Basketball 03

Albert Ellison, Jr

December 7, 1937 ~ December 4, 2023 (age 85) 85 Years Old

Albert Ellison, Jr Obituary

Mr. Albert Ellison Jr., 85, of Savannah, formerly of Linden, passed away Monday December 4, 2023 at Hardin County Medical Center in Savannah. He was born on Cedar Creek in Perry County to the late Albert Ellison, Sr. and Elsie Carrie Harder Ellison Boyd. He was a retired Basketball Coach having last worked for Frank Hughes High School in Clifton, TN  from 1998 until 2006.

Coach Ellison was the Patriarch of Perry County Basketball. He was a star player playing basketball for Linden High School from 1952-1954, winning back-to-back State Championships in 1955 and 1956 when there was only one classification for teams. He scored 2,644 points in 4 years, while averaging 29.3 average points, with a 46.8 field goal percentage, and shooting 72 percent from the free throw line during his senior year. He was All-State Player in 1954, 1955 and 1956. Most Valuable Player in the State in 1955 and 1956 and he scored 112 points in the 1955 State Tournament and 119 in 1956. Named to the first Scholastic Magazine's All-American team and the All-U.S. High School Cage Team in 1956.

Albert went on to play collegiate ball at Western Kentucky University where he averaged 14.0 points per game on the 1959-1960 team that went 21-7 and was co-champ of the OVC. He was named to the All-Mideast Region Team. On December 11, 1959, he scored 36 points at Madison Square Garden against Seaton Hall where they won 78-69. His most memorable game was when in guarded Jerry West at Freedom Hall on January 23, 1959 where West Virginia won by 2 points.  After graduation, Albert was drafted by the New York Knicks.  He turned down the contract because in those early days, it was not enough money to raise a family.

 Albert began his coaching career in 1960 and went on to be one of the 10 winningest high school coaches in Tennessee High School basketball history.  He made many stops in his coaching career including stops in Indiana, Kentucky, and Mississippi.   He came back home to Perry County to coach basketball from 1970 thru 1975, where he took the Perry County boys to the State Tournament in 1975. He also coached at Savannah, at Hardin County High School from 1975-1982 were he took to Savannah Central girls to Sub-State in 1978, and Savannah Central boys to Sub-State in 1981. He also coached locally at Lewis County and Frank Hughes. He compiled over 700 career victories as a basketball coach during his years of coaching from 1960-2006.

Albert was inducted into the TSSAA Hall of Fame in 2007, Western Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010, the Inaugural class of the Perry County Vikings Legacy Club in 2014 and the Hardin County Sports Hall of Fame in 2022. In 2018 the Nashville Tennessean ranked him one of Tennessee's top 30 Basketball players.

In addition to his parents he is also preceded in death by his wife Martha Jo Millard Ellison, sons Jeff Ellison and Donnie Ellison, sisters Eula Stockard, Nancy Barrett and Linda Barber and a brother Eddie Ellison.

Survivors include his children David (Carol) Ellison of Savannah, and Barbara (Mark) Kirkelie of Spring Hill, grandchildren Jamie (Chris) Langford, Jennifer (Drew) Matthews, Anna Rogers, John David (Mykah) Ellison, Jenna (Seth) Turner, Scott Ellison, Alicia Ellison, Kaleb (Pamela) Ellison, Paige (Lucien) Hamlet and Lindsay (Nick) Clemons, 26 great-grandchildren, 3 great-great grandchildren, sisters Ollie Mae Moore of Linden, and Ruby Himes of Hohenwald and a brother James Ellison of Florence, AL and a host of other loving family members and many, many friends.  

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December 7, 2023

4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Young Funeral Home
25 Buffalo River Heights Road
Linden, TN 37096

Funeral Service
December 8, 2023

12:00 PM
Young Funeral Home
25 Buffalo River Heights Road
Linden, TN 37096

December 8, 2023

1:00 PM
Harder Cemetery
Lego School Road
Linden, TN 37096


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