Former T.R. Miller coach and principal Frank Cotten passed away Wednesday, Jan. 3rd.
Coach Cotten was inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame in 1996 after serving 14 years on the AHSAA District 1 Board and six years on the AHSAA Central Board of Control. He served one term as president.
“We are very thankful for Mr. Cotten and his life of service,” said AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese. “All of us in his AHSAA family mourn his passing and offer our condolences to his family.”
It was during Coach Cotten’s tenure on the board that the Super 6 concept was created bringing all of the state championships to one locale.
Mr. Cotten contributed to T. R. Miller High School athletics for more than 30 years, first as a coach and later as an administrator for the last half of his career in education. He coached basketball for seven years with a 128-42 record and led seven football teams to a 65-19 record, three playoff appearances and two 10 win seasons in the years when only the area champ of an 8 team area made the playoffs. He moved to Brewton in 1966 to serve as an assistant under Hall of Fame coach Mack Wood. The two helped bring T.R. Miller their football first state championship in 1969.
A graduate of Coffeeville High School and Livingston University, Cotten spent five seasons, from 1960-64, as the head coach at Coffeeville, his alma mater in rural Clarke County. He coached one year at Macon Academy before leading T.R. Miller’s football program from 1973-80. He stepped down in 2016 after serving on the Brewton City Council for more almost two decades.
Cotten’s players at Miller included three NFL players-Walter Lewis (Alabama), Dowe Aughtman (Auburn) and Walter Broughton (Jacksonville State). He also coached former Miller coach and now state representative Alan Baker, Mobile Christian coach Ronnie Cottrell and former T.R. Miller head coach Jamie Riggs.
“When it comes to motivating and inspiring players, we are all in second place compared to Frank Cotten,” said Riggs. “He is responsible for much of the great tradition and much of the Miller spirit that exists in our community and in our school today.”
Funeral services were Saturday, January6th at First Baptist Church in Brewton, with visitation from noon to 3 p.m., followed by the service. He was preceded in death by his wife Shirley.