INDIANAPOLIS, IN (June 12, 2015) – Ohio University, the nation’s ninth oldest public university and a pioneer in sports education, has entered into a one-year agreement with the National Federation of State High School Associations as an NFHS Corporate Partner.
As part of the agreement, Ohio University, located in Athens, Ohio, will be considered one of three exclusive NFHS Partners for the NFHS Coach Education Program, and the only Educational Academic Program Partner of the NFHS.
“We are pleased to enter this agreement with Ohio University, a long-time leader in sports administration programs,” said Bob Gardner, NFHS executive director. “These master’s programs provide an excellent opportunity for coaches and athletic administrators to advance their careers.”
Recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of America’s best universities, Ohio University offers two distinct graduate programs for athletic leaders: the Online Master’s in Athletic Administration (MAA) and the Online Master’s in Coaching Education (MCE).
Designed exclusively for busy professionals, coursework for the MAA and MCE programs is delivered 100 percent online. The innovative online format gives coaches and athletic administrators the flexibility needed to advance their education without having to put their career on hold.
“We have a strong appreciation for the NFHS and consider it an honor to be named a corporate partner,” said Dr. Scott Smith, program director for Ohio University’s online MAA program. “To strategically align ourselves with such a tremendous brand and education-based leader in interscholastic sports will only heighten our ability to support the growth of today’s best coaches and athletic directors.”
As the first specialized academic sports program in the country, Ohio University’s online Master’s in Athletic Administration is focused solely on developing interscholastic athletic directors and preparing them for National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) Certification. To learn more about Ohio University’s online MAA program, visit: http://athleticadminonline.ohio.edu/.
The online MCE program prepares coaches to excel at all levels of competition through a challenging curriculum based on the National Association of Sport and Physical Education’s (NASPE) “8 Domains of Coaching.” For more information regarding the online MCE program, visit: http://mastersincoachingonline.ohio.edu/.
Applications for both programs are currently being accepted for the Fall 2015 term. No GRE or GMAT is required to apply. Both programs can be completed in two years.
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (May 20, 2015) – For the first time, public-address announcers will be recognized and celebrated during “National High School Activities Month” sponsored by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) this October. During the October 1-10 timeframe, a focus on what public-address announcers bring to the high school activities experience will be included with sportsmanship and fan appreciation.
“Public-address announcers have a lot of control, and really set the stage for fans and participants to enjoy the athletic experience,” said Elliot Hopkins, director of sports and student services at the NFHS. “Therefore, we thought it was important to include public-address announcers and celebrate their importance in high schools across America during Activities Month.”
The NFHS initially created National High School Activities Week in 1980 to increase the public’s awareness of the values and benefits inherent in high school athletics and other co-curricular activities. Activities Week has since expanded into Activities Month, with each week designed to promote and celebrate different areas of high school activities. The first week of Activities Month will now be called National Sportsmanship, Fan Appreciation and Public-Address Announcers Week.
In addition to promoting the values of sportsmanship and acknowledging those faithful fans of high school sports, schools are now encouraged to acknowledge the dedication and service that public-address announcers provide at every athletic contest.
The addition of public-address announcers to Activities Month was due, in part, to the focus being directed to these individuals by the National Association for Sports Public Address Announcers (NASPAA). NASPAA was founded several years ago by Brad Rumble, former assistant director of the NFHS.
“Besides the fact that [announcers] enjoy what they do, the primary reason they announce is to give back to the athletes, school and community,” Rumble said. “Because of public-address announcers who know their role and follow approved public-address announcing guidelines, games and events are significantly enhanced. For these reasons and for their decades of service to high school sports, the NASPAA is proud to partner with the NFHS to make it possible for the men, women and student public-address announcers to be recognized by being included in National High School Activities Month."
The Alabama High School Athletic Association Central Board of Control approved the current recommended football practice contact guidelines in place for health and safety to become a by-law Tuesday at the AHSAA Spring Central Board meeting at the AHSAA Office.
The guidelines require the first two days of fall practice to be in shorts and helmets, followed by shoulder pads and helmets on the third day not to exceed 90 minutes. On the fourth day, shoulder pads and helmets are to be used with the practice not exceeding 120 minutes. On the fifth practice day, one full speed contact practice, not to exceed 90 minutes of full speed contact is allowed.
Week 2 would allow alternating days of full-speed contact practice, not to exceed a combined total of 120 minutes of full-speed contact practice per week. In addition, one intra-squad scrimmage would be allowed in week 2.
Beginning week 3, alternating days of full-speed contact practice, not to exceed a combined total of 120 minutes of full-speed contact practice per week, will be permitted. One interscholastic scrimmage or contest will be allowed in week 3.
Week 4 through the end of the season, 90 minutes of full-speed contact practice is permitted.
During Spring Evaluation, alternating days of full-speed contact practice, not to exceed a combined total of 120 minutes of full contact per week, are allowed. One interscholastic scrimmage contest is allowed during the spring evaluation. The complete guidelines can be found at www.ahsaa.com.
The board voted to require all schools to follow the guidelines that were recommended in 2013 that restrict football practice contact. The AHSAA, along with Texas, Arizona and Maryland, has been a national leader in developing good health and safety practices. The NFHS, in its recent report on football contact, cited the AHSAA’s safety recommendations and its reduction of injuries as a result.
The AHSAA Medical Advisory Board, co-chaired by Dr. Jimmy Robinson of Tuscaloosa and Dr. Lawrence Lemak of Birmingham, also more clearly defined “contact” in its latest recommendation.
“This is a landmark decision by the Central Board,” AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese said. “Our medical advisory committee, at our meeting last February, agreed that the AHSAA’s recommendations in place were adequate and necessary. They also asked us to define more clearly the definition of “contact” and the Central Board agreed. We thank our medical advisory committee, which we think is the best in the nation, and our Central Board for helping us take a leadership role in developing these very important guidelines.”
The practice requirements for high schools and middle schools will be placed in the AHSAA Handbook and go into effect beginning with the 2015-16 school year.
Hartselle High School head football coach Bob Godsey, a member of the AHSAA Football Coaches Committee and the Alabama Football Coaches Association, was also present to express coaches’ support for these guidelines.
The Central Board also approved requiring all schools to have athletic emergency plans on file for all sports and all facilities by June 1, 2015. A template will be developed by the AHSAA and will be made available to member schools. The Central Board approved requiring CPR training for all coaches to include AED training.
The Central Board also instructed the AHSAA, in conjunction with its Baseball Coaches Committee, to study baseball’s current length of season, total number of games played, the pitching limitation rule and to clearly define of what constitutes a tournament. The group was asked to bring back recommendations to the July Central Board meeting.
In other Central Board action, Spring Garden High School principal Mike Welsh was elected to serve as Central Board president for the 2015-16/2016-17 two-year term. Hackleburg principal John Hardin was elected vice president.
The AHSAA Legislative Council also voted on 21 legislative proposals submitted by member schools for 2015 and ratified one.
The Legislative Council voted 27-5 to ratify a proposal submitted by Bob Jones High School to restrict floor access at regular-season wrestling tournaments to a specific number of school or team personnel.
Passage of a legislative proposal requires a two-thirds vote of the 32-member council.
In other board action Tuesday:
§ Approved Covenant Christian School of Mobile as a middle-school member of the AHSAA beginning the 2015-16 school year.
§ Approved Lindsay Lane Christian Academy of Athens for associate membership of the AHSAA beginning 2015-16.
§ Approved the 2014 Super 7 audit, the 2015 State and Regional Basketball Tournament audits, Super Section and State Wrestling audits and Indoor Track financial report.
§ Approved Regional Basketball Tournament sites (Dothan, Alabama State, Jacksonville State, Wallace-Hanceville) for 2015-16 season.
§ Approved the State Swim Meet contract (with Auburn University) for the next three years, 2015-17.
§ Approved the projected expenses for the 2015 NFHS Summer Meeting in New Orleans.
§ Approved the 2015-16 Calendar of Events, 2015-16 Sports Calendar and five-year Sports Calendar.
§ Heard an update from AHSADCA Director Alvin Briggs concerning the 2015 Summer Conference and All-Star Sports Week in Montgomery July 20-25.
§ Heard a report from Assistant Director Denise Ainsworth detailing results of the recent member-school AHSAA survey.
Set June 18, 2014 as the date for new Central Board Member Orientation.
§ Set dates for future Central Board meetings – July 29, 2015, Oct. 21, 2015, Feb. 3, 2016 and April 12, 2016.
§ Set June 18, 2015 as the date for new Central Board Member Orientation.
BIRMINGHAM – Douglas High School’s Isabella Hope Wisener and Calera High School’s ShaKeith Tyes were named the overall winners at the 30th annual Bryant-Jordan Student Athlete Awards Banquet Monday night at the Birmingham Sheraton Hotel as 104 high school regional honorees were recognized and awarded more than $300,000 in scholarships.
Wisener, a senior cross country, tennis and basketball standout, was the recipient of the Larry D. Striplin, Jr., Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award. Tyes, a standout running back and Calera’s career rushing leader, received the Ken and Betty Joy Blankenship Student Achievement Athlete of the Year Award.
The program, named in honor of the late coaches Paul "Bear" Bryant of Alabama and Ralph "Shug" Jordan of Auburn, recognized 52 regional scholar-athlete winners selected for their excellence in athletics and academics and 52 achievement winners chosen for their ability to overcome major obstacles during their high school careers.
“This is such an honor. I want to thank my family, my teachers, my coaches and my friends and the Bryant-Jordan Foundation,” Wisener said. Her secret to success, she added, “is I study a lot when I am in the car or on a trip and I try not to procrastinate too much. I am a very competitive person.”
Wisener, served as the Eagles’ tennis team captain and led her doubles team to the 2014 state finals. Wisener was also named MVP of Douglas’ cross country team the last two seasons. She has a full academic scholarship to attend Birmingham Southern College. A Wendy’s Heisman state finalist, she has been enrolled in the dual-enrollment program at Snead State Community College and was named a Marshall County outstanding scholar-athlete.
Ranked first in his class of 110, Wisener has a 102.32 grade-point average on a 100 scale. She is serving as Douglas High School SGA as treasurer this school year and was secretary in 2013-14. She is also a member of the math team, serves on the yearbook staff, is an officer in numerous other school clubs and was inducted into the National Honor Society.
Tyes has overcome many family struggles to become one of the most accomplished student-athletes in Calera history. He faced each challenge with tenacity and courage. An outstanding football, basketball and track standout, Tyes has earned the respect of teammates, coaches, teachers and classmates alike.
Described by coaches as possessing a “heart of gold,” Tyes worked hard in the classroom to overcome some learning disabilities and is now a solid student who has earned the admiration of his teachers. He finished his senior football season as Calera’s all-time leader in rushing yards, yards per carry, touchdowns and total yards. His career rushing total ranks in the top 15 in the AHSAA.
“I don’t know where I would be if it wasn’t for my family, my coaches, my teachers and my teammates,” Tyes said. He plans to attend a community college in Kansas on football scholarship next fall.
Coach Wiley McKeller, Tyes’ football coach, said “ShaKeith is that kid other kids needs to know about. He finds a way to work through every challenge.”
Wisener and Tyes were each awarded scholarships totaling $8,500. Each regional winner received $2,500 and each class winner an additional $3,000. The state winners also received an additional $3,000. Approximately $10 million has been distributed to student-athletes through the Bryant-Jordan Program since its inception in 1986.
Class winners in the Scholar-Athlete division were: Lauren Kois, Brilliant (1A); Tyler Phillips, Goshen (2A); Judson “Keith” Hunt, Jr., Winfield (3A); John Truman “J.T.” Hill, Cherokee County (4A); Isabella Wisener, Douglas (5A); Aaron “Max” Erbe, Florence (6A); and Caleb Casolaro, Fairhope.
Class winners in the Student Achievement division included: Phillip Cook, Winterboro (1A); Noah Cobb, Samson (2A); Hope Bishop, Glencoe (3A); William Chandler, Wilson (4A); ShaKeith Tyes, Calera (5A); Easton Gorman, Fort Payne (6A); and William “Ward” Webb, Mountain Brook (7A).
Several special scholarships were also presented to some of the regional winners, including:
Herman L. “Bubba” Scott Coaching Scholarship: William Chandler, Wilson; Alabama “A” Club Educational & Charitable Foundation Scholarships: (Achievement) Hope Bishop, Glencoe; (Scholar) J.T. Hill, Cherokee County; Auburn Football Lettermen Club Scholarships: Sydney Meadows, Horseshoe Bend and Kylee Carter, Beauregard; Dr. Gaylon McCollough Medical Scholarship: Jillian Tinglin, Montgomery Academy.
One new scholarship program was started this year: United Methodist Children’s Home Scholarship. The 2015 recipients of the two $2,500 scholarships were Amber Uptain of Maplesville and Zachary Simbeck of Lauderdale County, each Student Achievement Award regional winners in Class 1A and Class 3A, respectively.
The complete list of regional winners honored Monday night were:
2015 Bryant-Jordan Student Acievement Regional Winners
Region 1: MacKenzie Grace, Kinston
Region 2: Adriauna Alston, Linden
Region 3: Amber Uptain, Maplesville
Region 4: Phillip Cook, Winterboro
Region 5: Nathan Young, Hubbertville
Region 6: Mallary Guthrie, Meek
Region 7: Sarah Avans, Skylinje
Region 8: Kate Fortenberry, Athens Bible
Region 1: Trey Garris, Leroy
Region 2: Noah Cobb, Samson
Region 3: Donta’ Hall, Luverne
Region 4: MarKiece Williams, Reeltown
Region 5: Brittany Snyder, Fayetteville
Region 6: Carissa Barrios, Cleveland
Region 7: Michael Warner, Ider
Region 8: Chelsea Dewberry, Cherokee
Region 1: Catherine Wiggins, Excel
Region 2: Timothy Skipper, Abbeville
Region 3: Nicole Hoots, Prattville Christian
Region 4: Ty Herron, Lamar County
Region 5: Max Erb, Winfield
Region 6: Hope Bishop, Glencoe
Region 7: Keely Ellison, Pisgah
Region 8: Zack Simbeck, Lauderdale County
Region 1: Carly Brooks, Ashford
Region 2: Carter Rief, LAMP
Region 3: Levi Warren, Elmore County
Region 4: Mikailah Good, Oak Grove
Region 5: Chandler Gann, Carbon Hill
Region 6: Brady Williams, Crossville
Region 7: Jesse Overton, Haleyville
Region 8: William Chandler, Wilson
Region 1: Robert Henderson, Jr., Escambia County
Region 2: Chase Smartt, Charles Henderson
Region 3: Kirklin McWhorter, Tallassee
Region 4: Shakeith, Tyes, Calera
Region 5: Juan Waters, A.H. Parker
Region 6: Dontrez Green, Mortimer Jordan
Region 7: Conner Parrish, Boaz
Region 8: Breanna Peeples, East Limestone
Region 1: Tyler Brentzel, Spanish Fort
Region 2: Benjamin Dowd, Northview
Region 3: Whitley Bailey, Benjamin Russell
Region 4: Ethan Howard, Brookwood
Region 5: Samantha “Sammie” LaBeau, Chelsea
Region 6: Terelle West, Clay-Chalkville
Region 7: Easton Gorman, Fort Payne
Region 8: Devin Sanders, Decatur
Region 1: Chris Dillon, Foley
Region 2: Zach Higman, Prattville
Region 3: Ward Webb, Mountain Brook
Region 4: Ryan Sivak, Grissom
2015 Bryant-Jordan Scholar-Athlete Regional Winners
Region 1: Jared Alan Moss, Fruitdale
Region 2: Ashley Ballard, McKenzie
Region 3: Kacie Adams, Isabella
Region 4: Kasey Gamble, Victory Christian
Region 5: Brock Belcher, Shades Mountain Christian
Region 6: Lauren Kois, Brilliant
Region 7: Kelsi Lynn Sisk, Woodville
Region 8: Tyler Crumpton, Phillips
Region 1: Tripp Vickery, Flomaton
Region 2: Matthew Logan Skinner, Geneva County
Region 3: Tyler Phillips, Goshen
Region 4: Sydney Meadows, Horseshoe Bend
Region 5: John David Jacobs, Woodland
Region 6: Trent Tatum, Cleveland
Region 7: Carly Westermoreland, Addison
Region 8: Katie Clemons, Mars Hill Bible
Region 1: Amanda Jillian Daher, Geneva
Region 2: Nathaniel “Nate” Robinson, Slocomb
Region 3: Jillian Tinglin, Montgomery Academy
Region 4: Nate Freeman, Fultondale
Region 5: Judson Keith Hunt, Jr., Winfield
Region 6: Ali Porter, Westbrook Christian
Region 7: Will Cole, Sand Rock
Region 8: Sydney Homan, Madison Academy
Region 1: Robert M. Hope III, UMS-Wright
Region 2: Anna Curles, Trinity Presbyterian
Region 3: Morgan Tew, Elmore County
Region 4: Shane Adams, Handley
Region 5: Blake Foster, Locust Fork
Region 6: John “J.T.” Hill, Cherokee County
Region 7: Connar Franklin, Hamilton
Region 8: Zachary “Zack” Phillips, Wilson
Region 1: William “Will” Pickard, St. Paul’s Episcopal
Region 2: James “Trey” Tate III, Rehobeth
Region 3: Kylee Carter, Beauregard
Region 4: Braxton Stokes, Calera
Region 5: Blaine Kilgore, Corner
Region 6: Thomas R. Powers, Moody
Region 7: Isabella Wisener, Douglas
Region 8: Elizabeth Lopez, St. John Paul II Catholic
Region 1: Jordan T. Hess, Robertsville
Region 2: Holly M. Baker, Northview
Region 3: Abrianna Fornis, Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa
Region 4: Kyle Stuart, Northridge
Region 5: Charles “Chase” Kelly III, Homewood
Region 6: Hasan Sadiq Abdulla, Clay-Chalkville
Region 7: Lindsey Elizabeth Hindsman, Southside-Gadsden
Region 8: Max Erbe, Florence
Region 1: Caleb Casolaro, Fairhope
Region 2: Savanna Cooper, Prattville
Region 3: Jake Colburn, Tuscaloosa County
Region 4: Cameron Andrew Thomas, Grissom
MONTGOMERY – Twelve major contributors to prep athletics in Alabama were inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame Monday night at the 25th annual induction banquet .
Inducted were tennis coach Nancy Becker, basketball coaches Steve Jefferson, Jack Doss and Bobby Wright, football coaches Steve Rivers, Doug Goodwin and John Tatum, athletic director Myra Miles, track official Houston Young, and administrators Alan Mitchell and Ron Ingram. Selected in the “Old Timer” category was longtime Geneva County football coach James D. Chesteen.
The 2015 class, which included coaches, administrators, officials, media and an “oldtimer,” were inducted at the special Silver Anniversary banquet commemorating all 25 years of the event. The Renaissance Hotel at the Convention Center hosted the event sponsored by the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA) and the AHSAA. The corporate sponsors are Cadence Bank, Coca-Cola, EBSCO Media, Encore Rehabilitation, Farmers Insurance, Russell Athletic, TeamIP and Wilson Sporting Goods.
Miles, who retired in 2014 as athletic director at Hoover High School, made the acceptance address for the class. Approximately 1,000 guests attended the banquet including several past inductees as part of the Silver Anniversary celebration.
A total of 309 members are now enshrined in the Hall of Fame, which is housed at the AHSAA Office at Halcyon Summit Drive in Montgomery.
A thumbnail sketch of each 2015 inductee:
NANCY BECKER: One of the most successful girls’ tennis coaches in AHSAA state history, Becker began teaching as a business education teacher at Jacksonville (FL) in 1962, moved to John Carroll High School in 1965 and then to Vestavia Hills High School in 1984. Her tennis teams won 10 Class 6A state championships, had eight runner-up finishes, finished third four times and won 20 sectional championships. Her teams won over 200 matches in her 23-year career at Vestavia Hills and several prestigious tournaments, including the Chattanooga Rotary Tournament three times.
She was named NFHS State Tennis Coach of the Year in 2008 and 2010 and was honored by the Birmingham Kiwanis Club as Outstanding Teacher/Coach in 2011. She came out of retirement in 2013 to serve as an assistant coach and helped Vestavia Hills win the state championship. A 1957 graduate of Gadsden High School and 1961 graduate of Auburn University, Becker has been involved in many civic organizations, including Charity League, Civettes and the Birmingham Inter-Club and Tennis League.
JAMES “J.D.” CHESTEEN: A long-time head football coach in the Wiregrass, Chesteen, is being inducted in the “Old-Timer” category. He compiled an 86-64-6 overall record over a 16-year head-coaching career with stops at Coffee Springs, Samson and Geneva County. He coached three teams to the Peanut Bowl, one to the Lions Bowl and had teams win the South Alabama Conference 2A Championship twice. He served as president of the South Alabama Conference in 1964, was elected vice president of the AHSADCA in 1962 and president in 1963. He was head coach of the South All-Stars in the 1963 North-South Game and inducted into the Wiregrass Sports Hall of Fame in 1994.
He totaled 38 years and nine months as a teacher and coach in the Geneva County School System, retiring in 1989. Active in civic and church activities, he has been Chairman of Deacons at Hartford Baptist Church for 12 years.
He graduated from Brantley High School in 1946 and Troy University in 1951. He also spent three years in the Air Force (1946-48). His son Donnie Chesteen is currently the head football coach at Geneva High School.
JACK DOSS: One of the state’s most successful high school boys’ basketball coaches in history, Doss became the first prep coach in AHSAA history to capture eight state boys’ titles when J.O. Johnson won the Class 5A state title in February.
His head-coaching career produced two state champions at Birmingham-Hayes in 1981 and 1982 in his first two seasons as a head coach. His teams won five at Butler in Huntsville (2004, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2011). He has been at J.O. Johnson three seasons reaching the state finals each year.
Doss (749-320) is one of only two coaches to win state basketball titles at three schools.
He has had two games televised nationally over ESPN, his basketball character development strategies have been showcased on CBS Sports, and he has coached three players that were named Mr. Basketball in Alabama. His teams have produced more than 30 Division I players, including former NBA standout Buck Johnson. He also coached future NBA stars Charles Barkley and Ennis Whatley in the North-South All-Star Game and Eric Bledsoe in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game.
He has been inducted into the Madison County Sports Hall of Fame, named Birmingham News Coach of the Year seven times and selected to coach in the AHSAA’s two all-star games four times.
He graduated Oxford High School (1965) and after a stint in the Air Force, earned his college degree at Jacksonville State University.
DOUG GOODWIN: A member of the AHSAA’s 200-win club as a prep football coach, Goodwin began his head-coaching career at Marion County from 1987-92, then at Lineville (1993-98), Demopolis (1999-2006), Russellville (2007-10) and Homewood (2011-13). He led Lineville to the state finals in 1996 and 1998, won a state title at Demopolis in 2004 while setting a state single-season scoring record (761 points) in the process. His Russellville teams reached the state finals in 2008 and 2009 and his Homewood teams won region titles in 2012 and 2013.
His career record is 234-91 with five state championship appearances and was the first coach in AHSAA history to guide three different schools to the state finals.
He was selected ASWA Class 4A Coach of the year in 2004 and the Alabama Football Coaches Association 5A Coach of the year in 2008. He coached in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game in 2005 and the North-South All-Star Game in 1998. A graduate of Sylacauga High School (1980) and Auburn University (1984), he currently serves as Director of High School Relations and NFL Liaison for Auburn University.
RON INGRAM: The AHSAA Director of Communications since 2007, Ingram has served on the National Federation Hall of Fame Screening Committee and the National Records Committee, currently serving as chairman. A sports journalist before joining the AHSAA, he served as sports editor of the Dothan Progress from 1975-1981 and the Dothan Eagle from 1981-1984. In 1984 he became prep sports editor of the Birmingham News where he remained for 24 years before joining the AHSAA staff. The award-winning writer has been named the Alabama Sports Writers Association Sports Writer of the Year and captured the ASWA’s sweepstakes writing award twice (1987 and 1994). He started and chaired the ASWA state football and basketball rankings and also the All-State teams from 1978 until 2008. He also managed the Birmingham News All-State Teams for football, basketball, softball, baseball, wrestling and volleyball.
Ingram graduated from Pike County High School (1970) and the University of Alabama (1974). He was inducted into the ASWA Sportswriters Hall of Fame in 2013, the Wiregrass Sports Hall of Fame in 2009 and was named Alabama Community Journalist of the Year in 2012 by Auburn University. He has authored two books, Tales of Alabama High School Football and Sammy Dunn--Dynasty on the Diamond.
STEVE JEFFERSON: The highly-respected boys’ basketball coach recorded over 650 career wins in his 31-year career at Carver in Birmingham. He led the Rams to back-to-back Class 4A state championships in 1978 and 1979 – playing before the largest high school crowd in AHSAA state tournament history at Coleman Coliseum against Parker in the 1978 finals. His Carver teams also reached the state finals three more times (1983, 1997 & 1998). He served as an assistant coach on Carver’s 1981 Class 4A state runner-up team. Jefferson also coached Conecuh County Training School from 1965-68 with one trip to the AIAA state tournament. He was head football coach at Birmingham’s Ullman High School for one year.
He was named Birmingham City Schools Coach of the Year 10 times, the Birmingham Tip-Off Club Coach of the Year twice (1979 and 1998) and received the 1998 Frank Nix Distinguished Service Award presented by the Tip-Off Club. He was named Birmingham Times Coach of the Year four times. Jefferson is a graduate of Escambia County Training School (1958) and Alabama State University (1962).
MYRA MILES: Considered one of the top high school administrators in the nation, Miles served as athletic director at Hoover from 2008-2014 after serving one year as interim AD. She also taught and coached at Hoover from 2002-2007. During her tenure the school won more than 20 state championships in 10 different sports.
Her first teaching/coaching assignment was at Haleyville (1984-88), followed by stops at Brooks (1989-99), St. James (1999-2000) and Coffee (2000-02). She coached volleyball, softball and girls’ basketball and taught physical education during her teaching/coaching career. Her volleyball team at Haleyville won the Class 4A state championship in 1987 and finished runner-up in 1985 and 1986, then her softball team won the Class 4A state title at Brooks in 1994. Her career records were 546-201 in softball, 355-152 in volleyball, and 192-124 in basketball – a total of 1,062 prep wins in the three sports.
Miles served on the AHSAA Central Board of Control from 2012-14, was president of the AHSADCA (2013-14) and an officer for five years. She has been active in working with special needs students and Special Olympics and helps sponsor a fishing trip for special needs children in Eutaw annually.
Miles is a graduate of Bradshaw (1979) in Florence and the University of North Alabama (1984). She also attended Freed-Hardeman College.
ALAN MITCHELL: The veteran Assistant Director of the AHSAA served as the association’s first Director of Publicity and Publications during five different decades while working with three different executive directors. A dedicated individual who has championed the AHSAA’s education-based athletics mission his entire career, Mitchell was recognized by the NFHS with the National Citation Award for Section 3 at the 2011 NFHS Summer Conference in Philadelphia. The AHSAA Central Board of Control also issued a resolution honoring Mitchell’s 32-year career with the AHSAA.
Mitchell joined the AHSAA after spending 14 years as a newspaper journalist and five years in college public relations. The 1960 Robert E. Lee High School graduate completed his college degree at Huntingdon College in 1964. He was a sports writer for the Montgomery Advertiser from 1958-66 while also holding down the Huntingdon College sports information director position from 1960-66. He served as Publicity Director at Tennessee Wesleyan College from 1966-71 before returning to Montgomery as sports editor of the Alabama Journal in 1971 where he remained until joining the AHSAA. He has served in various leadership roles at Aldersgate United Methodist Church and currently directs the Praise Singers ensemble.
STEVE RIVERS: The veteran football coach had head-coaching stops at Pelham (1979-80), Decatur (1981-95), Athens (1996-99) and Wakefield, N.C. (2000-05). A graduate of Sylacauga High School (1967) and Mississippi State University (1971), his overall head-coaching record is 188-95.
Rivers had unbeaten regular seasons at three different schools: 1993 (Decatur), 1997 (Athens) and 2005 (Wakefield) during his 27-year head-coaching career. He is the father and high school coach of current NFL quarterback standout Philip Rivers and quarterback Stephen Rivers, who played three years at LSU, graduated and played at Vanderbilt while in graduate school in 2014.
Coach Rivers led 16 teams to the state playoffs. He played in the North-South All-Star Game in 1967 and later served as head coach of the North team in the 1997 game. He was an assistant in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game in 1999.
Rivers, who won the state prep doubles tennis championship in 1967, also coached tennis and basketball at Decatur and was inducted into the Morgan County Sports Hall of Fame in 2008 and named the Decatur Daily Football Coach of the Year five times. He played at Sylacauga for AHSAA Hall of Fame coach Tom Calvin and served as an assistant in his first coaching job under Hall of Fame coach Earl Webb.
JOHN TATUM: A graduate of Montgomery’s Robert L. Lee High School (1964) and Troy University (1969), Tatum spent 16 years as athletic director, head football and track coach at Montgomery Academy (1984-2000). He also had coaching stops at DeKalb County (GA), Norcross (GA) and Everitt Junior High in Panama City, Fl. He also worked with AHSAA STAR Sportsmanship developer Learning Through Sports in 2007-08 and served as principal at St. James School for three years before officially retiring. His Montgomery Academy teams compiled a 170-95 record, including 24-17 in playoff games. His 1987 team finished 14-0 and won the Class 1A state title. His 2006 team was 10-0 in the regular season and closed out 12-1. Three of his teams reached the state semifinals.
His overall head-coaching record was 196-112-1 with 21 trips to the state playoffs in 27 years. In 1987 Tatum was named Class 1A Coach of the Year, Montgomery Quarterback Club and Birmingham Monday Morning QB Club Coach of the Year. The 2005 AHSADCA Athletic .Director of the Year was also named Montgomery Advertiser Coach of the Year eight times. He was an assistant coach in the first Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game in 1988, coached in the North-South Game in 1999 as an assistant and as head coach of the South in 2007. A member of the prestigious Jimmy Hitchcock Award selection committee, he was inducted into the Robert E. Lee High School Hall of Fame in 1999.
BOBBY WRIGHT: The Central-Phenix City boys’ head basketball coach since 1989, Wright also served 26 years as defensive coordinator for the football team.
His first basketball team went 19-9 in 1989-90 advancing to the sub-state. In 26 years as boys’ basketball coach, Coach Wright has had 24 winning seasons and 15 squads with 20 or more wins. His teams have averaged more than 20 wins per season in compiling a 546-185 record, including 22-4 in 2015 and a Central Regional tournament runner-up finish. He collected his 500th win in the Shaw Christmas Tournament last year. During his career his Central teams have won17 area championships and appeared in 20 sub-state tournaments, advancing to the quarterfinals 10 times and the semifinals five times. The 1998-99 team was Class 6A state runner-up.
Central football teams compiled a 215-82 record during his coordinator tenure that included the Class 6A state championship in 1993. The Red Devils posted 59 shutouts during that span and allowed only 10.8 points per game.
Wright has won numerous Coach-of-the-Year honors from the Columbus Ledger Enquirer and Opelika-Auburn Daily News. He graduated from Buena Vista (GA) High School in 1960 and Fort Valley State College (GA) in 1974.
HOUSTON YOUNG: One of the top track officials in the nation, Young was awarded the NFHS National Citation Award as Track Official of the Year in 2010. A track and field official since 1968, he has worked the state track meet for the last 48 years and currently serves as a State Track Meet Director. He was named AHSAA State and Southwest District Official of the Year in 2008. An Olympic Torch Bearer in 1996, he has also officiated at several regional and national college track meets.
The 1963 Uniontown High School graduate became a college track standout at Livingston University where he set the 100-yard dash record that still stands. He became a teacher at Beatrice in 1968, moved to Lowndes County Training for one year and then joined Selma High School as teacher and track coach where he served from 1971-79. He moved into administration at Wallace Community College in Selma for 22 years. He is active in his community and church, serving as a deacon at Elkdale Baptist Church and as president of the Selma Jaycees in 1971. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Selma-Dallas County Red Cross and received the Education Award from the Prattville Fire Department.
MONTGOMERY – Twelve major contributors to prep athletics in Alabama will be inducted into the 25th class of the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame Monday night.
NOTE: This is the final installment in a series introducing the AHSAA Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2015. Congratulations to the 12 selected for this year’s induction. The 25th AHSAA HOF Banquet is set for March 23 at the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center.
By BILL PLOTT
“Ron Ingram is Mr. High School Sports!” Steve Savarese, Executive Director of the Alabama High School Athletic Association, said it unequivocally.
In his letter supporting Ingram’s nomination to the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame, Savarese described Ron as “a great ambassador for this Association and the entire Alabama high school sports community.”
Ingram has been a shining example of what high school athletics is all about from his playing days to his careers in journalism and with the Alabama High School Athletic Association.
A native of Brundidge, Ingram graduated from Pike County High School in 1970. He attended Troy University for two years, and then transferred to the University of Alabama where he graduated in 1974 with a degree in journalism/public relations and a minor in radio/TV.
His love of high school sports was born in Brundidge at a young age.
“I learned at any early age, while watching my brothers play, just how fascinating the passion of high school sports is,” he recalled. “I personally participated in four sports in high school and loved them all. I guess I have loved it ever since. When I became a sports writer, I began to understand more fully why the passion exists, where it comes from and how it drives student-athletes to accomplish more than they ever imagined possible.
“The men and women who coach high school sports are missionaries of sorts, teaching life lessons, building character and sense of family commitment while molding kids from a wide array of backgrounds into focusing on a common goal. The communities sense it and respond accordingly.
“I was fortunate to be able to tell that story through my role as a journalist for the past 40 years. And now that I am working even more closely with the men and women who give so much to this mission, I love and understand it even more.”
His first job out of college was as an account executive with the Earl Hutto Advertising Agency. He soon found a position with The Dothan Progress, a weekly newspaper, as sports editor. It was a dramatic turning point for both his career and for the promotion of high school sports in Alabama.
While cover local sports for the Progress, Ron started and managed the Alabama Sports Writers Association All-State Football Team in 1978. The process brought together numerous media representatives to compile a team based on merit more than regional preferences. This was quickly expanded to include an ASWA All-State Basketball Team each year.
During the regular season of first football and then basketball and baseball, the ASWA began publishing weekly rankings of teams in each classification. The eagerly-awaited rankings added another element of excitement and anticipation to the various sports.
In 1981 Ingram moved over to The Dothan Eagle where he served as sports editor for three years, earning several writing awards from the ASWA, the Alabama Press Association and The Alabama Associated Press Association.
He joined The Birmingham News in 1985 and the resources of the state’s biggest newspaper allowed him to expand even further his passion for high school athletics. He continued chairing the Alabama Sports Writers Association teams for football and basketball but soon expanded to include baseball, volleyball, soccer and softball, sports that were often overlooked on a statewide level.
While in Birmingham he helped the Alabama Sports Writers Association initiate the Mr. Football, Mr. & Miss Basketball, Mr. Baseball & Miss Softball Awards, which have recognized the most outstanding athletes in those sports each year. During his 22 years at The Birmingham News, Ingram won the ASWA Sweepstakes Award twice (19887, 1994), the Bill Shelton Award (2005) signifying the ASWA Sports Writer of the Year. In 2006 he also received the John W. Russell Ambassador of the Game Award from the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He was inducted into the Wiregrass Sports Hall of Fame in 2009 and was named the Auburn University Journalism Advisory Council’s Distinguished Community Journalist of the Year in 2012. The Alabama Sports Writers Association inducted him into its Hall of Fame in 2013.
In 2007 Ingram joined the Alabama High School Athletic Association as Communications Director.
“Throughout my career in high school athletics, I have been privileged to work with some of the finest men and women in the field. This group includes coaches, officials, administrators, and AHSAA contributors who all have had one common trait – a desire to excel and to make a difference in the lives of those they serve. One of those individuals is Ron Ingram,” wrote Savarese. “He is an outstanding administrator, a dedicated professional, and a human thesaurus relating to high school sports information in the state of Alabama.
“He [has been] inducted into the Alabama Sports Writers Hall of Fame. Without a doubt he is the most respected sports writer in the state of Alabama. Additionally, Ron served or is serving on many National Federation of State High School Association (NFHS) committees including but not limited to the NFHS Hall of Fame selection committee and the Records Committee. His lifetime of experiences and expertise has provided countless people lasting enjoyment and lifelong memories.”
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