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Alfred Peavy’s Life’s Work “Speaks” for His Impact on the Citizens and City of Enterprise


 

     The theme of Alfred Peavy’s life work was simple.
     “May the work that I have done speak for me.”
     
That life’s work as a teacher, coach and administrator in the Coffee County and Enterprise School Systems has now earned him a place in the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame.
     Peavy will be one of 11 individuals inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2016 Monday night, March 21. His wife Voncille will be representing her husband, who passed away in 2001.
     The induction banquet, hosted by the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) and Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA), will be at the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center at 6:30 p.m. A press conference introducing the 26th Class will be held at 5:30 at the Renaissance. He is being selected in the “old-timer” division.

     Other members of the Class of 2016 include football coaches Richard Beverly, Tandy Gerelds and Ike Grant; basketball coaches Mike Cochran and Jerome Sanders; volleyball coaches Frances Crapet and Brenda Mayes; baseball coach Earl Miller; wrestling coach and official Dwight Buzbee; volleyball official Apple Kridakorn. Gerelds is also deceased.
       Peavy, who spent his entire teaching and coaching career in Coffee County, was raised in Salitpa, Alabama (population 455), located near Salitpa Creek in Clarke County near the Alabama-Mississippi line. He graduated from Clarke County Training School in 1948, then attended Alabama State University where he received a bachelor’s degree in 1956. He earned a master’s degree from Troy University in 1975.
     He became a math teacher and coach at Coffee County Training School (later renamed Coppinville) in Enterprise. He coached football, basketball, baseball, and track until the Coppinville program ended with integration in 1969. He remained in the Enterprise School System, however, until his retirement in 1991.
     Peavy’s 1963 football team was the Class 2A regional champion and the 1968 team was undefeated with a 9-0 record. The 1962-63 basketball team played in the Alabama Interscholastic Athletic Association (AIAA) Class 2A state tournament. His teams won four track competitions and were runners-up in four other times.
      He moved into administration at EHS for the final 20 years of his career in education.
      Enterprise High School Assistant Principal Ricky Britt said Peavy’s extraordinary influence was reflected by the theme “May the work that I have done speak for me,” at his funeral in 2001.
      “First, the dream and aspiration of competitive sports for black students was a dream for Coach (Peavy),” Britt said. “He had coached at Coffee County Training School from 1956-59 when it became Coppinville High School and opened for students in September of 1960. Coach was very instrumental in pushing for competitive sports and was proud of his teams and his coaching staff. He wanted them to see the potential that they had. Coach felt that his teams could compete with any team in the area.
    “Second, Coach’s support for his community and others was unmatched during his blessed life. Coach cared so much about the success of Enterprise and all of its residents. For many, Coach was the most relevant and influential person they engaged. Coach was a model and inspiration for so many.”
     Britt said Peavy served the students and their parents far above and beyond the norm.  “He was there for parents who needed him to discipline their children,” he said. “He was there when parents needed to borrow money to pay utility bills. He was there to put clothes on the backs of those who did not have them. He was there to find summer work for youths in order for them to stay out of trouble. He was there when you needed his advice, male or female.
     “He and his wife shared their home with children. I was one of those children. Therefore, I am compelled to express my personal feelings about Coach. He and his wife took me into their home at the age of 15 and treated me just like their own son. This was my home through high school and my college years.
      “Coach Peavy had a heart of love like no other. He truly loved his neighbors as himself. I am a successful educational leader today because of the nurturing, support and influence of Coach! Like many others…we will be forever grateful for the community and personal support Coach gave.”
      Z. I. Fleming, Jr. shared a similar experience – after he dropped out of Tuskegee Institute.
      “I met Coach Peavy in 1956 when I was 16 years old,” Fleming said. “He came to Enterprise to coach and to teach physical education and mathematics. He was about 10 years older, but we became very good friends. Although I left home in 1957 to attended college at Tuskegee Institute, we picked up again as running partners when I dropped out one year later.

“During the one and one half years that I remained out of school, Coach Peavy is one of two men who I credit with ‘chipping away’ at my dread –and yes, fear – of the many real challenges of an anticipated return to school to attain my college degree. When I did return to school in 1959 – this time to Alabama State University – Coach supported me financially on many occasions until I completed school and returned to Enterprise.”
     Upon graduation, Fleming returned to Enterprise and joined Peavy’s coaching staff at Coppinville. He saw Peavy’s leadership up close and personal again.
    “Coach Peavy was a strong proponent of developing discipline and character in his athletes,” he said. “He never ‘threw away’ any of his athletes. He made it his business to know their parents and to help them raise the athletes to be the people that they were meant to be. As a patient and consistent father would, he guided them in life, using the athletic field as his basis.”
     In 1970 Peavy moved over to Enterprise Jr. High as head basketball and football coach for a year. Then he transferred to Enterprise High School as assistant principal and boys’ B-team basketball coach. In 1975 he gave up coaching to become assistant principal fulltime, a job he held until his retirement in 1991. He continued to serve residents of Enterprise working with senior citizens the rest of his life.
     With the AHSAA, Peavy received the Distinguished Service Award in 1991 for his 14 years of service on the Second District Board and his eight years on the Central Board of Control.

          He was inducted into the Wiregrass Sports Hall of Fame in 1998. Alfred Peavy Park was named in his honor in 1986.  





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