Red Bay's Roberts Notches 800th Career Victory


                                                           By KEITH LETBETTER
                                              Red Bay News (Special to the AHSAA)

    Red Bay High School girls coach Donnie Roberts notched the 800th win of his long prep basketball coaching career Jan. 25 as the Lady Tigers beat Colbert Heights 64-37. The Lady Tigers improved to 22-2 this season with the win.
    Roberts, who has compiled an 800-346 overall record in his 41-year coaching career, is now the state’s career wins leader for girls basketball and the first in state history to win 800 games.  He will be inducted into the Alabama High School Athletic Association Sports Hall of Fame in March as a member of the Class of 2014.

   “It’s not about me,” he said. “It’s about how fortunate my career has been at Red Bay and the 10 years Icoached at Tremont (Ms.). All I can do is thank the kids that played for me. They had a lot more to do with it than Idid.

   After earning a Master’s Degree from Mississippi State University, he returned to his alma mater, Tremont High School just across the state line from Red Bay and compiled a 142-127 record in the next 10 seasons. Roberts moved to Red Bay in 1983 and began working on the goal of making that first trip to Birmingham for the state playoffs.
    “I came here and took over a team that was 9-11 the year before. We had a real good year that first year and we went 19-5,” Roberts said.

    Roberts, who owns a 658-219 girls coaching record at Red Bay, led the Lady Tigers to state championships in 1987, 1993, 2001 and most recently directed Red Bay to the 2012 Class 2A state finals, a 54-49 loss to Section. Last year Roberts’ team won the Northwest Regional again and lost in the Final 48 semifinals.
     “It takes a combination of things to have a state championship program. It does take coaching, but it also takes pride in our program from our girls.”

      Roberts said that it also takes the involvement of the community.

“Everybody here is involved in it,”said Roberts. They back us and support us. The community likes to see us do well.

      Roberts said that over the years some of the best memories he has is that of having the opportunity to coach both of his daughters, Laura Beth and Leah.

“I think it’s rare to have coached two daughters and to have those two daughters on two different teams win state championships. I can tell you it’s a great experience.”


3 New NFHS Coach Education Courses Available

          INDIANAPOLIS — Three new coach education courses – Fundamentals of Coaching Track & Field, Sportsmanship, and Health and Wellness: A Coach’s Guide to Hydration, Nutrition and Supplements – are now available online through the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) at

Fundamentals of Coaching Track & Field educates coaches on the proper way to teach basic skills such as running, jumping and throwing as well as the importance of sound mechanics. After taking the course, coaches will be able to identify key stages of a skill and use visual demonstrations with verbal cues to help participants execute that particular technique or skill. Developed by USA Track & Field in partnership with the NFHS, the course is hosted by Olympic athletes Dan O’Brien and Hyleas Fountain.
           Sportsmanship is designed to give coaches, players, officials, parents and fans a better understanding of what sportsmanship is and how inappropriate behavior negatively impacts the educational process. The course is free and takes about 15 minutes to complete.

In an effort to keep students safe, well-hydrated and performing at their peak level, Health and Wellness: A Coach’s Guide to Hydration, Nutrition and Supplements provides coaches practical tips on how to model and teach proper hydration and nutrition.
         The course educates coaches on how to influence what students eat and drink before, during and after competition, and presents information about how hydration, nutrition and supplements impact performance. The course is hosted by Dr. Michael Koester, chair of the NFHS Sports Medicine Advisory Committee and a sports medicine specialist from Eugene, OR.

The NFHS Coach Education Program was started in 2007 and more than 140,000 coaches have taken the core course — Fundamentals of Coaching.  Forty-six, including the AHSAA, of the 51 NFHS member associations have adopted the course.

The NFHS offers coaches the opportunity to become nationally-certified as an Accredited Interscholastic Coach. In addition to the Fundamentals of Coaching course, coaches must complete NFHS First Aid for Coaches, or its equivalent, and one of the sport-specific courses or Teaching Sport Skills before applying for certification online.