Paul Highnam graduated from Mt. Vernon High School in 1968 and from Toledo University in 1973. He played football, basketball and baseball in high school. Paul attended Toledo on a football scholarship and also played one year of basketball and baseball in college. His teaching duties during his career included physical education, learning disabilities, OWE coordinator, health, work-study coordinator and assistant athletic director. In addition to basketball, his coaching experience included assistant football for seven years, baseball for one year and track for two years.
Coach Highnam attributed three reasons why his teams were successful. The work they did on fundamentals with their fourth, fifth and sixth grade players, the amount of time they spent on man-to-man defense each day in practice and the break down drills we did to work on all aspects of the game.
Paul’s varsity teams won 445 games. They won 79.3 percent of their games. That included 310 victories at Danville, 24 at Tri-Valley and 111 at Mt. Vernon. His teams won 16 league championships, 16 sectional championships, 13 district titles, 5 regional championships and 5 consecutive appearances in the Final Four. Their 10 consecutive wins in the regionals is probably at a state record. His teams were Columbus Dispatch Poll Champions four times.
Coaching honors: Associated Press Coach of the Year in 1998 and 1984, OHSBCA Coach of the year in 1996, five times Central District Coach of the Year, once in the East District, league Coach of the Year 14 times, District 11 Coach of the Year nine times, District 12 Coach of the Year one and Mt. Vernon News Coach of the Year four times. He coached in the North-South All-Star game in 1993. He coached regular season undefeated in 2002 and 1995.
Paul is married to the former Jennifer Lynn Walker and the have three children, Kelli age 21, Molly age 18 and Sam age 12. They attend the Mt. Vernon Presbyterian Church.