Charles Lee – 2014 ALFCA Lifetime Achievement Award

November 30, 2014

Charles Lee is a Montgomery guy.  He has spent his life affecting the lives of the citizens of Montgomery, while earning the respect of people from all walks of life along the way. Coach Lee  graduated from Sidney Lanier High School in 1958. He attended Huntingdon College and was named the school’s outstanding athlete.  He began his teaching and coaching career at Bellingrath Junior High School in 1962 teaching math, science and physical education. He coached several sports and won city championships in all of them.

    But his life changed forever in 1968 when he became part of the faculty and coaching staff at the new Jeff Davis High School.  Coach Lee did a little of everything at the new school. He taught American history and PE, was an administrative aide to the principal, assistant football coach, head basketball and head baseball coach. He became an invaluable asset to Jeff Davis. When Coach Billy Livings left after the 1979 season, Charles Lee was the obvious choice to lead the football program. For 18  seasons he kept Jeff Davis as one of the best teams in the state. All but two of his teams made the state playoffs. The Volunteers played the best teams in the state and in other states as well. Two of his teams had undefeated regular seasons. Six of his teams won 10 or more games. In 1995, the Green and Gold went on a playoff run defeating Talledega, Vigor, Theodore and Murphy to make it to the state finals. On a cold and windy day at Legion Field, Jeff Davis lost a 7-6 defensive struggle to Central Tuscaloosa.  The following year the Volunteers entered the playoffs with two losses but the defense stiffened. When the Vols went to Prichard and beat Vigor 24-9 in the semi finals, Jeff Davis was ready to return to Legion Field. On December 14, 1996 Jeff Davis defeated Mountain Brook 28-12 behind QB Jeff Aaron and a defense that turned away Mountain Brook with a goal line stand at the end of the first half.  Charles Lee was the state coach of the year.  He retired after the 1997 season and took a position with Jackson Hospital  as director of sports medicine.  During the last 14 years he has served not only Montgomery but the tri county region to make sure that medical services were provided for all athletes.  Coach Lee was instrumental in helping Huntingdon college establish their football program and has served on the Central Alabama Sports Commission.

    He has received many honors—Coach of the Year, head coach of all star games, and election to the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame. The football field at Huntingdon College is named in his honor where former player Mike Turk is the head coach.  “The Lord has blessed my life in many ways during my time on this earth”, said Turk. “but none greater than to have the opportunity to play for, get to know, and work with Coach Lee.” Former Jeff Davis principal Thomas Head says,” I truly believe that Charles Lee’s career set the benchmark for coaches in the state of Alabama.”  Robert Kohn Area Vice President of Rehab associates, says,” Coach Lee’s definition of success is about helping people, families, coaches and schools. In my opinion his success is immeasurable. “ Former Frazier Methodist Church Pastor John Ed Mathison said, “Charles always conducted himself with the highest level of integrity. He always put the welfare of his coaching staff and young men first in his decisions.” His son Bubba said” There are so many things my dad has served on or giving his time that people have no idea. My dad serves and works to help people not to be recognized for his actions.” Former player Richard Moncrief said that during his time at Jeff Davis under Coach Lee “I learned what commitment, discipline and tough love meant.” Former player and head Coach Fred Brock of St. Jude said, “ Coach Lee possessed the ability to inspire, the patience to teach and the gift of leadership.”

    Charles Lee’s legacy of service and his class and professionalism as a coach has been a great example for all who have come in contact with him over his lifetime. Therefor, the Alabama Football Coaches Association is proud today to bestow our Lifetime Achievement Award upon Coach Charles Lee.