Thursday, August 8, 2013

AHSFHS seeks information on group of elite 100-win football coaches

Mike Bledsoe, left, instructs players.
An interesting sports-related message landed in my e-mail inbox last Thursday morning, and I believe that some of you reading this column will be interested in hearing about it.

David Parker of Foley, the founder of the Alabama High School Football Historical Society, sent me an e-mail saying that he has been busy collecting information for biographies on all 321 of the head football coaches who have won at least 100 games in Alabama over the years. He said that he’s been collecting information on these coaches for years, but got very serious about the project this summer. He’s finished about two-thirds of them, but has “hit a wall” on a few coaches from the more rural parts of the state.

Some of the coaches Parker has been researching will be very familiar to readers of The Courant. They include current Hillcrest High School head coach Larry Boykin (150-72-0), former Sparta and Lyeffion head coach Mike Bledsoe (170-105-0), former Sparta head coach Jack Akins (145-74-4), former Evergreen and Lyeffion head coach Wendell Hart (145-111-13) and former J.F. Shields head coach John Wiley (100-87-4).

For history’s sake, Parker is trying to record some basic information about all of these coaches, including when and where they were born, where they attended high school and when they finished high school. He’s also trying to find out if they played any high school sports, which positions they played and if they received any awards. He’s also trying to record where these coaches attended college, received their degrees and if they played any college sports.

He is also seeking information about their first coaching jobs before they became head coaches. He’s also trying to find out if they coached any other sports besides football and if they’ve received any awards and honors during their coaching careers. Lastly, he wants to know who and what influenced their careers as head coaches.

In the end, if you have any information about the coaches mentioned above, especially Wendell Hart and Jack Akins, please let me know by contacting me at The Courant at 578-1492. You can also reach me by mail at The Evergreen Courant, ATTN: Lee Peacock, P.O. Box 440, Evergreen, AL 36401. My e-mail address is courantsports@earthlink.net.

If you’ll send me the information, I’ll be sure to pass it along to Parker, who will include it in his coaching biographies project. In the meantime, if you’re interested in learning more about the history of high school football in Alabama, check out the Alabama High School Football Historical Society’s official Web site at www.ahsfhs.org.

The site, which is administered by Parker, includes information on 767 Alabama high school football teams, including the scores of every game ever played by Hillcrest High School and Sparta Academy. It also includes information about former teams in Conecuh County, including Evergreen High School, Conecuh County High School at Castleberry, Lyeffion High School and Repton High School as well as the dozens of coaches who served those schools over the years.

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