Greg Brewer’s Leadership and Impact Raised Standards for High School Officials

                           By Bill Plott
                                          AHSAA Historian

            Greg Brewer’s impact on raising the standards of officiating, especially for all high school sports, has been recognized on both local and national levels. 
           When he retired last year AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese said, “Mr. Brewer has been a trailblazer in the development of training for contest officials. He has dedicated himself to raising the competence across the board with contest officials in all sports He leaves some big shoes to be filled.”

That impact is being recognized by his peers in the AHSAA. He is being enshrined into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame in the Class of 2018. The 2018 induction banquet will be March 19 at 6:30 p.m. at the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center.
           Brewer’s legacy as AHSAA Director of Officials includes the following:

·         He established statewide training camps for officials in all sports and set up the current District Director program that is used to rate and further train contest officials. 

·         He also developed and helped implement the AHSAA pitch count rule for baseball, which has been applauded around the nation by several national organizations, including Little League Baseball and USA Baseball.

·         He created a sports officiating class for high school students. It has been approved by the Alabama State Department of Education and is being taught in more than 40 high schools across the state where students have the opportunity to learn to become certified officials.

           “Greg Brewer represented the AHSAA with distinction while working with the National Federation of State High School Associations in many capacities,” said former AHSAA Executive Director Dan Washburn. “His contribution to the NFHS football and baseball rules was recognized nationally when he received the NFHS Section 3 Citation Award in 2006.”
          In his home state, his work was equally important. “During the 31 years Greg served the Association, he pioneered the formation of District Directors for officials in each of eight districts within the state of Alabama,” Washburn said. “Greg developed an evaluation system for officials, which utilized the District Directors in evaluating and naming those officials to serve as game officials for the state playoffs in all sports.

        “He facilitated and worked very closely with the executive director and AHSAA staff in each re-classification of schools. He communicated with officials’ associations and with individual officials on a daily basis.”

           In an interview with al.com writer Josh Bean, Brewer explained some of the overriding philosophy of producing good officials:

“I have always maintained the position that I can’t open up your head and put rules in your head. You’ve got to do that. I can’t open up your head and give you good judgment. That comes with instinct and the development of experience. But I can give you common material that you can look at and study from – like our manual – and you will be calling everything as consistently in Huntsville as you would in Mobile, Birmingham, Anniston, wherever.”

A nominating letter from the 7th District Athletic Board of Officers, which includes current AHSAA Central Board of Control president principal John Hardin of Hackleburg, credited Brewer with playing “a leading role in advancing athletics in our state. He has introduced new ideas and methods that have made our officials some of the best in the nation.”

          A native of Florence, Brewer attended Bradshaw High School in Florence where he served as Student Government Association president. He graduated in 1975.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration and physical education from the University of North Alabama where he was an SGA representative and Jaycee Project Chairman of the Year for 1976-77.

He received his master’s degree from the University of Alabama where he was a graduate assistant in the Athletic Department and served as an academic assistant for baseball, arranging study halls and tutors for athletes. He also supervised intramurals. He taught a sports officiating class and individual sports. From 1980-2001 he was the official basketball scorer for the University of Alabama Sports Information Department.

He became associated with the Alabama High School Athletic Association in 1976, serving as a contest official in football, basketball and baseball through 1992. Brewer joined the AHSAA fulltime in 1985 as assistant director, serving until his retirement in 2017.
          As Director of Officials with the Association, he was in charge of scheduling, budgeting, payroll and camps for officials. As Computer System Administrator, he oversaw purchasing and maintenance of the Office Automation System.

He also served as editor of the AHSAA Officials Guide and the AHSAA Mechanics Manual for all sports. He coordinated the bi-annual reclassification of member schools and coordinated and administered championship events in all sports.  

He served numerous terms on National Federation committees on baseball and football rules and the equipment sub-committee. Brewer also received the Alabama Baseball Coaches Association’s Distinguished Service Award in 2012 and the Alabama State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance Leader Award in 2015. He co-founded and is current board chairman of the Alabama Sports Officials Foundation, a non-profit foundation that helps secure educational scholarships at state schools for the children of sports officials.
          He worked with the American Legion’s Boys State program as a staff member from 1981-92, was executive director of the Florence Little League program from 1977-79, and he served as official scorer or University of Alabama basketball for many years.
SATURDAY: Joe Manjone had major impact on soccer officiating nationally.

Math Teacher William Booth’s Baseball Coaching Career Adds Up to Hall of Fame

                                               By Bill Plott
                                          AHSAA Historian


          Coaching baseball was not William Booth’s first calling. A glance at his resume shows first choices as math teacher, assistant principal, advanced placement coordinator, transportation coordinator, and he also coaches baseball.
            It can be said that he excelled in all of them. His baseball coaching has added up to an Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame selection for Booth, the state’s all-time prep baseball wins leader. The Class of 2018 will be inducted March 19 at the banquet to be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center.

“At the age of 42, he was called on to help out Hartselle High School’s baseball team. Without any previous experience in (high school) coaching, he walked on to the field and immediately started winning,” recalled his friend Don Logan, owner of the Birmingham Barons and B.A.S.S.
            Despite his late start, Booth’s 30-year career as baseball coach at Hartselle has resulted in the following accomplishments for his storied program.

·         A won-lost record of 1,025-431 through 2017, making him the all-time winningest coach among Alabama high school baseball coaches.

·         Eight state championships (1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1999. 2000, 2009, 2013) and three runners-up (1993, 1998, 2010).

·         Seven AHSAA final-four finishes, two final eight and six final 16.

·         20 Area championships and nine runner-up finishes.    

·         The 2009 team finished with a record of 50-9. Five other teams won 40 or more games while 15 won more than 30 games. There has only been one losing record (20-27) during his career.

·         101 players have received college baseball scholarships, including eight who went into professional baseball. Two of them, Steve Woodard and Chad Girodo, made it to the major leagues. Others have gone on to coaching careers.

            He was also a Little League baseball coach for 10 years, winning two state championships and finishing second once. Booth was inducted into the Alabama Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2004.
           It was a success story that was, at first glance, an unlikely outcome of his being drafted to the position. When he started in 1988, his early practices were held on a field cut out on a cow pasture. Later he was able to transform the Hartselle gymnastics gym on the old campus into an indoor baseball/softball facility. Through fundraising for the baseball program, he was able to modernize Sparkman Park’s field to include reserved seating, a new scoreboard, remodeled dugouts and a backstop behind home plate.

A native of Hartselle, Booth graduated from Morgan County High School in 1962. He attended Athens College and Alabama A&M, earning degrees in math and administration.         

He started his career with the Morgan County School System in 1966 at Morgan County High School. When Hartselle City Schools broke away from the county system in 1975, he remained with the high school which was renamed Hartselle High School.

Logan pointed out that Booth’s accomplishments have not been limited to the baseball field.
            “He has also excelled in the important role of developing boys into men, and he has helped many earn college scholarships and quite a few more to sign contracts to play professional baseball, Logan said. “Outside of baseball, he set what might be another record, teaching thousands of students subjects such as calculus and higher mathematics for 50 years. He recently retired from the classroom, but at age 73 he hasn’t quit working with young people, on and off the field.

“Through the quality of his character, William also has earned the respect and affection of so many of his peers. I have the chance to meet a lot of baseball people from around the state from lifelong umpires to coaches in high school and college. And when they find out I’m from Hartselle, they all want to know if I know William Booth.
             “They go on to tell me what a great coach he is, that he’s a man they all respect, and that he’s a guy that they want to call a friend. And they always ask me to tell him hello for them. Seldom does someone make an impact on a sport the way William has on baseball in the state of Alabama.”

          Dr. Dee Dee Jones, superintendent of Hartselle City Schools, calls Coach Booth “the finest example of how to coach students on all levels – mentally, academically, athletically and personally.
          “He continually goes beyond expectations to equip the students of Hartselle in whatever capacity he serves,” she stated in her nomination letter for his Hall of Fame selection. “During his 52 years in education – yes, I said 52 years – he has served as an advanced math teacher (49 years), Federal Programs Coordinator, Assistant Principal, Transportation Coordinator, Director of School Operations, and now as Assistant Superintendent. Over the past 30 years he has also served as the high school baseball coach. Mr. Booth has the distinct honor of being the winningest coach in Alabama.

“Even though Coach Booth instills strict discipline in his players, his initial focus is their path for academic success. Often times he takes part of his day to tutor students, athletes and non-athletes alike so that their academic success is first priority. His work ethic is second to none.
             “In addition to his normal daily responsibilities, you will often find him driving a bus, assisting his workers with lawn care or mentoring other teachers and coaches inside and outside of our district. He approaches each task with a good sense of humor and a positive attitude.”
FRIDAY: Greg Brewer, retired AHSAA Assistant Director and Director of Officials

Ricky Allen Built Girls’ Basketball at Brewer with a Solid Foundation

                          By Bill Plott
                                          AHSAA Historian


          When most people might while away slow time doodling, Ricky Allen found himself drawing house plans. He once mused that perhaps he should have been an architect.

          Some say he was an architect in the way he built the girls’ basketball program at Albert Brewer High School in Morgan County. Over a 30-year career he constructed a program that produced more than 600 wins, a state championship – and an enthusiasm amongst his students that has created a passion for the sport at all levels of the community.

A native of Hartselle, Allen, who is being inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in the Class of 2018 at the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center March 19, was in the first group of seniors at Brewer in 1973. He played on the school’s first basketball team, a squad that made it to the state tournament.

After graduation he went to Auburn University, first studying business, then education as he realized that teaching and coaching would be his calling. With a degree in hand, he returned to his alma mater as assistant football and boys’ basketball coach.

From 1978-81 he was girls’ basketball coach at Cotaco Junior High, compiling a record of 53-9. Then he spent two years at Union Hill Junior High, coaching the boys to a 23-11 record. Returning to Brewer in 1982, he coached JV basketball as well as volleyball and softball, leading the school to its first county championship in both sports. In 1985, he took over varsity girls’ basketball. Over the next 30 years it became one of the top programs in the state. Among the accomplishments:

·         A record of 604-272

·         One 5A state championship and one runner-up finish

·         Five Region championships, 15 Area championships and 17 Morgan County Championships

·         Nine All-State players and the 2012 5A state Coach-of-the-Year award.

Allen built the Brewer program by attracting elementary school girls to his basketball camps.  He would go to their junior high games, watching the teams that fed into the high school and always standing under the goal rather than favoring one side or the other.

“I was like all the girls that played basketball at the feeder schools,” recalled Christy Thomaskutty, who went on to become a four-time All-State player. “We all wanted to be good enough to play at Brewer for Ricky Allen.”

His scouting often produced talent from unlikely sources.

“I was an insecure middle-school player that had no idea what it would be like to play at the high school level,” recalled Dr. Michele Edwards, principal at Vincent High School. “Coach Allen saw something in my ability that no one else had ever seen. I’ll never forget the moment that he walked me into the high school gym for the first time to show me the paintings of the girls that had played for him and made all-state in previous years. He said, ‘You have the talent to get there one day if you work hard and want it.’ I never looked back. He was my inspiration to coach and teach as a career. He gave me the confidence to know that I had a talent not only to play the game, but also to lead others. My story is just one of hundreds of young women that have been fortunate to enough to play for Coach Allen.”

Thomaskutty went on to play at Tulane, graduating magna cum laude in management. She is currently in her 14th year of coaching at NCAA Division II Emory University in Atlanta.

“Next to my dad, Ricky Allen is the most important person in my life. I can’t overstate his impact on me. It wasn’t just me. He had an impact on everybody that played for him. He was more than a coach to all of us,” she said.

Mark Edwards, sports editor at The Anniston Star, covered Brewer High School when he was at The Decatur Daily earlier. He wrote that what he was most impressed with in Ricky Allen was not the wins and losses but the coach’s character.

“He began coaching Brewer girls’ sports in the early 1980s when it wasn’t necessarily considered cool to coach girl sports,” Edwards said. “In North Alabama he helped make it cool. He never let a single one of his players think for an instant that their team and their games were any less important than the boys’ teams and games.

“He worked his players hard, but he treated them fairly. At a time when it seemed as if so many male coaches screamed theirs heads off at their players, Coach Allen did the opposite. I noticed he almost never yelled during games. When he did, it was because he needed to be heard over the noise of the large crowds that came to see his teams play. He managed with a caring, firm hand – not insults and derision.

“I noticed that in the last seven or eight years of Coach Allen’s career that many of the younger girls’ basketball coaches began copying his sideline demeanor. They would make their point, but they did so by speaking constructively to their players. Coach Allen’s style had spread to the point that in some cases, coaches who hadn’t even faced him were managing their teams like he did.”

Morgan County has always been a basketball hotbed. Allen retired as No. 4 on the list of winningest coaches. He is a member of the Morgan County Sports Hall of Fame.

Coach Allen has also been a Sunday School teacher for 25 years and has served on the board of directors of the North Alabama Fellowship of Christian Athletes. 
THURSDAY: Hall of Fame Class of 20-18: William Booth, AHSAA’s winningest baseball coach.

NFHS Network to Live Video Stream all AHSAA Basketball Finals

  BIRMINGHAM – Raycom Sports and the NFHS Network have partnered to live-stream all 14 AHSAA 2018 State Basketball finals over the NFHS Network’s subscriber-based platform – beginning with the Class 1A girls’ state championship game between Spring Garden and Phillips, which is currently underway at the BJCC Legacy Arena. The agreement was reached Thursday afternoon.
    Those with NFHS Network subscriptions will be able to access all games at no additional charge.
    Raycom Sports, the official AHSAA TV partner, is broadcasting all finals over its TV network.  Complete information is available at www.ahsaa.com.  Those stations include:

Alabama Stations:








WKRG TV d.3 channel (Me TV)



Columbus, GA:

WTVM TV 9 (Opelika / Phenix City)

The AHSAA Radio Network is also broadcasting all games live over its radio and internet network. It can be accessed at www.ahsaa.com

Vestavia Hills Coach Buddy Anderson Headlines 2018 Class of National High School Hall of Fame

MONTGOMERY — Buddy Anderson, the AHSAA’s career football-coaching wins leader, headlines the 2018 class of the National High School Hall of Fame administered by the National Federation of State High School Associations.
          Anderson joins a class of 12 that includes  Tom Osborne, the 1955 Nebraska High School Athlete of the Year who later led the University of Nebraska to three national football championships in 25 years as the school’s coach; and  Dick Fosbury, who revolutionized the high jump as a high school athlete in Oregon when he developed a technique that became known as the “Fosbury Flop” were selected as athletes in Class of 2018.
       Vestavia Hills’ legendary coach, one of five coaches selected, will be beginning his 41st year as the Rebels’ head football coach next fall. His overall 329-146 coaching record ranks is the most wins of any high school football coach in state history.
       A strong man of faith and character, he guided the Rebels to state football titles in 1980 and 1998. His teams have compiled a 47-28 playoff record in 29 appearances. He had a stretch from 1993 to 2004 with 12 straight playoff appearances and his teams have missed the playoffs in back-to-back years just once since 1984. Anderson and his father Dovey Anderson became the first father-son coaching tandem to be inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame. Dovey, who spent his entire coaching career at Thomasville High School, was inducted into the charter class in 1991. Buddy, who has spent his entire coaching career at Vestavia Hills, was inducted in 2003.
    “Buddy Anderson is an outstanding football coach, but more importantly, he is a role model all coaches can emulate. His influence as a teacher and coach will have a positive impact for student-athletes and coaches in this state for many years to come,” said AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese. “Buddy is just the fourth coach from our state to be selected for induction into this prestigious hall of fame. Through his strong commitment to faith and character, he exemplifies all the right lessons that participation in educational-based athletics can teach. ”

    The Class of 2018 will be inducted into the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) National High School Hall of Fame July 2 at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile in Chicago, Illinois. The 36th Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be the closing event of the 99th annual NFHS Summer Meeting.
     Anderson will become the fourth high school coach from the state and 12th Alabamian to be enshrined. Others include: former AHSAA Executive Directors Cliff Harper (1987), Herman L. “Bubba” Scott (1990) and Dan Washburn (2011); coaches Glenn Daniel (1999); Wallace Guy O’Brien (1992) and Jim Tate (2013);  athletes Bart Starr (1989), Pat Sullivan (2012) and Ozzie Newsome (2014); and contest officials Dan Gaylord (1988) and Sam Short (2007).  Two other athletes, Olympic Gold Medal track stars Jesse Owens and Harrison Dillard, were born in Alabama and both moved as youngsters to Cleveland (Ohio) and attended the same high school in that state.
       Osborne was a three-sport standout (football, basketball, track and field) at Hastings (Nebraska)    football history. Fosbury developed the upside-down, back-layout leap known as the Fosbury Flop at Medford (Oregon) High School and later perfected it by winning the gold medal at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.

The other outstanding coaches selected for the 2018 class, include Miller Bugliari, the all-time leader nationally in boys soccer coaching victories with a 850-116-75 record in 58 years at The Pingry School in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, and Dorothy Gaters, the Illinois state leader with 1,106 career victories in 42 years as girls basketball coach at John Marshall High School in Chicago who won her ninth Illinois High School Association state title last weekend.

Other coaches who will be honored this year are Jeff Meister, girls and boys swimming coach at Punahou School in Honolulu, Hawaii, who has led his teams to a combined 34 Hawaii High School Athletic Association state championships; and Bill O’Neil, who retired last year after winning almost 1,300 games as the boys ice hockey, girls soccer and girls softball coach at Essex High School in Essex Junction, Vermont.

Other former high school athletes chosen for the 2018 class are Nicole Powell, one of Arizona’s top all-time girls basketball players during her days at Mountain Pointe High School in Phoenix who later excelled at Stanford University and in the WNBA, and Carrie Tollefson, who won five state cross country championships and eight individual track titles at Dawson-Boyd High School in Dawson, Minnesota, before winning individual and team NCAA titles while competing at Villanova University and qualifying for the 2004 U.S. Olympic team.

The other three members of the 2018 class are Roger Barr, who retired in 2015 after a 43-year career in high school officiating in Iowa, including the final 13 years as director of officials for the Iowa High School Athletic Association; Dick Neal, who retired in 2013 after a 34-year career as executive director of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association; and Bill Zurkey, who retired in 2012 after an outstanding 35-year career as a choral director in three Ohio schools, including the final 25 years at Avon Lake High School.

These four athletes, five coaches, one contest official, one administrator and one performing arts director will be inducted into the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) National High School Hall of Fame July 2 at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile in Chicago, Illinois. The 36th Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be the closing event of the 99th annual NFHS Summer Meeting.

            The National High School Hall of Fame was started in 1982 by the NFHS to honor high school athletes, coaches, contest officials, administrators, performing arts coaches/directors and others for their extraordinary achievements and accomplishments in high school sports and performing arts programs. This year’s class increases the number of individuals in the Hall of Fame to 470.

            The 12 individuals were chosen after a two-level selection process involving a screening committee composed of active high school state association administrators, coaches and officials, and a final selection committee composed of coaches, former athletes, state association officials, media representatives and educational leaders. Nominations were made through NFHS member associations.

            Following is biographical information on the 12 individuals in the 2018 class of the National High School Hall of Fame.




            Buddy Anderson is Alabama’s all-time winningest football coach – at any level. Not only is he the top high school football coach with 329 victories in 40 years at Vestavia Hills High School, he has more wins than college coaches Paul “Bear” Bryant (323), Nick Saban (216), Ralph “Shug” Jordan (176) and Pat Dye (153). Anderson’s teams have won 16 area and region championships and made 30 state playoff appearances, including state championships in 1980 and 1998, when his team finished 15-0 and was ranked nationally. Despite the demands of being a head football coach, Anderson has also served as the school’s athletic director for 40 years, and the school’s teams have won 66 state championships during his tenure, including 14 state wrestling titles and nine state baseball championships. Anderson was selected Alabama Coach of the Year three times, and he was inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2003.

            Miller Bugliari is an icon at The Pingry School in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, where he has been the school’s boys soccer coach since 1960. The 82-year-old Bugliari has amassed a national record 850 victories and led his teams to 26 Prep A and New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association state championships. His teams have registered 20 undefeated seasons and won 27 county championships. Bugliari has been named New Jersey State Coach of the Year seven times, and he has earned four National Coach of the Year awards. He is a former president of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and was inducted into the NSCAA Hall of Fame and the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2006. Bugliari was a teacher in the Science Department at Pingry for many years and now is Special Assistant to the Headmaster.

            Dorothy Gaters is the Illinois High School Association’s (IHSA) career leader in basketball coaching victories – for both boys and girls. After completing a 22-7 season at John Marshall High School in Chicago last weekend and winning her ninth IHSA state girls basketball championship, Gaters’ record stands at 1,106-198. Her teams won the Class AA title in 1982, 1985, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1993 and 1999, and the Class 3A title in 2008. Gaters’ teams at John Marshall have finished second three other times and third on six other occasions. During her 42-year career at John Marshall, her teams have won 24 Chicago Public Schools championships and qualified for the IHSA state finals 26 times. Gaters was inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1996 and the prestigious Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000. She was selected as a coach for the Junior Olympic team in 2000 and the McDonald’s All-American Game in 2011. 

            Jeff Meister has become one of the top swimming coaches in the nation during the past 30 years at Punahou School in Honolulu, Hawaii. Taking over the Punahou swimming program in 1988, Meister has led the boys and girls teams to 34 Hawaii High School Athletic Association (HHSAA) state championships – 16 boys and 18 girls – including 2018 titles for both squads last month. Although the Punahou program had enjoyed success in swimming prior to Meister’s arrival (47 all-time boys state titles, 51 all-time girls state titles), he has taken the program to another level and is the winningest high school swimming coach in state history. Meister’s teams have won 34 Interscholastic League of Honolulu (ILH) championships, and he has been named ILH Coach of the Year 24 times. Meister has also served as the school’s athletic director for nine years after 11 years as associate athletic director. In addition, he has served as HHSAA State Track and Field Coordinator for 14 years and State Swimming Coordinator for eight years. Meister is currently serving a term on the NFHS Swimming and Diving Rules Committee.

            Bill O’Neil was one of the top multi-sport coaches in Vermont history – and perhaps nationally – during his 45-year coaching career at Essex High School. O’Neil compiled a 396-176-52 record in 37 years (1979-2015) as girls soccer coach, a 636-292-33 record in 44 years (1973-2017) as the boys ice hockey coach and a 261-124 record in 22 years (1979, 1992-2012) as the girls softball coach. This rather unique girls-and-boys sport combination yielded an overall record of 1,293-592-32, which is almost 2,000 varsity games coached at Essex. O’Neil led his various teams to 24 Vermont Principals’ Association state championships – 14 in hockey, six in girls soccer and four in girls softball. He has received numerous coach-of-the-year awards in all three sports. Though he has retired from his coaching duties, O’Neil continues to serve as an English teacher at Essex High School, which he has done since joining the faculty in 1965.




               Dick Fosbury revolutionized the high jump when, as a sophomore at Medford (Oregon) High School in 1963, he used his new technique which became known as the Fosbury Flop. The upside-down, back-layout style became the standard as all records around the world have been established by athletes using the Fosbury Flop. Using his new method, Fosbury improved his jumps from 5-4 as a sophomore to 6-5½ as a senior and placed second in the state meet. He continued to perfect the “Flop” at Oregon State University, where he claimed the NCAA high jump title in 1968 with a 7-2¼ effort. That same year, Fosbury won the gold medal at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City with a 7-4¼ jump, which broke both the Olympic and American records. Fosbury was named to the USA Track and Field Hall of Fame, the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame and the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame. He retired in 2011 after 30 years as a civil engineer in Idaho, but he continues to coach athletes at Dick Fosbury Track Camps in Maine and Idaho. 

            Tom Osborne was one of Nebraska’s top high school athletes during his days at Hastings High School from 1951 to 1955. He was the starting quarterback on the football team and helped the basketball team to the Class A state championship in 1954. In track and field, Osborne was state champion in the discus and runner-up in the 440-yard dash. In addition, he played American Legion baseball and helped his 1954 team to a second-place finish in the state tournament as a third baseman and pitcher. Osborne earned all-state honors in basketball and football and was named Nebraska High School Athlete of the Year in 1955. After an outstanding career at Hastings College and a few years in the National Football League, Osborne began his college coaching career. In 25 years as football coach at the University of Nebraska, Osborne compiled a 255-49-3 record, with 25 consecutive bowl appearances, 13 conference titles and three national championships. Following his coaching career, Osborne was elected to the U.S. Congress, and then returned to Lincoln in 2007 to serve as the Nebraska athletic director for five years.

            Nicole Powell was one of the top basketball players in Arizona history during her four years (1996-2000) at Mountain Pointe High School in Phoenix. She collected 1,820 rebounds (eighth all-time nationally) and scored 2,486 points – second highest in state history. She helped her teams to three second-place finishes in the Arizona Interscholastic Association state tournament. As a senior, Powell also won the state discus event in track and field and the singles state title in badminton, and she also participated in tennis and cross country. Powell continued to excel at the next level, leading Stanford University to four Pacific-10 Conference basketball titles. She averaged more than 17 points and almost 10 rebounds per game and was named Pac-10 Player of the Year two times. Powell was the No. 3 overall selection in the 2004 WNBA draft and played 11 seasons with five teams. After her playing career ended, Powell became assistant women’s basketball coach at the University of Oregon before being named head women’s basketball coach at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix in April 2017.

            Carrie Tollefson won five Minnesota State High School League state cross country championships at Dawson-Boyd High School from 1990 to 1994, including the first as an eighth-grader. She also won eight individual track and field titles in the 1600 and 3200 meters, and she set a state record in the 3200 meters in 1994 with a time of 10:30.28. Tollefson’s 13 individual titles in cross country and track are the most ever in the state. Tollefson’s dominance continued at Villanova University, where she won five individual NCAA titles – the indoor and outdoor 3K, the outdoor 5K and two cross country titles – and helped her team to the 1999 NCAA team championship. She was a 10-time All-American and the 1998 NCAA Indoor Track Athlete of the Year. Tollefson made the 2004 U.S. Olympic team and participated in the 1500 meters in Athens, Greece. Since her competitive days concluded, Tollefson has conducted distance running camps and served as a motivational speaker and clinic presenter, and she hosts a weekly online show on running and fitness entitled “C Tolle Run.” 



            Roger Barr devoted 43 years of his life to the avocation of officiating – first as a high school football, basketball and baseball official in Iowa for 30 years, followed by 13 years as director of officials for the Iowa High School Athletic Association (IHSAA).  Barr was one of the top-rated officials in all three sports throughout his career, which earned him numerous playoff assignments. In football, Barr officiated 30 state tournaments, including 10 championship games. In baseball, he worked 26 state tournaments, including 24 championship contests. And in basketball, he officiated 26 state boys tournaments and 27 state girls tournaments, which included a total of 22 championship games. Barr conducted rules interpretation meetings in all three sports throughout the state during his officiating days, and in 2003, he joined the IHSAA staff as director of officials. He conducted rules meetings and clinics for the IHSAA for 13 years before retiring in December 2015.



Dick Neal retired in 2013 after 34 years as executive director of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA). At the time of his retirement, Neal was the longest-tenured active director of a state high school association. He also served as chief executive officer of the Massachusetts Secondary School Administrators Association (MSSAA) for 34 years. During his tenure as MIAA executive director, Neal was responsible for initiating the effort to increase leadership of both women and minorities in high school sports in Massachusetts, and he wrote and recommended the amendment that created the MIAA Standing Committee on Sportsmanship, Integrity and Ethics. Neal served a term on the NFHS Executive Committee from 1989 to 1992 and was vice president during his final year. He also served as a member of the NFHS Strategic Planning Committee and director of the NFHS Fund Administrators Association. Neal previously received the NFHS Citation and the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) Distinguished Service Award.




            Bill Zurkey had a profound impact on thousands of young people during his career as a choral music director at three Ohio high schools. After 10 years at Toledo DeVilbiss High School and Vermillion High School, Zurkey moved to Avon Lake High School in 1987 to rejuvenate a music program that was spiraling downward. In a short time, Zurkey expanded the choral program from less than 100 singers to more than 400. His squads won Ohio Music Education Association superior ratings for 20 years. Despite his full load of music classes, including teaching AP Music Theory and serving as chair of the Fine Arts Department, Zurkey was the eighth-grade football coach for 24 years, as he helped build a program which led to Avon Lake High School winning the Ohio High School Athletic Association state football title in 2003. Since his retirement in 2012, Zurkey has been a teacher at Cleveland State University and is in his sixth year as director of the Cleveland Pops Chorus. Zurkey is the 13th individual to be inducted in the Performing Arts category in the National High School Hall of Fame.

Midfield Boys’ Basketball Team Exceeds Maximum Contests Allowed

     MONTGOMERY – Midfield High School has been fined and placed on probation for one year for the boys’ basketball exceeding the maximum number of contests allowed in the regular season. The school self-reported the violation.
     Furthermore, all regular-season contests t
he boys’ varsity basketball program played and won after exceeding the maximum number allowed must be forfeited. Accordingly, the AHSAA Restitution rule requires the basketball team to sit out the same number of contests in which they played ineligibly. On page 27 of the AHSAA 2017-18 Sports Book, it states in item 2: Schools are permitted to play (a maximum) 20 regular-season games and (unlimited contests) in three tournaments prior to area, sub-regional, regional and State Finals play.
      Restitution begins immediately. Midfield, the Area 8 tournament champion, will not participate in the Class 3A sub-regional playoff game versus Area 7 tournament runner-up American Christian. As a result, American Christian will advance to the Central Regional Tournament.
      The probationary period is a warning that other violations of this nature could bring further sanctions against the school.

AHSAA Central Board Approves Fall Sports Financial Reports

   MONTGOMERY – The Alabama High School Athletic Association Central Board of Control approved the financial reports for all fall sports at Wednesday’s annual Winter Central Board meeting at the AHSAA Office.
   The Board approved reports for the Super 7 football championships, volleyball, cross country and swimming and approved the 2017 Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Football Game financial report as well. The game was played at Hattiesburg (MS) last December.
       The Central Board reviewed legislative proposals that were submitted in January by member schools prior to the board meeting.  The AHSAA Legislative Council will vote on the proposals at April’s Legislative Council meeting. Schools are being surveyed this month for their input.

        In other Central Board action:
        -- Reviewed a football playoff comparison (for the first four rounds).
        -- Approved expenses for the upcoming 2017 State Basketball Tournament.
        -- Heard a presentation from St. Paul’s Episcopal     
        -- Was updated concerning NFHS E-Sports 

AHSAA Mourns the Passing of Coach Willie Averett

   The AHSAA was saddened to learn of the recent death of Coach Willie Averett. Mr. Averett, 90, who served 33 of his 35 years in Monroe County as a successful teacher, basketball coach and athletic director at J. F. Shields High School, was inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2005. Our prayers and condolences go out to the Mr. Averett’s family and his extended J.F. Shields High School family.
     He guided the 1972 team, led by John Drew, to its first-ever state championship. He also coached Tony Stallworth, the AHSAA’s current Associate Executive Director. The highly respected coach was selected to coach in the in the North-South all-star game and received coach-of-the-year honors three times. The school gym is named in his honor. He is a graduate of Georgiana Training High School and Alabama State University.
   “Coach Averett was a legend in many ways,” said Stallworth. “I can personally give him credit for my career decisions upon leaving high school. He inspired me by the way he approached his physical education classes. He always taught the rules and skills of each activity before the physical aspect. His words were “You can’t play a sport if you don’t know anything about it.” He taught by example, which inspired each one of us to perform to the highest.
    “I was also amazed with his coaching and game management during athletic events. Coach was tough and demanding and was a devout Christian man who always put God first. He was my mentor. I credit any successes in my life as a teacher, coach and administrator to him. The last conversation I had with him was an emotional one where he once again told me how proud he was of (former teammate) Jerome Sanders and myself for keeping his dream alive in the coaching profession. We both thanked him for being such a major influence and strong model in our lives. He will be a legend forever.”
     Funeral services will be held Wednesday, January, 24, at 11 a.m., at Friendship Baptist Church in Georgiana. 

AHSAA Job Announcement

January 12, 2018



SUBJECT:           AHSAA Job Announcement


Due to a recent vacancy, the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) is seeking applicants for the position of Administrative Secretary.  Applications will be accepted immediately through Monday, January 29, 2018. 


Summary of Administrative Secretary Position


We are currently seeking a reliable, responsible Administrative Secretary to assist the AHSAA Executive Director and the executive staff in the day-to-day operations of said organization, which include regulating and coordinating interscholastic athletic competition in an equitable manner while promoting the value of interscholastic athletics as an integral part of a student’s education-athletic experience by representing all member schools.

This position is to support the AHSAA executive staff by providing timely and quality assistance in all administrative and clerical capacities to assistant directors within our organization. The ideal candidate will be skilled and organized including ability to multi-task as well as professional in dress and actions. To be successful, candidates should be self-motivated and proactive, able to work under pressure to meet deadlines, and have exceptional communication skills. Previous experience as an Executive Assistant/Secretary is strongly preferred, but not required. All applicants must be very familiar with office management technologies, including Microsoft Office.

Qualifications of Administrative Secretary

The requirements listed below are representative of the education, experience, knowledge, skill and/or ability required.


§  Minimum education requirement: High school or GED (college preferred)

§  Proficient English background

§  Excellent communication, organizational, and presentation skills

§  Self-directed leader who demonstrates initiative

§  Computer and Microsoft Office, Adobe, and Photoshop, as well as other technological skills

§  Availability to work occasional overtime at various times throughout the year (some nights/weekends)

§  Social Media proficiency with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snap Chat, etc. (Not required, but desired)

§  Graphic design and/or digital editing skills (Not required, but desired)


Essential Functions of Administrative Secretary

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily.


§  Communicate with administrators and coaches from across the state by phone and email blasts

§  Assist Special Programs Director in coordination of all Lunch & Learn clinics

§  Assist AHSADCA Director in coordination, planning and implementation of the Principals’ and        Athletic Directors’ Conference and the Summer Conference

§  Assist Technology Director with transcripts and questions from member schools

§  Serve as receptionist, along with other secretaries/Answer phones, etc.

§  Proficiency with the usage of C2C or other content management software 

§  Assist Assistant Director with fine/ejections

§  Send timely notifications and receipt payments into Access data base

§  Distribution of Faxes to executive staff

§  Bus Reclassification Coordinator

§  Assist Associate Executive Director with the Middle School Conference

§  Assist assistant directors with creation of Power Points

§  Assist with printing and mailing of AHSADCA membership cards

§  Assist with printing and mailing of ECO cards

§  Ability to use audit software to monitor member schools with required documents using Dragonfly

     or other document management software

§  Any other duties as assigned by the Executive Director and/or Office Manager



Salary: Commensurate with qualifications


All completed cover letters and resumes should be emailed as an attachment to:

              Sandy Logan, Office Manager at slogan@ahsaa.com.


Deadline for submission of applications: Monday, January 29, 2018



AHSAA Mourns Passing of Frank Cotten

   Former T.R. Miller principal Frank Cotten passed away Thursday, Jan. 4.
   Mr. Cotten was inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame in 1996 after serving 14 years on the AHSAA District 1 Board and six years on the AHSAA Central Board of Control. He served one term as president.
    “We are very thankful for Mr. Cotten and his life of service,” said AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese. “All of us in his AHSAA family mourn his passing and offer our condolences to his family.”
    Mr. Cotten contributed to T. R. Miller High School athletics for more than 30 years, first as a coach and later as an administrator for the last half of his career in education. He coached basketball for seven years with a 128-42 record and led seven football teams to a 65-19 record and three playoff appearances.
     A graduate of Coffeeville High School and Livingston University, Cotten spent five seasons, from 1960-64, as the head coach at Coffeeville, his alma mater in rural Clarke County. He coached one year at Macon Academy before leading T.R. Miller's football program from 1973-80. He stepped down in 2016 after serving on the Brewton City Council for more almost two decades.
    Funeral services will be Saturday at First Baptist Church in Brewton, with visitation from noon to 3 p.m., followed by the service. He was preceded in death by his wife Shirley.