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.”


Two Schools Draw Fines, Probation

             Lee High School of Huntsville and Clanton Middle School have been fined and placed on probation for one year by the AHSAA for using ineligible players on athletic teams. All violations were self-reported by the schools.
            The probationary period for each school is a warning that other violations of the same nature could bring further sanctions against the school.
            Lee High School was fined $250 in violation of the Transfer Rule by two volleyball players. The students are ineligible at Lee for one year or until the family makes a bona fide move into the Lee attendance zone. All contests in which the ineligible students played and the school won were forfeited to the opposing schools.  
            Under the Student Restitution Rule, the students must sit out the same number of contests they participated in while ineligible once they become eligible. 
            Clanton Middle School was fined $150 in violation of the Age Rule by a football player. All contests in which the ineligible student played and the school won were forfeited to the opposing schools.
            Under the Student Restitution Rule, the student will be ineligible for the next regular season contest of the Chilton County High School team on which he now plays.