MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Twelve contributors to high school athletics in Alabama were inducted into the 25th class of the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame on Monday.
The 2015 class, which includes coaches, administrators, officials, media and an "old timer", were inducted at the Convention Center at the Renaissance Hotel in Montgomery at a special Silver Anniversary banquet commemorating all 25 years of the Hall of Fame.
The individuals selected include Nancy Becker, Steve Jefferson, Jack Doss, Bobby Wright, Steve Rivers, Doug Goodwin, John Tatum, Myra Miles, Houston Young, Alan Mitchell, Ron Ingram and James D. Chesteen.
The 12 inductees were selected by an 18-member Hall of Fame Committee from 50 nominations that were submitted to the Hall of Fame ballot.
A thumbnail sketch of each 2015 inductee:
NANCY BECKER: One of the most successful girls' tennis coaches in AHSAA state history, Becker, 74, began teaching as a business education teacher at Jacksonville (FL) in 1962, moved to John Carroll High School in 1965 and then to Vestavia Hills High School in 1984. Her tennis teams won 10 Class 6A state championships, had eight runner-up finishes, finished third four times and won 20 sectional championships. Her teams won over 200 matches in her 23-year career at Vestavia and several prestigious tournaments including the Chattanooga Rotary Tournament three times.
She was named NFHS State Tennis Coach of the Year in 2008 and 2010 and was honored by the Birmingham Kiwanis Club as Outstanding Teacher/Coach in 2011. She came out of retirement in 2013 to serve as an assistant coach and helped Vestavia Hills win the state championship. A 1957 graduate of Gadsden High School and 1961 graduate of Auburn University, Becker has been involved in many civic organizations including Charity League, Civettes and the Birmingham Inter-Club and Tennis League.
JAMES "J.D." CHESTEEN: A long-time head football coach in the Wiregrass, Chesteen, 87, is being inducted in the "Old-Timer" category. He compiled an 86-64-6 overall record over a 16-year head-coaching career with stops at Coffee Springs, Samson and Geneva County. He coached three teams to the Peanut Bowl, one to the Lions Bowl and had teams win the South Alabama Conference 2A Championship twice. He served as president of the South Alabama Conference in 1964, was elected vice president of the AHSADCA in 1962 and as president in 1963. He was head coach of the South All-Stars in the 1963 North-South Game and was inducted into the Wiregrass Sports Hall of Fame in 1994.
He totaled 38 years and nine months as a teacher and coach in the Geneva County School System, retiring in 1989. Active in civic and church activities, he has been Chairman of Deacons at Hartford Baptist Church for 12 years.
He graduated from Brantley High School in 1946 and Troy University in 1951. He also spent three years in the Air Force (1946-48). His son Donnie Chesteen is currently the head football coach at Geneva High School.
JACK DOSS: One of the state's most successful high school boys' basketball coaches ever, Doss, 67, captured the 700th win of his prep coaching career in 2014.
His head-coaching career has produced seven state championships – two at Hayes High School in 1981 and 1982 in his first two seasons as a head coach. His teams won five at Butler High School in Huntsville (2004, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2011). He is currently coaching at J.O. Johnson High School where he has led the Jaguars to the state finals the last two years.
Doss has had two games televised nationally over ESPN, his basketball character development strategies have been showcased on CBS Sports, and he has coached three players who have been named Mr. Basketball in Alabama. His teams have produced more than 30 Division I players including former NBA standout Buck Johnson. He also coached future NBA stars Charles Barkley and Ennis Whatley in the North-South All-Star Game and Eric Bledsoe in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game. He has been inducted into the Madison County Sports Hall of Fame, named Birmingham News Coach of the Year seven times and has been selected to coach in the AHSAA's two all-star games four times.
He graduated Oxford High School (1965) and after a stint in the air force, got his college degree at Jacksonville State University.
DOUG GOODWIN: A member of the AHSAA's 200-win club as a prep football coach, Goodwin, 52, began his head-coaching career at Marion County from 1987-92, then was at Lineville (1993-98), Demopolis (1999-2006), Russellville (2007-10) and Homewood (2011-13). He led Lineville to the state finals in 1996 and 1998, won a state title at Demopolis in 2004 and set a state single-season scoring record (761 points) in the process. His Russellville teams reached the state finals in back-to-back years in 2008 and 2009. His Homewood teams won region titles in 2012 and 2013.
His career record is 234-91 with five state championship appearances and was the first coach in AHSAA history to guide three different schools to the state finals.
He was selected ASWA Coach of the year in Class 4A in 2004 and the Alabama Football Coaches Association 5ACoach of the year in 2008. He coached in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game in 2005 and the North-South All-Star Game in 1998. Goodwin is a graduate of Sylacauga High School (1980) and Auburn University (1984). He currently serves as Director of High School Relations and NFL Liaison for Auburn University.
RON INGRAM: The AHSAA Director of Communications since 2007, Ingram, 62, has served on the National Federation Hall of Fame Screening Committee and the NFHS National Records Committee, currently serving as chairman. A sports journalist before joining the AHSAA, he served as sports editor of the Dothan Progress from 1975-1981, then as sports editor of the Dothan Eagle from 1981-1984. He became prep sports editor of the Birmingham News in 1984 and remained for 24 years before joining the AHSAA in 2007. The award-winning writer has been named the Alabama Sports Writers Association Sports Writer of the Year and has captured the ASWA's sweepstakes writing award twice (1987 and 1994). He started and chaired ASWA state football rankings, basketball rankings and All-State teams from 1978 until 2008. He also managed the Birmingham News All-State Teams for football, basketball, softball, baseball, wrestling and volleyball.
Ingram graduated from Pike County High School (1970) and the University of Alabama (1974). He was inducted into the ASWA Sportswriters Hall of Fame in 2013, the Wiregrass Sports Hall of Fame in 2009 and was named Alabama Community Journalist of the Year in 2012 by Auburn University. He has authored two books, Tales of Alabama High School Football, and Sammy Dunn - Dynasty on the Diamond.
STEVE JEFFERSON: The highly respected boys' basketball coach recorded over 650 career wins in his 31-year career at Carver High School in Birmingham. He led the Rams to back-to-back Class 4A state championships in 1978 and 1979 – playing before the largest high school crowd in the AHSAA's state tournament history at Coleman Coliseum against Parker in the 1978 finals. His Carver teams also reached the state finals three more times (1983, 1997 & 1998). He served as an assistant coach on Carver's 1981 Class 4A state runner-up team. Jefferson also coached Conecuh County Training School from 1965-68 with one trip to the AIAA state tournament. He was head football coach at Birmingham's Ullman High School for one year.
He was named Birmingham City Schools Coach of the Year 10 times, the Birmingham Tip-Off Club Coach of the Year twice (1979 and 1998) and received the Frank Nix Distinguished Service Award in 1998 presented by the Tip Off Club. He was named Birmingham Times Coach of the Year four times. Jefferson, 76, is a graduate of Escambia County Training School (1958) and Alabama State University (1962).
MYRA MILES: Considered one of the top high school administrators in the nation, Miles served as athletic director at Hoover High School from 2008-2014 after serving one year as interim AD. She also taught and coached at Hoover from 2002-2007. During her tenure Hoover more than 20 state championships in 10 different sports.
Her first teaching/coaching assignment was at Haleyville High School (1984-88), followed by stops at Brooks (1989-99), St. James (1999-2000) and Coffee (2000-02). She coached volleyball, softball and girls' basketball and taught physical education during her teaching/coaching tenure. Her 1987 volleyball team at Haleyville won the Class 4A state championship in 1987 and finished runner-up in 1985 and 1986, her softball team won the Class 4A state title at Brooks in 1994. Her softball career record was 546-201, volleyball career record was 355-152 and basketball career record was 192-124 – a total of 1,062 prep wins in three sports.
Miles, 53, served on the AHSAA Central Board of Control from 2012-14, was president of the AHSADCA (2013-14) and an officer for five years. She has been active working with special needs students and Special Olympics and helps sponsor a fishing trip for special needs children in Eutaw, Alabama annually.
Miles is a graduate of Bradshaw High School (1979) in Florence and the University of North Alabama (1984). She also attended Freed-Hardeman College.
ALAN MITCHELL: The veteran Assistant Director of the AHSAA served as the association's first Director of Publicity and Publications during five different decades. He worked with three different executive directors during that span. A dedicated individual who has championed the AHSAA's education-based athletics mission his entire career, Mitchell, 72, was recognized by the NFHS with the National Citation Award for Section 3 in 2011. It was presented at the NFHS Summer Conference in Philadelphia. The AHSAA Central Board of Control also issued a resolution honoring Mitchell's 35-year career with the AHSAA.
Mitchell joined the AHSAA after spending 14 years as a newspaper journalist and five years in college public relations. The 1960 Robert E. Lee High School graduate completed his college degree at Huntingdon College in 1964. He was a sports writer for the Montgomery Advertiser from 1958-66 while also holding down the Huntingdon College sports information director position from 1959-66. He served as SID at Tennessee Wesleyan from 1966-71 before returning to Montgomery as sports editor of the Alabama Journal in 1971 where he remained until joining the AHSAA. He has served in various leadership roles for the Aldersgate Methodist Church Choir and currently directs the Choir Ensemble.
STEVE RIVERS: The veteran football coach had head-coaching stops at Pelham (1979-80), Decatur (1981-95), Athens (1996-99) and Wakefield, N.C. (2000-05). A graduate of Sylacauga High School (1967) and Mississippi State (1971), his overall head-coaching record is 188-95.
Rivers, 65, had unbeaten regular seasons at three different schools: 1993 (Decatur), 1997 (Athens) and 2005 (Wakefield) during his 27-year head-coaching career. The father of current NFL quarterbacking great Philip Rivers and current Vanderbilt quarterback Stephen Rivers led 16 teams to the state playoffs. He played in the North-South All-Star Game in 1967 and later served as head coach of the North team in the 1997 game. He was an assistant in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game in 1999. Rivers, who won the state doubles tennis championship in high school in 1967, also coached tennis and basketball at Decatur and was inducted into the Morgan County Sports Hall of Fame in 2008 and named the Decatur Daily Football Coach of the Year five times. He played at Sylacauga for AHSAA Hall of Fame coach Tom Calvin and served as an assistant in his first coaching job for Hall of Fame coach Earl Webb.
JOHN TATUM: A graduate of Montgomery's Robert L. Lee High School (1964) and Troy University (1969), Tatum spent 16 years as athletic director, head football and track coach at Montgomery Academy (1984-2000). He also had coaching stops at DeKalb County High School in Walker, Ga., Norcross High School (GA) and Everitt Junior High in Panama City, Fl. He also worked with AHSAA STAR Sportsmanship developers Learning Through Sports in 2007-08 and served as principal at St. James School for three years before officially retiring. His Montgomery Academy teams compiled a 170-95 record including 24-17 in playoff games. His 1987 team finished 14-0 and was Class 1A state champs. His 2006 team was 10-0 in the regular season and closed out 12-1. Three teams reached the state semifinals.
His overall head-coaching record was 196-112-1 with 21 trips to the state playoffs in 27 years. Tatum, 67, was named Class 1A Coach of the Year, Montgomery Quarterback Club and Birmingham Monday Morning QB Club Coach of the Year in 1987. The 2005 AHSADCA Athletic Director of the Year was also named Montgomery Advertiser Coach of the Year eight times, was an assistant coach in the first Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game in 1988, coached in the North-South Game in 1999 as an assistant and as head coach of the South in 2007. A member of the prestigious Jimmy Hitchcock Award selection committee, he was inducted into the Robert E. Lee High School Hall of Fame in 1999.
BOBBY WRIGHT: The Central boys' head basketball coach since 1989, Wright also served as defensive coordinator for the football team for 26 years. His Red Devils basketball team has compiled a 449-160 record in 22 seasons with an average of 22 victories per year. His 1992-93 and 1998-99 teams each finished 29-3 and the 1994-95 team compiled 27-2 record. His has guided teams to the Final Four five times and reached the Class 6A finals in 1999. Prior to becoming head coach he served as Coach James Redd's assistant and coached the JV team for several years.
Central football teams compiled a 215-82 record during his coordinator tenure with the Class 6A state championship in 1993. The Red Devils posted 59 shutouts during that span and allowed only 10.8 ppg.
Wright, 62, has won numerous Coach-of-the-year honors from the Columbus Ledger Enquirer and Opelika-Auburn Daily News. He graduated from Buena Vista (GA) High School in 1960 and Fort Valley State College in 1974.
HOUSTON YOUNG: One of the top track officials in the nation, Young was awarded the NFHS National Citation Award as Track Official of the Year in 2010. A track-and-field official since 1968, he has worked the state track meet for the last 46 years. He currently serves as State Track Meet Director. He was named AHSAA State and Southwest District Official of the Year in 2008. He was an Olympic Torch Bearer in 1996. He has also officiated at several regional and national college track meets.
The Uniontown High School 1963 graduate became a college track standout at Livingston University where he set and still holds the record for the fast 100-yard dash time. He became a teacher at Beatrice High School in 1968, moved to Lowndes County Training for one year and then joined Selma High School as teacher and track coach where he served from 1971-79. He moved into administration at Wallace Community College in Selma for 13 years. He is active in his community and church, serving as a deacon at Elkdale Baptist Church and as president of the Selma Jaycees in 1971. He also a member of the Board of Directors for the Selma-Dallas County Red Cross and received the Education Award from the Prattville Fire Department.