MONTGOMERY – Seven individuals were honored 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, which honors head coaches that won state championships in 2015-16, highlighted the 20th annual All-Star Sports Week and Summer Conference, which officially closes out the week's activities Saturday with the AHSAA Officials Awards Banquet here.
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). State of Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange was the keynote speaker.
The “Making A Difference” Award is given annually to one individual in each classification selected for their signicant contributions in their communities and schools. The Class of 2016 included: Class 1A: Kyle Garmon, Gaylesville High School athletic director, head football and baseball coach; Class 2A: Claborn Campbell, Cold Springs head track coach and administrator; Class 3A: Stephanie Robinson, Fultondale High School principal; Class 4A: Tena Niven, Montevallo High School volleyball, girls basketball and soccer coach; Class 5A: Willie Moore, Dallas County High School athletic director, head boys’ basketball and softball coach; Class 6A: Gary Hall, Carver-Montgomery High School principal; Class 7A: Kent Chambers, Bob Jones High School head softball coach and assistant athletic director.
The recipients were nominated by member schools or other special organizations and selected by a special AHSAA committee.
Dale County interim Superintendent of Education Lamar Brooks was also presented the NFHS State Award for Outstanding Service by AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese . Brooks, who is retiring, serves on the AHSAA Central Board of Control and was president of the board from 2012-2014. He was praised for his devotion and service to the AHSAA and its member schools by Savarese.
The AHSADCA recognized 10 recipients of the AHSADCA Coaches’ Children Scholarships, which are awarded annually to seniors who are children of AHSADCA member high school coaches or administrators.
The 2016 recipients honored were:
Sean Andrew Griffin, McGill-Toolen (Son of Coach Bill Griffin)
James Tucker Meadows, Rehobeth (Son of Coach Randall Meadows)
Jodie Farnetti, West Blocton (Daughter of Coach Greg Farnetti)
Harrison Jones, Smiths Station (Son of Coach Dennis Jones)
Mary Frances Segars, Vestavia Hills (Daughter of Coach Jeff Segars)
Tanner Gamble, Childersburg (Son of Coach Jo Warlick)
Michaela Smith, Russellville (Daughter of Coach Michael Smith)
Destiny Campbell, Cold Springs (Daughter of Coach Jeremy Campbell)
William Levi Denton, Colbert Heights (Son of Coach Ivan Denton)
Olivia Godsey, Hartselle (Daughter of Coach Bob Godsey)
Coaches Awarded NFHS Section 3 Coach of the Year Awards
Friday night’s Championship Coaches Banquet recognized five coaches that were named NFHS Section 3 Coaches of the Year from Alabama: Buddy Anderson, Vestavia Hills High School (football); David DiPiazza, Oak Mountain High School (girls’ soccer); Jack Doss, J.O. Johnson High School (boys’ basketball); Donnie Roberts, Red Bay High School (girls’ basketball) and Tony Scarbrough, Baker High School (softball).
NFHS State Coaches of the year were also honored and include:
Boys’ Tennis: Rick Cleveland, UMS-Wright Preparatory School
Boys’ Track & Field: Pat Galle, UMS-Wright Preparatory School
Boys’ Soccer: Jessie Gamez, Fort Payne High School
Boys’ Golf: Chad Gladden, Hartselle High School
Wrestling: Matt Hicks, Leeds High School
Girls’ Track & Field: Devon Hind, Hoover High School
Girls’ Cross Country: Stanley Johnson, Lawrence County High School
Girls’ Swimming & Diving: Tyler Kerns, St. Paul’s Episcopal School
Girls’ Tennis: Reece Morton, Huntsville High School
Boys’ Cross Country: Dan Norton, Auburn High School
Volleyball: Han O’Quinn, Mountain Brook High School
Girls’ Golf: Jason Pierce, Glencoe High School
Kirk Norris Named AHSADCA Athletic Director of the Year
Athletic Director Kirk Norris guided Georgiana High School to perhaps the school’s best year in school history. He was recognized Friday night as the 2016 Alabama’s Athletic Director of the Year. Also the school’s boys’ and girls’ head basketball coach, Norris led the Panthers boys to a 30-2 record and the state finals for the second time since 2012. The 30 wins set a school record for victories.
The school’s football program won its region and finished 11-2 while scoring 500 points for the first time in school history. Overall, four of the school’s five athletic teams reached the state playoffs in 2015-16.
Norris, 36, graduated from Opp High School and the University of Montevallo. He was selected the Alabama Sports Writers Association Class 1A boys’ basketball coach of the year in 2012 and again in 2016. He will begin his 12th year in August.
Eight Schools Awarded al.com Sportsmanship Grants
The ninth annual AHSAA Sportsmanship luncheon held Friday recognized 76 member high schools that completed the 2015-16 school year fine and ejection free. Alabama Media Group (al.com) presented $1,000 checks to eight of the honored schools, one from each district, for the ninth straight year as a show of their support and commitment for the AHSAA sportsmanship efforts. The eight selected were: Clarke County (District 1); Houston Academy (District 2); Maplesville (District 3); Booker T. Washington, Tuskegee (District 4); Oakman (District 5); Saks (District 6); Lexington (District 7); and Brewer (District 8).
Since 2008, the contributions by al.com have reached $72,000.
Dale County High School band director Sherri Miller, who received the NFHS National “Heart of the Arts” Award along with her 60-member band at the 97th NFHS Summer Meeting in Reno last month, was the featured speaker at the luncheon.
Enterprise High School’s Janie Wiggins Honored by FCA
At Thursday’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes Luncheon, Enterprise High School volleyball coach Janie Wiggins 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.
Georgia Tech chaplain Derrick Moore was the keynote speaker.