Hall Of Fame - 2008


Alan Baker is a graduate of T.R. Miller High School and Auburn University. He spent 21 of his 27 years in coaching at T.R. Miller where he molded its track program into one of the best in the state. His boys teams won outdoor state titles in 1991, 1992, 2003 and 2004, finished runner three times and also won the indoor state crown in 1992.
He also served as assistant football coach for 20 years when T.R. Miller won five state titles and finished second five times. He was defensive coordinator and strength coach in the 1990s when T.R. Miller was the winningest in the state (117 wins) with a 27-game winning streak. An excellent social studies teacher, he currently serves in the state legislature. Known for his cool composure and thoroughness in preparation, he was always a role model for students and looked for the positive characteristics in each person.


Michael Cheatham is a graduate of Southern Normal High School and Alabama State University. The Brewton native, one of 10 children, began coaching at Conecuh County Training School in the 1940s and guided girls basketball teams to four AIAA state championships (1952, 1954, 1956, 1957) and one unofficial state crown over Westfield (1958).   The girls title came after the AIAA had discontinued its championship program, but CCTS and Westfield were generally regarded as the two top teams.  His 1952 team finished 27-1 and his 1954 team posted a 39-0 mark. Now deceased, he also served as assistant football coach while coaching girls basketball and eventually took over football and boys basketball for a time. His boys basketball team was state runner-up in 1955. .

Don Cox is a graduate of Hamilton High School and the University of Alabama. He has spent 37 years in coaching and administration—28 of those at Russellville where his 14 football teams compiled a 130-46 record, reached the state finals twice and posted a regular-season winning streak of 32 games at one stretch. His 184-69-4 career record includes three years at Brilliant and five at Dora. He also served as assistant principal and principal and is currently administrative assistant for the Russellville City Board of Education. For the last 12 years he has served assistant for the Russellville City Board of Education. For the last 12 years he has served on the AHSAA District 7 Board and Central Board, including a term as president. A member of the Marion County Athletic Hall of Fame, he coached in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic in 1992. Always exhibiting character, integrity and class, he is highly respected statewide for his dedication and professional leadership in the field of athletics.

Greg Echols is a graduate of Mountain Brook High School and the University of South Alabama. One of the state’s most successful track coaches in AHSAA history during his 15 years as Mountain Brook head coach, his teams amassed 31 state championships—17 in cross country, 12 in indoor track and 2 in outdoor track. Prior to that his junior high and freshman teams won 22 state titles.  With a nationally-recognized program, his boys 4x800 indoor relay team won the NIKE national championship in 2006 and his girls were runner-up to the fastest team in history the following year. He has served on the AHSAA track committee since 1993 and as state meet director for indoor track since 1994, for cross country from 1992-1995 and for multi-events since 1999.  With a real love for his sport and his students, he tries to teach life lessons each day.

James Findley is a graduate of Calera High School and the University of Montevallo. Instrumental in building a successful basketball program at Holtville High School during his 14 years as head coach, his teams compiled a 259-117 record, reached the State Finals four times and won the Class 3A state championship in 1996 when he was named 3A Coach of the Year. He also coached football, tennis, softball and track during his 19 years at the school. Now deceased, he made numerous contributions to the school as a teacher and made a difference in his community through his active support of many worthwhile projects. He was truly dedicated to his profession, his players and his sport. His influence is still evident throughout the community.

Rickey Johnson is a graduate of Hatton High School and the University of North Alabama. After helping Hazlewood High School compile a 48-5 record with two state titles from 1986-90 as an assistant coach, he took over the program for the next 12 years and led the Golden Bears to even greater heights—a 142-30 record with state championships in 1990, 1991, 1992 and 2000 and a runner-up finish in 1993. His overall coaching record, which included stints at Mount Hope and Hatton, is 183-91-0. He was named Class 1A Coach of the Year three times and coached in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic twice. Always a positive influence, he was recognized as an outstanding coach and educator and highly regarded by teachers, students and players.

Bob Pannone is a graduate of Baldwin County High School and Auburn University.He was an active football official for 28 years, then served three years as one of the AHSAA’s initial football District Directors. Also a track official, he has worked at the state meets for 14 years. In recent years he has become a “fulltime volunteer” for the AHSAA, helping in the administration of several championship and all-star events. He assisted in the implementation of the AHSAA Officials Manual. He was awarded an honorary membership in the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association in 1999 and received the Distinguished Service Award for 42 years of service as an AHSAA official in 2005.A true servant, he has devoted countless hours to the youth of this state.


Tammy Richardson is a graduate of Selma High School and the University of Montevallo. A driving force behind volleyball in the AHSAA for the last 26 years, she won 1,184 volleyball matches in a storied coaching career at Pelham High School. Two of her teams won 6A state titles, two finished second and 13 others earned state tournament berths. She played a key role in the development of the Elite Eight state tournament. More than 50 of her players earned college scholarships and she produced two prep All-Americans and one National Player of the Year.  She has been named state, section and ASAHPERD coach of the year . A passionate coach and teacher, she has always instilled responsibility and accountability.

Dale Welsh is a graduate of Spring Garden High School and Jacksonville State University. He left a legacy of winning basketball in Cherokee County—coaching girls and boys teams at two schools to 328 career victories. He coached 10 Spring Garden boys teams to 188 wins and the state finals in 1979. At Cherokee County he directed the boys to a four-year 71-43 record and the girls to a four-season 80-37 mark and a state championship in 1992 when he was named 4A coach of the year. He also coached baseball and football at Spring Garden. Named recently to the Cherokee County Sports Hall of Fame, he now serves on the county commission. The Spring Garden gymnasium is named in his honor. He has had a lasting, positive impact on the Spring Garden community through his dedicated service as a teacher, coach and county commissioner.

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