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.”


Central Board Approves New Championship Sites

State Volleyball Set In Birmingham, South Regional Basketball In Dothan


        Sites for the new volleyball Super Regional playoff format, the move of the 2012 Elite Eight state tournament to the new CrossPlex Arena in Birmingham and the move of the 2013 South Regional basketball tournament to the Dothan Civic Center were approved Tuesday by the AHSAA Central Board of Control at its annual spring meeting.
        “Our girls will have the very best volleyball experience,” AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese said.
        Huntsville and Montgomery were awarded the North and South Super Regional sites, respectively. The Super Regional format, which was approved earlier this school year, will send 16 schools in each classification to each site Oct. 26-27 with the top four advancing the Elite Eight state tournament Oct. 31-Nov. 1.
        Huntsville’s Von Braun Center will host the North Super Regional for volleyball and the new Montgomery multi-purpose arena at Cramton Bowl the South Super Regional.
        Birmingham’s CrossPlex, which will host the state volleyball tournament for the next five years, has already hosted the AHSAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in February. The Pelham Civic Complex hosted the state volleyball tournament since 1998.

        The City of Dothan and will be the host for the South Regional basketball tournament beginning next season (Feb. 19-23) under a three-year contract.
        The tournament is moving from Mobile and the University of South Alabama’s Mitchell Center and had previously been held at Troy University.
        The Central Board also approved Auburn University as the site for the State Swimming and Diving Championships for the next three years with the 2012 state meet Nov. 30-Dec 1.
        Current Central Board president Luke Hallmark of Demopolis was re-elected for 2012-13 and Terry Cooper of Mountain Brook was elected vice president.
        In other Central Board action:

·         Approved the recommendation of the AHSAA Medical Advisory Board to require four hours between two-a-day football practices and prohibit two-a-day practices on consecutive days.

·         Approved the recommendation of the AHSAA Medical Advisory Board to require any student-athlete diagnosed with a sign or symptom of a concussion not be allowed to return to practice or competition that day and only if cleared by a medical doctor.

·         Approved the district assignment of contest officials for championship play in all sports beginning in 2012-13. The pilot program was used in football this past season.

·         Approved the 2011 Football Playoff audit and the financial reports for the 2012 State Wrestling, Indoor Track and Final 48.

·         Approved St. Patrick Middle School of Robertsdale and Cornerstone Christian Academy Middle School of Rainsville for 2012 membership.

·         Approved July 1 as the date new member schools must begin complying with all AHSAA rules and regulations and also restricted new member schools from competing in summer competition until the school has been a member for one year.

·         Approved the AHSAA’s 2012-13 Calendar of Events, 2012-13 Sports Calendar and the AHSAA Five-Year Calendar.

·         Approved the Bi-District Board member rotation and amended the Female Board member rotation.