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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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 Stallworth Selected New Associate Executive Director


     Anthony C. “Tony” Stallworth has been selected to become just the fourth Associate Executive Director of the Alabama High School Athletic Association, Executive Director Steve Savarese announced Tuesday.

     Stallworth, a former high school basketball coach and administrator at Brantley High School and currently the Director of Career Technical Education for the Crenshaw County Board of Education, will take the post currently held by Joe Evans, who will retire Nov. 30. Stallworth will begin his new duties Nov. 1.

       “Tony Stallworth has been involved with the AHSAA in a voluntary role for many years through his work on committees and with such projects as All-Star Sports Week,” Savarese said. “He has proven to be a very committed educator and has shown tremendous loyalty to the goals of the AHSAA as an organization through his work with our committees. He is going to be a tremendous addition to the AHSAA family and a great associate executive director. We are honored to have him joining our AHSAA staff."

       Stallworth, a Monroe County native who graduated from J.F. Shields High School in Beatrice in 1974, brings a wealth of teaching and coaching experience to the position held by just three others. James Hall served in the position created in 1968 with the merger of the AHSAA and Alabama Interscholastic Athletic Association and was followed by Dr. Jimmie Cal. Evans joined the AHSAA staff in June of 2000.

       The duties of the associate executive director include the coordination of the AHSAA’s Coaches Education program, the school audit program, the Reclassification Committee, Middle School/Junior High professional development work with all championship events.

       “I am very humbled by the opportunity Mr. Savarese is extending to me,” Stallworth said. “He has seen something in me that gives me confidence as I move into this important position. The AHSAA plays such an important role in the schools of our state. Becoming a part of the AHSAA family gives me an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the students and coaches. I admire the job Mr. Evans has done as Associate Executive Director and for what he has meant to our schools.”

       Stallworth said he has learned many important lessons from several mentors in his life.

       “I have been very fortunate to have worked with some outstanding coaches, including Marion McIntosh, Jerome Sanders, Earl Henderson and my own high school coach, Willie Averett. They all taught me so much along the way, especially the importance of integrity, character, trust and loyalty. 
       "I also want to thank the Crenshaw County Board of Education which has afforded me for more than 20 years administrative opportunities that I think have helped me prepare for this position with the AHSAA.”

       Stallworth played on the 1972 J.F. Shields state basketball championship team, then attended Lomax-Hannon Junior College in Greenville for two years on basketball scholarship before completing his undergraduate degree at Huntingdon College. He earned his Masters in Physical Education at Alabama State University, earned a Certificate of Administration at Auburn University-Montgomery and his Class AA in Educational Administration from Alabama State.

       Stallworth began his coaching career as an assistant basketball coach at Lomax-Hannon from 1978-83 while working as Supervisor of Parks and Recreation for the Dunbar Center in Greenville. He moved to Monroe Senior High School in 1983 where he served as assistant basketball and head track coach for five years.
        He moved to Brantley High School in 1988 where he compiled a 48-0 record as head junior high coach and assistant boys varsity basketball coach for two years. He served as Brantley head boys basketball coach from 1990-2005, compiling a 298-47 record with three state championships – the Class 1A crown in 1993 and 1994 and the 2A state title in 1995. He was named Class 1A Coach of the Year in 1993 and 1994 and Class 2A Coach of the Year in 1995.

       Stallworth also served as assistant principal from 1997-2005, became principal from 2006-08 and moved to the Crenshaw County Board of Education in 2008.

       He is currently a member of the AHSAA Basketball Advisory and Basketball Coaches committees and has served as administrative coach for the All-Star Sports Week’s basketball all-star game.  He also has served on the Council for Alabama School Leaders (CLAS).