By Joshua Huff, sports editor
VESTAVIA HILLS — Longtime Vestavia Hills football coach Buddy Anderson has announced that he is set to retire at the end of the 2020 season following 42 years at the helm of the two-time state champion Rebels.
The National High School Hall of Fame inductee will enter his final season at Vestavia Hills with a record of 342-154 with two state championships (1980, 1999) as the head coach. In all, Anderson has spent 48 years on the sideline with the Rebels. He was hired as an assistant coach in 1972 and took over the program in 1978.
Anderson made the announcement on Monday following the Rebels’ first official practice of the 2020 season.
“I never dreamed I would still be here when I first started,” Anderson told AL.com. “I had opportunities to go other places and I had other coaches tell me I was crazy to stay here, but I always believed in these kids. They wanted to compete and work hard. When they realized they could succeed, that was so great to watch. I had some teams who were state champs and I had some teams that didn’t do as well, but those kids worked just as hard. I’m still close to a lot of them today.”
Anderson sits as the winningest active head coach in Alabama. Under his watch, the Rebels have had just six losing seasons dating back to 1978. In that span, Vestavia Hills has won 10 or more games 15 times in three classes (Class 4A, 6A, 7A).
Among his many accolades include being named as the Alabama High School Coach of the Year on three occasions as well as being inducted into the 2003 Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame.
Anderson attended Thomasville High School and earned a football scholarship at Samford University where he played tackle for the Bulldogs. He was hired in 1972 as an assistant coach at Vestavia Hills.
Vestavia Hills enters the 2020 season with a schedule loaded with top tier talent. The Rebels will host fellow Class 7A, Region 3 foe Hewitt-Trussville on Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. Historically, Anderson has had his way with the Huskies — Hewitt-Trussville’s only two victories in the series came in 2015 and 2018.