CHICAGO, IL – Coach Dovey “Buddy” Anderson, the winningest high school football coach in Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) state history, was inducted into the National Federation of State High School Association (NFHS) Hall of Fame Monday night a banquet at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Hotel that closed the 99th Summer Meeting.
Anderson, who is beginning his 41st season as head football coach at Vestavia Hills in August, became the 12th individuals from Alabama be enshrined in the nation’s National Hall of Fame. He was enshrined along with 11 others from across the U.S., including track athlete Dick Fosbury (Oregon); former Nebraska head football coach Tom Osborne (athlete); former WNBA and Stanford basketball star Nicole Powell (Arizona), distance runner Carrie Tollefson (Minnesota); soccer coach Miller Bugliari (New Jersey); swimming coach Jeff Meister (Hawaii); basketball coach William O’Neil (Vermont); contest official Roger “Smokey” Barr (Iowa); retired Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association Executive Director Richard Neal; and choral coach William Zurkey (Ohio).
Anderson’s wife Linda, their children and grandchildren where among a large contingent on hand Monday night for the induction. He has compiled a 329-146 overall head-coaching record in 40 seasons at Vestavia Hills winning the Class 4A state title in 1980 and the Class 6A state championship going 15-0 in 1997. His teams have advanced to the state playoffs 30 times with a 47-28 playoff mark and have won nine or more games 22 times in the AHSAA’s large-school class. Anderson’s father Dovey Anderson was 182-81-5 as a prep head football coach in 31 seasons, all at Thomasville.
Both dad and son are in the AHSAA Sports Hall of Fame and won 511 football games between them, most in state history. Both attended Samford University (dad when the school was Howard College) and Dovey, Sr., competed in the first game ever played at Legion Field in 1927.
Buddy was hired as an assistant coach at Vestavia in 1972 and was elevated to head coach in 1978.
“Buddy Anderson is a man of faith and character who has been an important mentor to many others along the way,” said AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese. “He is a shining example of the kind of positive impact coaches have on the lives of the student-athletes they serve.”
Anderson, who received the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame’s “Frank ‘Pig’ House Award in 2014 and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ Herman L. “Bubba” Scott Award in 2016, was humbled by the Monday night’s induction.
“I was very fortunate to grow up in a coach’s home,” he said. “My father was a high school a high school football coach for 31 years. I saw the relationship my dad had with his players, his fellow coaches and teachers. I just went to my own 50th high school reunion and picked right up where I left off with my classmates and those I played sports with. Seeing them, all now in their sixties, and seeing the kind of men they grew unto reminded me of the coaches I worked with (at Vestavia Hills), most of them for more than 30 years and the many players I have had the opportunity to coach. It also reiterated that we are in the relationship business.”
Anderson, the only coach in AHSAA history to win 300 games at one school, is the second AHSAA football coach from the state to be enshrined in the National High School Hall of Fame. Glenn Daniel, who was the AHSAA’s first 300-game winner (at Pine Hill and Luverne), was inducted in 1999. Track coach Jim Tate of St. Paul’s Episcopal in Mobile, was the last coach from Alabama to be enshrined (2013). Basketball coach Mickey “Guy” O’Brien, a Dadeville native who coached at Geraldine and Scottsboro, was inducted in 1992.
Alabamians currently in the NFHS HOF include:
ALABAMIANS IN THE NFHS NATIONAL HALL OF FAME
Year Name High School College
1987: Cliff Harper Moore Academy (Pineapple) Birmingham-Southern
1990: Herman L. “Bubba” Scott Autauga County (Prattville) Troy State
2011: Dan Washburn LaFayette Chattanooga
1992: Mickey “Guy” O’Brien Tallapoosa County (Dadeville) Auburn 1999: Glenn Daniel A.A. Parrish (Selma) Livingston
2013: James “Jim” Tate UMS (Mobile) Citadel
2018: Dovey “Buddy” Anderson Thomasville Samford
1989: Bart Starr (Athlete) Sidney Lanier (Montgomery) Alabama
2012: Pat Sullivan (Athlete) John Carroll (Birmingham) Auburn
2014: Ozzie Newsome (Athlete) Colbert County (Leighton) Alabama
1988: Dan Gaylord Central (Phillips, B’ham) Howard College
2007: Sam Short West End (B’ham) Western Kentucky