Louis White loved teaching and coaching. He loved it so much that even after he retired from coaching he stayed on as athletic director and PE teacher until 2007. “I just like encouraging them to do the right thing,” he said. But as a coach he had no peer in North Alabama. He built the Courtland Chief football program into a 1A dynasty.
Louis White was a very successful athlete himself. He was a 1967 graduate of Central High in Courtland. He was a Kodak All American offensive lineman at Alcorn State and team captain his senior year. He was almost always a head coach, learning on the job. He started as an assistant at Colbert Heights for 2 seasons and then served 1 year as an assistant at Courtland. He became head coach in 1975 and success was slow to come. The Chiefs won only 12 games his first four seasons. But by the early 80’s the success became consistent-7, 8 9 win seasons. In 1986 Coach White went 10-3 and made his first trip to the state finals, losing to Sweet Water. It would not be his last. One thing was becoming apparent-The Chiefs could play defense. The 1988 team lost their first 2 games but would not lose again as they captured the school’s first state championship with a 22-21 victory over Billingsley. Over one 7 game streak that year Courtland gave up only 7 points. But such play caused a problem for the Chiefs. By the late 1980’s Coach White could not get a full schedule. 1A teams did not want to play and bigger schools would not play for fear of being defeated by a 1A school. Courtland played 8 games in 1988, 90 and 93, 7 games in 1991 and played a 6 game schedule in 1992.
Coach Whites’ Courtland Chiefs won the State 1A championship in 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1995. They were runners up twice. Louis also coached the track team and won 5 state championships and were runners up four other times. Coach White was State Class 1A coach of the Year on 4 occasions. Highly respected by his peers, Coach White served football in the state in other ways as well. He served on the ALA-Miss All star game selection committee and coached in the game twice. In 1994 he was President of the Alabama High School Athletic Directors and Coaches Association. Louis also served on the Bryant Jordan Scholarship Committee and the Alabama High School Hall of fame Committee.
He is a member of the Alabama High School Hall of fame, the Lawrence County Sports Hall of Fame and the Alcorn State University Hall of Fame. He retired from coaching after the 1998 season and from education in 2007. But he has never stopped encouraging and coaching his former players. He and his wife Mollie have 3 children who all became educators and 6 grandchildren. His two sons followed in his footsteps as coaches after successful high school and college playing careers. Laron is the coach at Tanner High School and Kelvis the head coach at Dothan High School. He talks to them regularly and loves to see their teams play, although they throw the ball more a lot more than those great Chief teams.
Louis White is a member of the North Courtland Primitive Baptist Church where he serves as deacon, chairman of the trustees, member of the finance committee, and superintendent of Sunday School. His son Laron said, “He is loved by so many people who thank him for his efforts all of the time. This award is perfect for him because he is still helping former players be better men even today long after he coached them.”
The Alabama Coaches association agrees. Therefore, we are proud to bestow our lifetime achievement award on Coach Louis White.