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.”

Prep Tix

$1.2 Million In Revenue Sharing Approved Again

Central Board Waives Dues, Some State Finals Entry Fees

            The Alabama High School Athletic Association Central Board of Control for the second straight year has approved returning $1.2 million to its member schools under its Revenue Sharing Plan. The action was taken Wednesday at its annual summer meeting in Montgomery. The AHSAA Legislative Council also met Wednesday.

            This plan, approved by the Central Board in 2009, will return a total of $2.4 million to its member schools in two years. The formula for the distribution of funds includes a differential between classifications and the number of sports played by non-football-playing schools.

            “I want to thank the Central Board leadership that enables the Association to return these funds back to our schools,,” said Executive Director Steve Savarese, who made the initial proposal to the Board.

The plan returns excess funds back to the schools when the AHSAA has at least one year’s working capital in reserve.

            In addition, for the 19th consecutive year, the Central Board voted to waive annual dues for member high schools and junior high/middle schools.

            Also, the Board voted to eliminate entry fees for state championship events (finals) that require an admission.

            In other Board action:

·         Denied Pell City High School’s appeal of an eligibility ruling based on a violation of the Recruiting Rule. 

·         Approved the assessment of all Central Board meeting expenses to a member school that requires a hearing at an unscheduled meeting and loses its appeal. 

·         Approved the requirement of a minimum two registered officials for all indoor and outdoor track meets. This applies for all levels of competition. Fees will be a maximum of $50 per day.

·         Approved the financial reports for the spring championship sports of soccer, softball, baseball and track.

·         Reviewed and approved the new Handbook, Fall Sports book and the Winter Sports book.

·         Approved the 2010-11 audits and 2011-12 budgets of the AHSAA and the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association.

·         Reviewed the new ethics law as it relates to providing free athletic event tickets to public school administrators and teachers.

·         Welcomed new board members Richard Brown of Beauregard, Johnny Hardin of Hackleburg and Brenda Mayes of Muscle Shoals along with the new officers,  president Luke Hallmark of Marengo County Schools and vice-president Larry Morris of Scottsboro City Schools.

·         Recognized  Coach Marty Smith for his service to the AHSAA as a staff member of the Bruno Event Team, which coordinates state championship events and the corporate partner program.

Action by the AHSAA Legislative Council, which met in the afternoon: 

·         Heard a review of the Central Board action.

·         Reviewed and approved the new Handbook, Fall Sports book and the Winter Sports book.

·         Reviewed the District Board appeals procedure.