MONTGOMERY – Twelve major contributors to prep athletics in Alabama have been selected from an outstanding field of 50 nominations for induction into the 27th class of the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame next March.
The 2017 class, which includes an “old-timer,” will be inducted at the 27th annual banquet at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel and Spa, March 20, 2017, at 6:30 p.m.
Selected for induction are football coaches Peter Braasch, Wayne Grant, Danny Horn, Russell Jacoway and Dwight Sanderson; basketball coaches Wayne Bowling, Richard Carter, Bob Harpe; volleyball and softball coach Rebecca Lee; softball coach Tony Scarbrough; tennis coach David Bethea; and coach/administrator Lorenzo Jackson, who was selected in the “old-timer” division. Jackson is deceased.
Sponsors of the Hall of Fame program are the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA) and the AHSAA. The corporate sponsors include Alabama Power, ALFA, Cadence Bank, Coca-Cola, Encore Rehabilitation, Jack’s, Russell Athletic, TeamIP and Wilson Sporting Goods.
Veteran sportscaster Jeff Shearer will emcee the banquet. The NFHS Network is scheduled to live-stream the banquet.
The first class was inducted in 1991. These 12 new inductees will run the total enshrined into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame to 332.
A profile of each selectee:
DAVID BETHEA: Montgomery Academy’s boys’ tennis coach since 1985, Bethea has carved a niche’ in state annals that includes 14 state championships, nine state runners-up, 32 sectional championships and an overall 878-145 head-coaching record. He also served as MA boys basketball coach from 1986-90 compiling a 33-36 record and has served as head junior high/middle school football coach since 1979. His football teams have won 19 city championships and compiled a 191-81-3 record.
Bethea, 61, is a 1973 graduate of Huntsville’s Butler High School. He received his degree from the University of North Alabama in 1977 and earned a Masters from South Alabama in 1979. He serves as department chair of physical education for the Montgomery Academy. He is a member of Center Point Church.
WAYNE BOWLING: Bowling, 75, was the boys’ basketball coach at Danville High School in Morgan County from 1963-2000. He also was head baseball coach from 1963-85.
Considered one of the coaching leaders in North Alabama, Bowling compiled a 683-388 basketball coaching record that included four Morgan County championships (1965, 1985, 1988, 1992); 12 area championships; five regional championships; two sub-state titles (1991 and 1992); five state tournament appearances (1976, 1977, 1985, 1991, 1992); and one state runner-up in 1992.
He graduated from Austinville High School in 1959 and St. Bernard College in 1963 and began his high school teaching and coaching career immediately. He was inducted into the Morgan County Sports Hall of Fame in 2002. Highly respected by his coaching peers in Morgan County, the MVP Award for the Morgan County basketball tournament is named in his honor.
He is a member of Central Park Baptist Church.
PETER BRAASCH: Braasch, 61, has been a teacher and coach at Vestavia Hills High School since 1977. He is the VHHS Physical Education Department chair.
A longtime assistant coach, he served as defensive coordinator and assistant head coach alongside another Hall of Fame Coach, AHSAA’s all-time winningest football coach Buddy Anderson, since 1982. The Rebels won state championships in 1980 and 1998 and reached the finals in 1978 and 1979.
Braasch also served as assistant head coach of the Rebels basketball alongside AHSAA HOF member Coach George Hatchett – winning state 6A titles in 1992 and 2009 and reaching the Final 48 State Tourney two more times (2000 and 2011. He was an assistant track coach from 1978-94 and won a 1993 state freshman championship as head coach of the VHHS ninth-grade team.
One of the most highly-decorated “assistant” coaches in AHSAA history, Braasch was named Alabama Football Coaches Association assistant coach of the year in 2009; received the prestigious AHSAA “Making a Difference” Award for Class 6A in 2012; and was inducted into the Vestavia Hills Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.
Braasch graduated from Homewood High School in 1973 and UAB in 1977. He earned a Masters at the University of Montevallo.
RICHARD CARTER: Growing up in Chambers County, Carter has spent most of his teaching and coaching career “at home,” serving as head boys’ basketball coach at Valley from 1975-99, and has been athletic director and head boys’ coach at Lanett since 2012. He began his coaching career at Bullock County in Union Springs where he was head football coach for three years (15-13). He also coached track.
His overall basketball coaching record is 534-111 – including 301-62 at Valley and 125-20 at Lanett. He guided the Panthers to a 29-6 record and the Class 2A state championship in 2016 with a 73-48 win over St. Luke’s Episcopal in the finals. It was Carter’s first state title as head coach.
Dedicated to molding the character of the young men he coaches, Carter has also served as a pastor for the past 42 years and is very active in civic affairs in East Alabama. He has mentored 75 members of his faith to become ministers themselves and has coached six players who went on to play in the NFL or NBA during his coaching career.
Carter graduated from Rehobeth High School of Fairfax in 1965 and Alabama State University in 1969. He earned a masters from Troy University.
WAYNE GRANT: Grant, 61, is one of just seven high school football coaches in the AHSAA to coach at least five state championship teams. He accomplished the feat at Pike County High School during two tenures as head coach.
Grant served as head coach at the Pike County from 1980-91 compiling a 97-33 record and winning the Brundidge school’s first two state titles in 1988 and 1989. He moved to Talladega High School from 1992-97 but returned in 1997 after the Bulldogs’ fortunes had fallen on hard times. Taking over a program that had gone 6-24 over the three previous seasons, he led Pike County back to prominence quickly with a winning season in 1999 and a state championship by 2003. The 2003 team, with just 18 players, rolled to a 14-1 record. The Bulldogs also were 15-0 and state 3A champs in 2005 and won again in 2006. He was 100-19 in his second tenure to close out his coaching career with a 231-94 record.
His Pike County teams were region champs 22 times, made 18 playoff appearances in 21 years, reached the quarterfinals 13 times and were 5-0 in Super 6 championship appearances. His overall playoff record was 44-14 (76 percent). He coached in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game twice and the North-South Game once with all three teams winning.
Grant also coached two Mr. Football winners (Chris Nickson and Steven Coleman) and two that had stellar NFL careers (Fred Baxter and Cornelius Griffin).
The 1972 Zion Chapel High School graduate earned his college degree and Masters at Troy University.
BOB HARPE: A native of basketball-crazy Morgan County, Harpe began his coaching career as the seventh-grade coach at Oak Park Middle School in his hometown of Decatur. That first team went undefeated and ignited a coaching career that led him to Austin High School from 1976-1998 and later at Arab High School from 2003-06. He also served as Austin head golf coach.
Harpe’s teams compiled a 306-143 record and averaged over 21 wins per year. His 1996 team reached the AHSAA Final 48 State Tourney and his 1993 team won the state crown. Austin also reached the state tourney in 1987.
More than 20 of his players signed college scholarships. Active on AHSAA basketball and golf committees, Harpe helped develop the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Basketball Games and served as administrative coach from 1990-95. He also was a member of the District 8 Legislative Council for nine years (1990-98) and was selected to the Central Board of Control. He has also volunteered his time in his retirement to assist the AHSAA at its state tournament since 2010,
Harpe graduated from Decatur High School in 1965 and Athens College in 1974. He earned a Masters from UAB.
DANNY HORN: Horn, 54, has served only two schools as head football coach in his 28 years as a head coach. Currently the head football coach and athletic director at Benjamin Russell, Horn is 55-39 in eight seasons (2009-16). His overall coaching record of 280-79 (78.1%) and 61-19 in the state playoffs includes an incredible 225-40 slate in 20 years at his alma mater, Clay County High School at Ashland.
He served the Panthers as head coach from 1989-2008 capturing six state championships (1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2002, 2005) and posting a state-record 55-game winning streak that stretched from 1994-97. The Panthers outscored opponents 1,974 to 194 during that streak with 34 shutouts and allowed only 3.2 points per game.
Horn’s 1994 team also outscored opponents 408-22 in 15 games and had 10 shutouts. His 1995 and 1996 teams allowed only 42 points in 15 games with 10 and 11 shutouts, respectively.
He has coached in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game twice (1994 and 2001), in the North-South game once (2007) and was named ASWA Coach of the Year three times.
He graduated from Clay County High School in 1980, from Jacksonville State in 1984 and completed his Masters at JSU in 1989.
LORENZO JACKSON (OLD TIMER Division): Jackson, born in 1929, was selected to represent the “Old Timer” division in the Hall of Fame Class of 2007.
He attended Decatur Negro High School graduating in 1947. He then got his degree from Alabama A&M in 1957. He also earned his Masters and AA.
He was head football, basketball and track coach at Lakeside High School in Decatur from 1955-69. He was named the AIAA North Alabama High School Association Coach of the Year in 1958, 1959 and 1964.
When Lakeside and Decatur merged following the 1968 Merger Act, Jackson served as assistant football and track coach at Austin High School for nine years. In 1977 he became the principal at Leon Sheffield Elementary School in Decatur where he serve through 1989.
Active in civic affairs, he was a member of the Civitan Club and Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, served as an elder at Macedonia Cumberland Presbyterian Church, was a member of the Decatur Planning Commission and Alabama Democratic Conference, and was instrumental registering voters in Morgan County. He also worked as a Decatur Parks/Recreation Aquatic Supervisor.
Jackson, now deceased, has been inducted into the Morgan County Sports Hall of Fame and Athletic Booster Hall of Fame.
RUSSELL JACOWAY: The head football coach and athletic director at Sand Rock High School from 1983-2014, Jacoway began his coaching career in 1978 as an assistant coach at Early County High School in Blakely, Ga., where he remained for four years. He then moved to Smiths Station as an assistant coach for three.
He came to Cherokee County’s Sand Rock High School in 1983 inheriting a team that went 1-9 in 1982. His first team in ’83 was 0-10. His third season, however, the Wildcats were 15-0 and won the Class 1A state championship. That team outscored opponents 400-54. He went on to compile a 228-132 head-coaching record at Sand Rock over 32 seasons and reached the Super 6 2A finals at Legion Field in 1997.
The football stadium at Sand Rock was named in his honor in 1999. A book chronicling his 1985 championship was published in 2010, and he was inducted into the Cherokee County Sports Hall of fame in 2014. He coached in the North-South All-Star Game in 2002 and was named Coach of the Year by the Alabama Sportswriters Association in 1985 and 1997.
He graduated from Collinsville High School in 1975 and Auburn University in 1978.
REBECCA LEE: Lee, 68, retired from coaching at Hatton High School with 1,320 varsity volleyball and softball wins to her credit. She began her teaching and coaching career at East Lawrence High School in 1978 where she compiled a 109-33 volleyball record over a five-year period. Her 1980 team was Class 2A state runner-up.
She moved to her alma mater, Hatton High School, in 1983 where she remained until retiring from coaching in 2002. Her volleyball teams were 771-258 in 20 seasons with four Class 2A state championships in a row (1990, 1991, 1992 and 1993). She also became one of the top slow-pitch softball coaches in the AHSAA with her teams compiling a 400-177 record with state titles in 1992, 1993 and 1996. She was named NFHS Slow-Pitch Coach of the Year in 2000.
The Moulton Advertiser selected her Female Coach of the Decade for Lawrence County in 1990.
She graduated from Hatton High School 1966 and earned her degree from Athens State College in 1978. She became one of the state’s top volleyball officials during her retirement, serving as vice-president of the Quad-Cities Volleyball Officials Association for six years.
DWIGHT SANDERSON: Sanderson, 75, spent 29 years teaching and coaching in the AHSAA. He spent 14 years as head football coach at Notasulga High School from 1967-81. His first four years notched only eight wins but provided the foundation for what would come over the next 10 years.
The Blue Devils were 76-24-2 during that stretch with five state appearances. His 1977 team was Class 1A state runner-up. The early years were extremely important, however, since it came just as the AHSAA and AIAA merged. His leadership and direction helped the school move into the new era smoothly.
He had stops at Valley High School and Chambers County High School before retiring from Alabama in 1993. He then spent 13 years teaching in Georgia from 1994-2006.
Sanderson has been active in the community serving as a Sunday school teacher at New Site Methodist Church, a youth director in Ashland and working with senior citizens in Tallassee. He is a member of the Notasulga Lions Club.
A 1959 graduate, he is one of two Clay County High School alumni to be selected for the Class of 2017 Hall of Fame. He earned his college degree from Jacksonville State in 1964 and a Masters at Troy University.
TONY SCARBROUGH: The AHSAA’s winningest softball coach has been at Baker High School in Mobile as a teacher/coach since 1986. His career high school softball-coaching record is 1,525 wins and 428 losses. His fast-pitch teams have compiled a 937-267 slate and slow-pitch teams (1987-1998) a 563-171 record. Scarbrough had coaching stops early in his career at Evangel Christian, Chickasaw Academy and Shaw High School in Alabama and Gautier (MS) and McLean County (KY).
His slow-pitch teams won state championships in 1991, 1992, 1993 and was runner-up in 1989. The fast-pitch program captured state championships in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2016. The Honey Bees have reached the fast-pitch state tournament 13 of the last 16 years. The 2007 team set a state record with 79 wins, which broke the previous record (78) set by Baker in 2005 that broke the previous mark (77) set by Baker in 2004.
Scarbrough has been a leader among coaches serving on the AHSAA Softball Coaches Committee. He devised the basic plan to develop the very popular regional softball tournament format, a move that has improved softball throughout the state and has provided “state tournament” type experiences for a larger number of schools.
He was inducted into the Mobile Softball Hall of Fame in 1992 and was NFHS Section 3 Softball Coach of the Year in 2005 and 2015. He was named the Gulf Coast Writers Coach of the Year in 2015.
Scarbrough is a graduate of Vigor High School (1967) and the University of South Alabama (1972).