Stuedeman’s coaching ‘heroes’ his sisters
By Gary Lloyd
TRUSSVILLE — Second-year Hewitt-Trussville varsity girls basketball coach Stu Stuedeman knew he wanted to be a coach in 1995.
He was in a dugout surrounded by University of Alabama-Huntsville softball players, running back and forth, high-fiving and yelling “Let’s go!” His oldest sister, Les Stuedeman, who is 16 years his senior, was the head coach. He’d sit on a ball bucket next to her, acting as the team’s biggest cheerleader. In his sister’s first several years at UAH, he practiced at shortstop with the team.
“Those were the times of my life,” Stuedeman said.
Les has been the softball coach at UAH since 1995, spending the prior season as the Hewitt-Trussville High School softball coach, leading the team to a 43-13 record while earning the title of Jefferson County Coach of the Year.
From 1997 to 1999, Stuedeman’s other sister, Vann Stuedeman, who is 13 years his senior, served as Les’ assistant coach at UAH. Stuedeman said he “went everywhere with them” and learned a lot watching them coach. Vann was an assistant coach at Alabama from 2001 to 2011 and is now the head coach at Mississippi State.
Stuedeman’s father, Vince, was a student-assistant for famed Alabama head football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant while he was in school at Alabama. Stuedeman shares a birthday, Sept. 11, with sister Vann, former Vestavia Hills baseball coach Sammy Dunn and Bryant.
“It’s a coach’s birthday,” he said.
Stuedeman calls his older sisters “his heroes,” the best coaches that he’s ever been around. He said Les was the first softball coach at UAH, starting the program with maybe three scholarships. She’s won more than 800 games in her career.
Stuedeman, a Vestavia Hills High School graduate who lettered in football, basketball, and baseball, played college basketball for two seasons at UAH under Lennie Acuff. He spent three years at the University of Alabama as a student-assistant coach for the men’s basketball team under head coach Mark Gottfried. He has also served as an assistant coach at Spring Hill College, Chipola Junior College in Florida and Vestavia Hills High School.
Stuedeman has learned under many coaches, but his sisters stand out the most.
“I just learned everything from them,” he said. “I love them.”
Contact Gary Lloyd at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.