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.”


Eight Proposals Ratified By AHSAA Legislative Council


        The Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) Legislative Council ratified eight of 19 legislative proposals Tuesday including two that now give the AHSAA some of the nation’s toughest rules against recruiting. All proposals will go in effect with the 2012-13 school year.
        The 32-member Council, which is made up of four representatives from each of the AHSAA’s eight districts, voted 25-7 to pass Proposal 7 submitted by Vestavia Hills High School. The rule will require that a member school be put on restrictive probation for one year if ruled by the AHSAA to have played an athlete who was ineligible due to a recruiting violation. The restrictive probation would bar the school’s team from participating in state championship play in the sport in which the recruiting violation occurred.
        In addition, the Council passed Proposal 16, also submitted by Vestavia Hills High School, which states that a coach at a member school ruled to have been involved in the illegal recruitment of a student-athlete to that school shall be barred from coaching at any AHSAA for one year.
        Both proposals now enhance the AHSAA’s current Rule VI, Sections 7, 11 and 12 which prohibit recruiting and financial inducements.
        Proposal 8, a rule concerning suspensions which was proposed by the AHSAA Central Board of Control, was passed 31-1. That rule amends Rule I, Eligibility, Section 16, Suspensions already in the AHSAA Handbook to state “A transfer student must be in good standing with the student’s previous schools. A period of discipline will be in effect from any previous school must be served prior to the student regaining athletic ability.”

        This change’s the rule’s previous wording that stated a transfer student must be in good standing with the school’s previous school and clarifies a school’s responsibility to obtain a statement of good standing from the student’s previous schools, eliminating the opportunity for a student to circumvent the suspensions rule by attending a non-member school.
        Two proposals, one proposing that all students always be eligible and another proposing to abolish the current outside participation rule, were voted down 32-0.
        Other proposals passed include:
        Proposal 3: Running Clock – Beginning next basketball season, a running clock will be used when a team has a 30-point advantage in the fourth quarter.
        Proposal 12: Dead Week – Creates a complete dead week for all athletes and coaches during the All-Star Sports Week/Summer Conference. No workouts or competition of any kind will be allowed during this week.
        Proposal 14: Middle School Competition – This amendment to the Junior High/Middle School Bylaws amends the rule to state “A middle school team, whether comprised of seventh graders only, eighth graders only or seventh and eighth graders together, may play any other middle school team, whether comprised of seventh graders only, eighth graders only or seventh and eighth graders together.”
        Proposal 17: Summer Competition Dates – The seven summer play dates for all sports will be reduced to four beginning in the summer of 2013.

        Proposal 19: Sanctioning of Wrestling Quad Matches – Beginning in 2012-13, wrestling quad matches (four teams) will not need to be sanctioned. Currently any wrestling team competition with four schools involved must be sanctioned by the AHSAA.