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.”

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Board Upholds Enterprise Ruling, Elects Officers

Legislative Council Approves 3 Proposals For 2013-14 School Year


        The Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) Central Board of Control voted unanimously Tuesday to uphold the AHSAA’s original ruling regarding a violation of the Recruiting Rule by the Enterprise boys’ basketball program. The appeal was heard at the Central Board’s annual spring meeting.
        Enterprise self-reported the violation but subsequently appealed the severity of the one-year restrictive probation penalty assessed in accordance with the rule.
        “I want to thank Enterprise High School for the integrity they showed throughout this process and for the manner in which they conducted themselves,” Savarese said. “They self-reported the violation and cooperated fully with the AHSAA every step throughout the entire process.”
        The Central Board also approved raising football playoff ticket prices by $1 in the first three rounds to $8, to $10 for semifinals and $12 for advance tickets for the Super 6 state finals. Tickets bought on-site the day of the game will be $15.
        The Board elected officers for the 2013-14 school year, selecting Lamar Brooks of Dale County as president and Mike Welsh of Spring Garden as vice president. Brooks, from District 2, replaces Luke Hallmark of Marengo County, who has served as the Central Board president for the past two years. Welsh replaces Mountain Brook’s Terry Cooper.

        Savarese praised Hallmark for his outstanding leadership as Board president and presented him with a Distinguished Service plaque.
        The Legislative Council also met Tuesday and passed three of 18 legislative proposals on the agenda. All rules passed will go into effect for the 2013-14 school year.”
        The Council approved a proposal to change the Fall Practice Rule, which currently requires that the first three days of fall practice be in helmets and shorts. The amended rule will require only two days in helmet and shorts followed by one practice in helmet, shorts and shoulder pads on the third day. That practice may last no more than 1½ hours. Full pads will still be allowed on the fourth day of practice.
        The Council also approved a proposal which replaces the current All-Star Dead Week Rule passed last year. Effective in the summer of 2014, the vote brings back the previous rule which limits the week in July during the AHSAA Summer Conference and All-Star Week to strength and conditioning workouts only.
        In addition, the Council approved a proposal that grants principals with 25 years of service or principals with 25 years as coach/principal to be eligible for a lifetime coaching card.
        Other Board action included:             
        -- Approved the 2012 football playoff audit and the financial reports for the 2013 state wrestling tournament, 2013 state indoor track meet and 2013 Final 48 Basketball Championships.
        -- Approved the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Football Game financial report. AHSADCA Director Alvin Briggs also informed the Board that Alabama and Mississippi have signed a two-year contract to play the football game at Cramton Bowl but will rotate the basketball games between Mississippi and Alabama beginning in 2014.
        -- Approved expenses for the National Federation Summer Meeting scheduled for June in Denver.
        -- Approved the AHSAA 2013-14 Calendar of Events and Sports Calendar as well as the AHSAA 5-year Calendar.
        -- Tabled a recommendation to increase contest officials’ fees and formed a committee to further study the proposal.
        -- Approved, beginning in 2014-15, a requirement that coaches must complete Coaches Principles and Sports First Aid courses before performing any assigned coaching duties and becoming eligible to apply for a coach’s card. Currently coaches have two years to complete the courses.
        -- Approved allowing the AHSAA to study the use of a private investigation firm in AHSAA transfer rule investigations.
        -- Approved an AHSAA Constitution analysis by the AHSAA’s attorney.
        -- Discussed current state legislative issues.
        -- Heard a report from the Medical Advisory Board’s winter meeting concerning health and safety issues including limiting collision contact. The Medical Advisory Board unanimously voted to keep the current requirement that medical doctors sign all pre-participation physicals.