Special from AHSAA
MONTGOMERY – Twelve major contributors to prep athletics in Alabama were selected from a list of 62 nominations, which include a record 13 nominations in the “Old Timer” category, to be inducted into the into the 31st class of the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame Monday night. The 2021 class will be enshrined at a banquet held at the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel and Spa Convention Center next March.
“The selection committee had a very difficult task from a long list of outstanding nominees,” said AHSAA Executive Director Alvin Briggs. “Those selected have represented themselves well throughout their careers and have made a major difference in the lives of all who know them. We are proud to be recognizing these individuals with this special honor.”
The Class of 2021 include: Those selected were: administrator Larry DiChiara; contest official and former AHSAA Director of Officials Mark Jones; track and cross country coach David Dobbs; girls’ basketball, volleyball, tennis and softball coach Jana Killen; football coaches Stacy Luker; Jimmy Perry; and Danny Powell; basketball coaches Johnny Shelwood, Tim Smith and Ronnie Stapler; and selected in the “Old-Timers’ Division” were track coach Donald Wayne Murphy and basketball coach Wade Robinson. Both are deceased.
This group includes two basketball coaches, Stapler and Killen, who have recorded more than 800 coaching wins. Killen has also won more than 900 volleyball matches in her stellar career. Two football coaches, Luker and Powell, have won five state football titles each. Luker won five state crowns at Sweet Water and Powell had four at Leroy and one at Jacksson.
The Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association, the coaches’ wing of the AHSAA, oversees the Hall of Fame. A selection committee comprised of coaches, administrators and media representatives made the selections from a very impressive list of nominations.
“We thank the Hall of Fame Selection Committee for their dedication and thoroughness in selecting these very deserving individuals,” said Brandon Dean, Director of the AHSADCA. “These outstanding inductees, as well as all the nominees, have dedicated their lives to help promote and support education-based athletics.
Sponsors of the Hall of Fame program are the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA) and the AHSAA. The corporate partners include Alabama Power, ALFA, Cadence Bank, Coca-Cola, Encore Rehabilitation, Jack’s, Future 1s, TeamIP and Wilson Sporting Goods.
The first class was inducted in 1991. These 12 new inductees will run the total enshrined into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame to 377.
DAVID DOBBS (COACH): Recognized as one of the AHSAA’s most outstanding track and cross country coaches, Dobbs, 64, grew up in Birmingham. He graduated from Banks High School (1975) and UAB (1990). He received his masters from UAB in 1995.
A man recognized by his peers and students for his kindness and humility, he has led by example on the track and in his own personal life. He has worked with several charities including the Firehouse Men’s Shelter, Community Kitchens and Catholic Charities.
He has also been a leader in the AHSAA serving on the AHSAA Track Coaches Committee, Cross Country Coaches Committee and has been an AHSAA Summer Conference moderator on many occasions. In 2020, he was named the AHSAA Class 7A “Making a Difference” Award recipient.
A leader who has always been ready to lend an ear or a helping hand to fellow coaches, Dobbs served a head track & field and cross country coach for boys and girls at Hewitt-Trussville High School for 31 years – from 1990 – 2021. Named Jefferson County Teacher of the Year in 1996 and Jefferson County Track and Cross Country Coach of the Year several times, he developed the Huskies’ program into one of the state’s elite program.
His girls won state titles in indoor track and outdoor track in 1999, and his boys’ and girls’ teams each won the state crown in 2021. That same year, the two teams finished as runner-up in the Class 7A Outdoor Track championships.
More than 90 of his student-athletes signed college scholarships and currently hold 10 boys’ and girls’ overall or Class 7A state indoor track records and eight AHSAA outdoor state overall or Class 7A state records. His wife Anita has been working alongside him the entire way.