Seven Individuals Receive 2015 Making A Difference Awards at 19th Annual Coaches Awards Banquet


   Seven individuals were selected as recipients of the AHSAA’s “Making A Difference” Award Friday night at the Championship Coaches Awards Banquet held at the Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center.
     The banquet highlighted the 19th annual All-Star Sports Week and Summer Conference, which officially closes out the week's activities Saturday with the AHSAA Officials Awards Banquet.
  The All-Star Sports Week and Summer Conference is an event of the Alabama High School Athletic Association and hosted by the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA).  NFHS National Sports Hall of Fame inductee Coach Jim Tate of St. Paul’s Episcopal High School was the keynote speaker. Tate, who holds the AHSAA state record for most state championships as a head coach, was also recognized among the 108 state championship coaches for 2014-15 for his girls’ track team state titles in Class 4A-5A indoor track And Class 5A outdoor track. The titles were the 98th and 99th high school championships of his stellar career at St. Paul’s.
     The fifth class of recipients of the special “Making A Difference” Award is given annually to one individual in each classification who is selected for their signicant contributions in their communities and schools. The Class of 2014 included: Class 1A: Marilyn Miller, Marengo High School softball, volleyball and track coach; Class 2A: Don Turner, LaFayette High School principal; Class 3A: Brad James, Colbert Heights softball and volleyball coach; Class 4A: Todd Nelms, Brooks High School baseball coach; Class 6A: Brenda Mayes, Muscle Shoals retiring volleyball coach and assistant athletic director; Class 7A: Chris Brandt, Auburn High School assistant boys’ basketball, track and freshman football coach..
    The recipients were nominated by member schools or other special organizations and selected by a special AHSAA committee.
    Longtime AHSAA “super volunteer” Bob Pannone of Spanish Fort was awarded posthumously the NFHS State Award for Outstanding Service. The prestigious award was given for Mr. Pannone’s long-time service as a volunteer at AHSAA all-star and championship events. The much loved Pannone passed away in 2014. His family was on hand to accept the award from AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese.    Ten high schools received the Lemak Award, a $2,500 need-based grant. The Lemak Award has been provided a total of $180,000 in grants to AHSAA schools since 2008. The schools were selected from more than 70 applications by a special committee. The award is named in honor of AHSAA Medical Advisory Board member Dr. Lawrence Lemak, who was present to present the awards.
     The 2015 Lemak Award recipients included: Red Level, Marengo, South Lamar, Choctaw County, Weaver, Pisgah, Jacksonville, Carver-Birmingham, Paul Bryant and Baldwin County.
     AHSADCA Director Alvin Briggs announced the 10 recipients of the AHSADCA Coaches’ Children Scholarships to seniors who are children of high school coaches or administrators. The 2015 recipients:
Khalil Jordan Yelding, Daphne (Son of Coach Lawrence Yelding)
Naareh Ayanna Cooke, Georgiana (Daughter of Coach Beverly Cooke)
Paden Browning, St. James (Daughter of Coach Jerry Browning)
Thomas Collin Carter, Auburn (Son of Coach Tommy Carter)
Justin Anderson, Pelham Son of Coach Sean Anderson)
Joshua Bogle, Gaston (Son of Coach Tonya Bogle)
Josiah McDaniel, Faith Christians (Son of Coach Erik McDaniel)
Sarah “Sally” Tinker, Glencoe (Daughter of Coach Wendy Tinker)
Ty Austin Herron, Lamar County (Don of Coach Vance Herron)
Bryant Farley, West Point (Son of Coach Don Farley) 

Coaches Awarded NFHS Section 3 Coach of the Year Awards
  Three AHSAA coaches were recognized for being selected Section 3 NFHS Coaches of the Year for the 2013-14 school: Boys Tennis: David Bethea, Montgomery Academy; Boys Basketball: Willie Moore, Dallas County; Volleyball: Pam Wilkins, Addison.
    NFHS Alabama state Coaches of the Year for 2014, nominated by the AHSADCA, were: Girls Basketball: Brant Llewellyn, Lauderdale County; Wrestling: Michael Pruitt, Arab; Boys Cross Country: Lars Porter, Homewood; Boys Golf: Brian Carter, Spain Park; Boys Track & Field: Keith Wilemon, Falkville; Girls’ Track & Field: Thomas Esslinger, Homewood; Baseball: Derek Irons, Charles Henderson; Girls Golf: Derrick Gargis, Muscle Shoals; Girls Swimming: Jeff Dellinger, Auburn; Boys Soccer: Rick Grammer, Vestavia Hills; S Softball: Lori Wyatt, Hale County.
     The AHSADCA 2014-15 NFHS state coaches of the year will be recognized next summer.
    Patrick Smith of Deshler High  School was also named the 2014-15  High School was honored as 2013 AHSAA Athletic Director of the Year.
    Outgoing AHSADCA president David Wofford of Washington County High School was presented the Past President’s Award from AHSADCA Director Alvin Briggs.   
Sportsmanship Luncheon
     Earlier Friday, 121 high schools were recognized at the seventh annual AHSAA Star Sportsmanship Luncheon for schools with no fines or ejections for the 2014-15 school year. 
     Also, eight schools, one from each district, were presented an al.com $1,000 Sportsmanship Grant by Alabama Media Group Director of Sports Roy S. Johnson. The eight were: Millry  (District 1); Carroll-Ozark (District 2); R.C. Hatch (District 3); Beauregard (District 4); Wenonah (District 5); Jacksonville Christian (District 6); Lawrence County (District 7); Gordo (District 8).
      Keynote speakers for the Sportsmanship Luncheon were Faith Academy boys’ basketball coach John Price and his senior manager Austin Miller.
Tuley Honored by FCA
     At Thursday’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes Luncheon, former Lee-Montgomery and coach and Trinity athletic director Jim Tuley received the Herman “Bubba” Scott Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions in promoting the principles of FCA as well as demonstrating those principles in her own life throughout her career.
      Former Clemson University head coach Tommy Bowden was the keynote speaker.
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