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.”


Saban To Address AHSAA Principals/ADs Conference

        University of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban will be the keynote speaker at the sixth annual AHSAA Principals and Athletic Directors Conference to be held at Montgomery’s Renaissance Convention Center April 2-3.
        Saban, who has guided the Crimson Tide to three BCS National Championships in the last four seasons, will address the state’s principals and athletic directors on Wednesday morning, April 3, said AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese.
        “We are excited and honored to have Coach Saban speak to our member schools,” Savarese said. “He is a speaker in great demand and this conference falls during Alabama’s spring training, a very busy time for him.
        “We appreciate his commitment to our state and to our high schools. He is a highly motivated and successful leader who will speak to our school administrators about effective leadership.”
        A man of vision who has a proven record of championship success, Saban brought to Alabama football a commitment to building the total program.
        In six seasons at UA, Saban's uncompromising dedication to excellence in every phase of the program has resulted in the school's 13th, 14th and 15th national championships and the foundation has been set to yield long-term success for the Crimson Tide.

A four-time National Coach of the Year, Saban has achieved resounding success as a head coach and has earned a reputation as an outstanding tactician, leader, organizer and motivator. Those qualities have sparked impressive turnarounds at every stop of his career.
        Saban has compiled a 154-55-1 (.736) record as a college head coach and has gone 61-7 (.897) in the past five seasons in Tuscaloosa, which includes a 35-5 mark in regular-season conference play. His UA record includes four SEC championships and six SEC West titles. In 2012, the Tide reached the 10-win milestone for the fifth consecutive season under Saban.
        Savarese and recently retired Scottsboro High School Athletic Director Larry Morris, a longtime Central Board of Control member, will also speak at the conference April 3.
        Leadership Training Courses 502 and 700 will also be offered April 2.
        Administrators are encouraged to pre-register for the conference online at by March 22. For more information, check out the online brochure or contact the AHSAA at 334-263-6994.