Twelve major contributors to prep athletics in Alabama will be inducted Monday night into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame at a banquet at the Renaissance Montgomery Convention Center.
The 2014 class, the 24th group to be inducted since 1991, includes coaches, administrators, a contributor and an “old timer”.
Selected were football coaches Mike Battles and Larry Morris; administrators Richard “Dickie” Brown and James “Jim” Garner; girls’ basketball coaches Donnie Roberts and Mike Smith; boys’ basketball coaches Major Lane, Alvin Moore and Tony Stallworth; volleyball coach Nancy Shoquist; and contributor Dr. James “Jimmy” Robinson. Selected in the “Old Timer” category was Eugene Weatherly.
The Hall of Fame is located at the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) office in Montgomery.
Sponsors of the Hall of Fame program are the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA) and the AHSAA. The corporate partners are Cadence Bank, Coca-Cola, Encore Rehabilitation, Farmers Insurance, Russell Athletic, Team IP and Wilson Sporting Goods. Contributing partners are AL.com and TNT Fireworks.
The Class of 2014 along with past inductees will attend a luncheon Monday and a reception at 2 p.m. at the AHSAA Office. A press conference is scheduled at 5:30 at the Renaissance followed by the banquet at 6:30 p.m.
The banquet will be live-streamed over the NFHS/AHSAA TV Network. The link can be found at www.ahsaa.com.
A thumbnail sketch of each 2014 inductee:
MIKE BATTLES: The veteran football coach has compiled a 277-161-2 record in his long career that dates back to 1970. He served as an assistant coach at Lincoln, Irwin County (Ga.) and Pell City, then had head coaching stops at Pell City, Irwin County, Walter Wellborn, Hueytown, Pascagoula (Miss.), Gautier (Miss.), Biloxi (Miss.) and Handley.
He led Irwin County to a 13-0 record and the Georgia Class 1A state championship in 1975 and directed Handley to a perfect 15-0 record in 2011 to win the AHSAA Class 3A state title. His record is 206-113-1 in Alabama and 71-48-1 at out-of-state schools. His 1996 Gautier team was 9-0 and his Wellborn teams had back-to-back 10-win seasons in 1988-89. His Hueytown team reached the state semifinals in 1995.
Battles, who turned 66 Jan. 1, coached in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game in 2012. He is the winningest coach in school history at Walter Wellborn and Handley. His Handley teams rose from 1-9 in 2006 to reel off 11-2, 10-3, 13-1 and 15-0 records the next four years. He attended Sylacauga High School and Southern Miss.
RICHARD “DICKIE” BROWN: Beauregard’s principal since 1978, Brown began his coaching career at Cleburne County in 1969 where he served as head baseball coach for two seasons. He moved to Beauregard in 1972 and coached the baseball team to a 66-25 record, the boys’ basketball team to an 84-42 mark and served as head football coach for five seasons compiling a 35-15 record.
He moved into administration full-time after 1978 and has gained the reputation as one of the state’s top principals. He was named Alabama Principal of the Year in 2006, was NASSP State Coordinator from 2007-13 and also has served on the AHSAA Fourth District Board since 2000. He has been a member of the AHSAA Central Board of Control since 2010 and the NASSP Board of Directors since 2012. He was named the AHSAA Class 4A Making A Difference Award recipient for 2013.
The Beauregard High School Athletic Complex was named in his honor in 2002 and the football stadium in 2006. A graduate of Smiths Station High School, he was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in 2006.
JAMES C. “JIM” GARNER: Garner started out as a teacher and boys basketball coach in 1964 with stints at T.R. Miller, New Hebron (Miss.) and New Brockton before becoming head coach at L.B. Wallace Community College from 1971-84. He then moved to his alma mater, Pleasant Home High School, and served as principal and athletic director from 1984-2008. He oversaw expansion of the PHHS athletic program to include girls’ softball and volleyball and football in 1998. The boys’ basketball program, which has a rich history, continued to thrive, winning back-to-back Class 1A state titles in 2001 and 2002. Garner also oversaw vast improvement in the school’s facilities to include a new field house, new football field and renovation and expansion of the gymnasium.
He served on the AHSAA Second District Board and Central Board of Control from 1997-2010. Garner is currently the mayor of the Town of Carolina.
MAJOR LANE: Lane began his teaching/coaching career in 1982 as JV basketball coach at Pike County High School where his team went 14-1. He moved to Ariton from 1984-87 before returning to Pike County as head boys coach from 1987-93. He also served as defensive coordinator in football as the Bulldogs won state championships in 1988 and 1989.
He moved to Goshen in 1993 where he coached basketball through 2002 and compiled a 187-46 record. He went into administration in 1997 as assistant principal, a position he currently holds.
He graduated from Robert E. High School in 1976 and Alabama State University in 1981. He earned his masters at Troy University and his EDS and a second masters in Theology from Birmingham Theological Seminary. Lane currently serves as pastor of Mt. Carmel Missionary Baptist Church.
ALVIN MOORE: The veteran basketball coach at Phillips High School and later Carver in Birmingham was the longest tenured coach in the Birmingham City Schools where he served as head basketball coach from 1974-2013. Moore won over 600 games with four appearances in the Final 48.
The Carver and Alcorn State graduate saw hundreds of his student-athletes receive scholarships in basketball, football and track. He coached in the Alabama North-South All-Star Game twice (1975 and 2003) and was named Class 5A Coach of the Year in 1993. He was All-City Coach of the Year in 1982.
Inducted into the Alcorn State Football Hall of Fame in 2006, he was selected an All-Conference offensive tackle twice. He also was named USA Man of the Year by the National Baptist Convention in 2011.
LARRY MORRIS: Morris, a Scottsboro High School and Jacksonville State graduate, coached football at SHS from 1974-1991 as an assistant, then became the head football coach from 1991-2004 – the longest tenure in school history – and compiled a 90-66 overall record. He also served as head track coach for eight years and assistant wrestling coach for 10.
He served as athletic director at Scottsboro from 2005 until his retirement in 2012 and was named AHSAA Athletic Director of the Year in 2012. He also served on the AHSAA District 8 Board from 1999-2012 and on the Central Board from 2007-12. Scottsboro teams captured 17 state titles under his watch.
Scottsboro named its new football field house in his honor in 2013. He coached in the Alabama-Mississippi football game in 2001 and the AHSAA North-South game in 1998.
DONNIE ROBERTS: Roberts, a Mississippi native who graduated from Tremont High School in 1968 and Delta State University in 1972, just completed his 41st year coaching girls’ basketball. After spending his first 11 years at Tremont where he compiled a 142-127 record, he has served as head coach at Red Bay since 1983 with a 648-221 slate. His overall record is 810-348 – most wins by any girls’ team coach in state history.
His 2013-14 team finished 32-4 as runner-up in Class 2A. His teams won the Class 3A state championship in 1993 and 2A state titles in 1997 and 2001. He also coached Red Bay to the girls state 2A track title in 2001 and has coached softball since 1983 and served as a football assistant coach.
A member of the Franklin County Sports Hall of Fame, he coached in the 2001 Alabama-Mississippi Game and was named Class 2A Coach of the Year in 1987, 1993, 2000 and 2001.
DR. JAMES “JIMMY” ROBINSON: A native of New Orleans and graduate of LSU’s School of Medicine in New Orleans (1985), Dr. Robinson has been an integral as a member of the AHSAA’s important Medical Advisory Board since 2003. He has played key role in forming AHSAA’s medical health and safety policies and helped to write the current Concussion Law that now governs all athletic events in Alabama.
He serves as high school team physician for Tuscaloosa County, Hillcrest, Northside, Sipsey Valley and Tuscaloosa-Central high schools and is a consultant for another dozen schools in the Tuscaloosa area. Dr. Robinson also wrote the AHSAA Pre-Participation Physical Exam Form used by all student-athletes since 1993 and revised in 2010.
Also the University of Alabama football team physician, he has been a leader in developing health and safety practices for high schools in Alabama and is an annual clinician at the AHSAA Summer Conference where he has addressed all member schools on the latest health and safety issues as well as the latest good health and safety practices.
He has a Family Practice in Tuscaloosa, supervises athletic trainers for Druid City Hospital and has operated the Good Samaritan Clinic since 1995. He has served as Medical Director for DCH Sports Medicine since 1989 and is currently serving as Endowed Chair of Sports Medicine at the University of Alabama.
NANCY SHOQUIST: The volleyball coach is one of a handful in the state to have won more than 1,000 matches in her prep coaching career with a 1032-372 record prior to the 2013 season. Shoquist, a Fairhope High School and Troy University graduate, served as volleyball coach at St. Paul’s Episcopal School from 1982-2003 before moving to Murphy where she continues to coach. Her teams won volleyball state titles in 1984, 1985, 1986, 1992 and 1995 and finished as runner-up in 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1997 and 1998.
She also coached five St. Paul’s tennis teams to state titles while seven others finished second. Named the AHAHPERD Volleyball Coach of the Year in 2000, she was the first female inducted into the Fairhope High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 1990.
MIKE SMITH: The Hueytown native made his mark coaching girls’ basketball at Decatur High School where he started the program in 1976 and remained for 28 seasons through 2004. His teams compiled a 624-225 record with five state championships (1990, 1991, 1992, 1995 and 2000) and three more runner-up finishes (1987, 1996 and 2001). His 2000 squad finished 34-0.
His teams also won 30 or more games in 1991, 1992 and 1996 and he retired as the winningest girls’ basketball coach in AHSAA history. He also coached volleyball for six years and softball for nine.
His 1992 basketball team was ranked No. 2 in the nation and his star player, Yolanda Watkins, was named USA Player of the year. He coached in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game three times (1992, 1995, 2000).
A member of the Morgan County Sports Hall of Fame he was an outstanding in the classroom teaching advanced placement government and politics for more than 20 years.
ANTHONY “TONY” STALLWORTH: Stallworth, currently serving as Associate Executive Director of the AHSAA, was a standout basketball coach at Brantley High School from 1990-2005 where his teams compiled a 298-47 record and won three straight state championships in 1993, 1994 and 1995.
He was named 1A Coach of the Year in 1993 and 1994 and 2A Coach of the Year in 1995. He coached Brantley’s junior high team from 1988-90 to a perfect 48-0 record.
Stallworth attended J.F. Shields High School in Beatrice and Huntingdon College in Montgomery. He was inducted into the Huntingdon College Hall of Fame earlier this year.
EUGENE WEATHERLY: Weatherly, now deceased, was selected in the “Old Timer” category. After a stint in the army in World War II, he returned to graduate from Gadsden’s Carver High School in 1948 where he served as captain of the football and basketball teams.
He earned his bachelor’s degree from Alabama State and his masters from Georgia State.
After college he was hired in Cherokee County in 1953 at Hatcher High School where he became not only the first coach in school history but also the only coach the school ever had. He was named Coach of the Year by the Northeastern Interscholastic Athletic Association twice (1961 and 1968).
His 1961 boys’ basketball team went undefeated before losing in the state finals and his football teams won district titles in 1961 and 1967. He coached Anniston’s Cobb Avenue High School basketball team from 1971-74, then ended his coaching career with 21 years at the Georgia School for the Deaf. His 1990 team won the Mason-Dixon basketball tournament.