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.”


 Day Named National Official Of TheYear

ATLANTA – Mary Day, a veteran official of 21 years in the  Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) program and more than 20 years in women’s college basketball, has been named the 2011 Naismith Women’s College Official of the Year by the Atlanta Tipoff Club. She will receive the award Oct. 15.
          First presented in 1988, this lifetime achievement award is given to individuals who display character, integrity and dignity and have contributed to the growth, success and viability of college basketball. To be considered, candidates must be involved as a college official for at least 20 years, officiate at least one Final Four game and 10 conference tournaments.
         “Mary has been a women’s college basketball staple for nearly a quarter century, and the sport simply wouldn’t be the same without her,” said Atlanta Tipoff Club Executive Director Eric Oberman. “We’re honored to recognize Mary’s achievements with this award and thank her for her extensive contributions to the sport of college basketball.” 
         Day was surprised at the announcement.
         “There have only been a handful of times in my life where I have been rendered speechless, and this is one of those moments,” said Day. “It is absolutely amazing to be recognized with such an honor for doing something I consider to be a privilege.”
          Day, a member of the Jeff Davis High School team that won the first AHSAA state girls basketball championship in 1978, began her officiating career in 1981 and called AHSAA basketball, volleyball and softball games for 16 years. She has served as an AHSAA District Director for the last five years.
          Joining the college ranks in 1990, she has officiated women’s basketball games for the SEC, Atlantic Sun, C-USA, Big 12 and Sunbelt conference tournaments and is currently involved with nine different conference officiating staffs. She also refereed Final Four games in 2007 and 2008, 11 regional final and semi-final games, and has 14 years of experience working first and second rounds of the NCCA women’s tournament.
            She holds a bachelor’s degree in Health, Physical Education and Recreation from Northeast Louisiana University where she also did master’s studies in Sports Medicine.
          Past Naismith Women's Award winners include:

Denny Mayer
Nan Sisk
Tommy Salerno
Tina Napier
Joe Cunningham
Wesley Dean
Melissa Barlow
Yvette McKinney
Lisa Mattingly
Scott Yarbrough
Dennis DeMayo
Violet Palmer
Bob Trammell
D.A. Kantner
John Morningstar
Darlene May
Larry Sheppard
Arthur Bomengen
Sue Kennedy
Sally Bell
Bill Stokes
June Courteau
Patty Broderick