News from the Tennessee Valley Sports

11 inducted into prep hall of fame

MONTGOMERY (AP) — Eleven coaches, administrators and big-time backers of prep athletics in Alabama have been inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame.

More than 700 attended the Monday night at Garrett Coliseum for the induction of the 17th Class of the hall.

The 2007 inductees were Fran Braasch, Bill Burgess, Terry Cooper, Betty Ham, Don Hand, Billy Livings, Sam Mason, Bob Newton, Larry Striplin, Jr., Edgar Welden and Steve Williams. Ham and Mason are deceased.

A glance at the new hall members, according to the Alabama High School Athletic Association, a sponsor of the program:

  • Fran Braasch was a pioneer of girls basketball in Birmingham as well as statewide, spending 23 of her 32 years in coaching at Vestavia Hills, where she guided her teams to a 511-170 record, a state championship in 1987 when Vestavia Hills defeated Decatur in the Class 6A finals in overtime at Calhoun Community College and five appearances in the Final Four.

  • Bill Burgess coached football at Banks and Woodland, where he was coach of the year in 1969, then compiled a 107-41-4 record in 14 years at Oxford where his teams reached the state playoffs eight times, including the schools first state championship game appearance in 1982.

  • Terry Cooper, who became full-time athletic director at Mountain Brook in 1992, has seen the school’s teams win 52 state championships along with 25 runner-up finishes.

  • Betty Ham, a coach and teacher for 34 years at Andalusia High, guided the girls basketball team to a 23-4 record in 1988 and the schools first state tournament appearance; she also served multiple roles for boys’ athletic programs.

  • Don Hand spent 22 of his 38 years in education coaching football, baseball and basketball at Chilton County (18 years) Conecuh County (2 years) and Monroe County (2 years), with his football teams making eight playoff appearances and his baseball teams going 161-60 with a state championship in 1973.

  • Billy Livings spent 12 years as the first football coach at Jeff Davis where his teams posted a 103-22-4 record with nine city titles and a state championship in 1978.

  • Sam Mason, a coach in the Opelika school system for 28 years, led Opelika High to its last undefeated football season in 1945 and posted an overall record of 75-37-3 against some of the largest schools in the state.

  • Bob Newton, involved in Homewood athletics for the last 31 years, has been head football coach and athletic director the last 11, with his football teams going 124-24 with five state championships, one runner-up finish and one semifinal appearance.

  • Larry Striplin Jr., a Selma industrialist, founded the Bryant-Jordan Scholarship Program that has awarded more than $3 million to student-athletes since 1986.

  • Edgar Welden, a retired real estate developer and staunch supporter of high school athletics, he created and serves as president of the Birmingham Athletic Partnership (BAP) that has contributed over $400,000 to enhance the athletic programs of nine Birmingham high schools.

  • Steve Williams, basketball coach at Headland High for 18 years, compiled a 455-122 record, with his teams making the state finals twice in eight trips.

    Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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