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.”



Scottsboro Field House To Honor Meadows, Morris


       The Scottsboro Board of Education recently approved the naming of a new field house to be built at Pat Trammell Stadium in honor of former Scottsboro High School football coaches John Meadows and Larry Morris.
        The two will be honored prior to Friday night’s homecoming game at Trammell Stadium against Brewer. School Superintendent Dr. Judy Berry said the building, to be located in the north parking lot of the stadium, will be named Meadows-Morris Field House. The facility will house locker rooms, a weight room, video room, coaches’ offices, bathrooms and a concession stand. It will be used by the football team, cross-country and track teams as well as the band.
        Meadows coached at Scottsboro from 1959-65 compiling a 55-9-5 record including undefeated teams in 1960 and 1965. The ’65 team was declared the state champs, the Wildcats’ only state football championship in school history. His 1961 and 1963 teams each went 9-1.
        Meadows, who retired with a 271-76-7 career coaching record, went on to have a successful tenure at Butler High School in Huntsville and then moved on to Lincoln County, Tenn., and  became a coaching legend in two states. He had undefeated teams at Gordo, Hanceville and Butler and won a state title at Lincoln County in addition to his 1965 Scottsboro championship.
        Morris, who retired as athletic director at Scottsboro after the 2011-12 school year, is a SHS graduate who coached the Wildcats for 14 seasons, the longest tenure in school history. His teams were 90-66 and he is still the school’s career wins leader.

        He served in some coaching capacity from 1974-2004 and then became fulltime athletic director until his retirement in 2012. He was also a longtime member of the AHSAA Eighth District Board and Central Board of Control. He was Central Board vice president when he retired last June.
        When Morris became head coach, the school had gone through six head coaches in a 10-year period, had a 123-134 record and had only nine winning seasons in the previous 25 years. Morris coached four teams that won 10 or more games and had two undefeated regular seasons. His 1995 and 1996 teams each finished 11-1. His 1997 team reached the Class 5A playoff semifinals and finished 10-3. His last team went 10-2 in 2004.
        Meadows and Morris will be honored by former players and fans at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12 in a ceremony at the Collins Elementary School cafeteria, and then recognized at Trammell Stadium later that night.