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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Struckhoff Announces Resignation From NFHS Staff

INDIANAPOLIS — Mary Struckhoff, assistant director of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) for the past 12 years, will leave the NFHS staff, effective September 30, to pursue other interests in athletics and officiating.

Struckhoff, who has directed the NFHS Officials Association and served as rules editor for the sports of basketball and softball, will be working as a consultant in her areas of expertise, particularly officiating.  Since January 2006 she also has served as national coordinator of women’s basketball officiating for the NCAA.

Membership benefits in the NFHS Officials Association have expanded under her leadership, especially exclusive online educational content such as searchable NFHS rules and case books plus video and animation of NFHS rules and mechanics. She was instrumental in starting the NFHS Officiating Central Hub in association with ArbiterSports. The first online course for officials will be available during the 2011-12 school year.

Struckhoff has guided NFHS rules committees in basketball and softball and has become the nationally recognized expert in those sports. She annually serves as editor of five NFHS basketball rules publications and two softball rules publications.

Prior to joining the NFHS staff in 1999, Struckhoff was assistant executive director of the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) for three years. She was a teacher, coach and athletic director at the high school and college levels for 12 years before joining the IHSA.

Before assuming her position with the NCAA, Struckhoff was an accomplished basketball official.
            A native of St. Louis, she earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1982 from Benedictine (Kansas) College and a master’s degree in athletic administration in 1991 from Western Illinois University.