Three of Alabama’s greatest high school football coaches from past days were honored with the ALFCA Lifetime Achievement Award at the Coach of the Year Banquet at this year’s ALFCA 13th Annual Convention. The banquet was held Saturday, January 27th at 11:15 AM at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Montgomery.
The winners were nominated by the ALFCA membership, recommended by the Lifetime committee, and the winners verified at the ALFCA board of directors during their Super 7 meeting in December.
“These men were not only highly successful,” said ALFCA Director Jack Wood, “they were some of the most respected coaches in the state during their tenures. All three of these great coaches were very loyal to their schools, staying at one place for many years. We are proud to honor their legacies.”
This years award winners are:
Bob Finley– Before Hoover was Hoover, they were W.A. Berry High School and everyone knew that their coach was Bob Finley. Finley was head coach at Berry for 26 seasons, most of them before the present playoff system. His team won the 1977 and 1982 state championships, and play in the title game two other times. His overall record was 198-87-5. Finley led Berry from 1968-1993 and was elected to the AHSAA Hall of Fame in 1992. A former University of Tennessee player, he passed away suddenly in July of 1994 after cutting the grass on the football field. “He was the coach in the state of Alabama,” said Gerald Gann, who coached alongside Finley at Berry and later against him as the football coach at Homewood, in an AL.com article three years ago. Coach Finley passed away in 1994 while cutting grass on the football field at Berry. Photo credit Al.com
John Mothershed served as head coach at Deshler High School from 1995-2013. His teams won the 1998 and 1999 State Championships and reached the Super 7 Finals in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, and 2010. Mothershed used a Wing-T offense and a Split 4 defense to accumulate an overall record of 201-53 during his 19 years as head coach for the Tigers. Under his direction, 11 of his Deshler teams won 10 games or more. He served as President of the the AHSADCA in 2004 and on the ALFCA Board of Directors. He will be inducted into the AHSAA Hall of Fame in March.
Photo credit Al.com
Jackie O’Neal– Coach O’Neal was a star player for Reeltown High School and Livingston State University before returning to Reeltown as an assistant coach for ten years. He took over the reigns from Duane Webster in 1988 and coached the Rebels for 28 years before retiring after the 2015 season. He led Reeltown to the state title game five times, winning the championship in 2001 and 2009. O’Neal was an original board member of the ALFCA and served for 10 years. He was the head coach of the Alabama-Mississippi All Star Game in 2007 and was elected to the AHSAA Hall of Fame in 2012.
Photo credit oanow.com