Jim Hubbert (right) with Buddy Anderson and Jackie O’Neal at ALFCA Masters session.
Jim Hubbert was always learning. He spent much of his boyhood in Birmingham reading books about great athletes and coaches. It seemed inevitable that he would be an athlete and coach himself. He moved to Oxford in time for high school and earned 3 varsity letters in basketball and 4 in football and track. He spent two years on the Jax State football team before joining the Air Force. He spent 5 years in the Air Force and did a little football coaching there before returning to Jax State and receiving a education degree in 1977.
Jim was ready to begin his coaching career and he wanted to learn from the best. He was the offensive and defensive line coach on the 1977 Ohatchee team that went 13-1 and won the 1A State Championship under Coach Jimmy Woods. Coach Hubbert went to Oxford the next year to work under the great Coach Bill Burgess. He stayed for 4 years as the Yellow Jackets made the football playoffs all 4 years- a real accomplishment for that day. He left Oxford to be the off/def line coach for former Alabama star Stan Moss at Bibb County. Bibb County went 17-3 over the next two years when a job right down the road opened up at Maplesville. A small town right off Hwy 82 which before the arrival of Coach jim Hubbert had only 3 winning seasons in the last 15 years. But Jim had learned the right lessons. In his first season the Red Devils made it to the semi finals with half of their games decided by a TD or less. After an 8-4 year in ’85 Maplesville was ready to roll in ‘86. After defeating Dozier on Oct 31, Maplesville had completed only its second undefeated regular season in school history and were ranked as the #1 1A team in the state. They finished 13-1 losing to a great Courtland team on the road 8-0. Jim was lured away by then Superintendent Dan Washburn to coach at Lanett. He had three great teams there going 27-8 and making it to the semi finals in 1987 and 1988.
In 1990 he decided to return to Maplesville. He inherited a good team and Jim knew what to do with them. Another undefeated regular season—but the Devils ended 13-1 after losing to old nemesis Courtland in the semi finals again. His last seven seasons at Maplesville was one of the more impressive 7 year runs in the history of high school football in Alabama. The Red devils won 81 games. In ’94 they were a semi finalist again but in 1995 they finally broke through making it to the championship game. Again they met Courtland losing 14-7. A determined Maplesville team entered 1996 ranked #1.
It was a perfect season. Maplesville dominated all opponents winning every game by at least 2 TDs and beating Lynn 45-6 in the first games played at Super 6 in Birmingham. Jim would takes the Red devils to 3 more trips to the semi finals before retiring as a teacher/coach in Alabama. He moved to gautier MS and work as offensive coordinator there for 3 seasons.
He was elected to the Alabama high school Sports Hall of Fame in 2006. Jim contributed to athletics in the state for many years serving on the legislative council, central board, rules committee and president of the State Coaches association. In 2004 his son Brent took over the Maplesville team and has the Red Devils challenging for state 1A supremacy each year. Jim would be the first to give credit to others but the truth is that his knowledge and skill he learned through the years completely changed the way one small town just off Hwy 82 looked at itself forever.
The ALFCA is proud to bestow its lifetime achievement award upon Coach Jim Hubbert.