Central Coosa Names Gym For Belyeu
Central Coosa High School and the Coosa County School System named the high school gymnasium in honor of veteran boys basketball coach and athletic director Joe Belyeu Friday night, Jan. 24.
The dedication ceremony took place between Central Coosa girls’ basketball win over Horesehoe Bend and the boys’ victory over the Generals. The gym was packed to honor Belyeu, who has coached the boys basketball program for the last 27 seasons.
Inducted into the AHSAA Sports Hall of Fame in 2011, Belyeu has guided the Cougars to four state championships (1995, 2000, 2001 and 2004) during his outstanding career. Central also finished second in 2008, falling 45-40 to Bullock County in the 4A finals.
“We have won four state basketball championships here,” said Belyeu. “In 1995, I felt like we were the best team in the state and we proved it. The other three times, were much different. We were down by five with 32 seconds left and won the championship one year. We didn’t take the lead until the final shot another time and we had to win with a shot at the buzzer another time.
“All these teams excelled to the best of their abilities. Our runner-up team in 2008 may have been the biggest overachiever of all. I am proud of all of all the squads for their ability to mesh and become a team.”
Belyeu, who has more than 600 wins in his career, grew up in Coosa County where he attended Coosa County High School. After graduating from Athens State College, he returned to Coosa County where he coached Goodwater for five seasons and Central the last 27. He guided Goodwater to the 1987 state semifinals.
He was named state coach of the year twice (1995, 2004) and recipient of the 2001 Cap Brown Coach of the Year honor awarded by the Birmingham Tip-Off Club. He was also named the NFHS Section 3 Coach of the Year in 2001 and coached in the 2000Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic. He has also coached in the North-South All-Star game.
Belyeu has already announced his plans to retire at the end of the current school year.