatcher of Canton,; sister-in-law, Helma Coley and Marguerite Coley of Cochran; several nieces and nephews.

Memorials may be made to the American Heart Association, 5962 Zebulon Rd., PMB 359, Macon, GA 31210.
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