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AHSFHS Article Series

   The best of the best in Alabama High   
  School Football over the past 100 seasons.

The Best Family Coaches

(Updated 5/4/2017)

          It seems coaching runs in some families around the state. There are more than just a few father and son coaches that have graced the sidelines over the years. Some have put up impressive win totals.

          Several coaching families are in the coaching ranks this season. Ryan Herring is the head coach at Oxford and Robert Herring Jr. was the head coach at Talladega between 2013 and 2016. They follow in their father's footsteps who found success at Oxford from 1985-1998.

          Mike Battles Sr. heads the football program at B.B. Comer while his son Mike Jr. remains the head football coach at Tallassee in his fourth season there. The two have combined for 370 wins.

          The Andersons: Dovey and Buddy Anderson top our list with 503 wins between them. Father, Dovey Anderson began his head coaching career at Thomasville in the fall of 1931. Over the next thirty-one seasons his teams would only finish with a losing record once.


Morris Higginbotham
          Three of his teams would not lose a game during the season and only one game five other times. His overall record was 178-82-25 as coach of the Tigers.

          Buddy Anderson decided during high school that he wanted to follow in his father's footsteps and become a coach. He began his career as an assistant at Vestavia Hills in 1972 and would become the head coach of the Rebels in 1978. He remains the head coach at Vestavia Hills this season and holds the all time record for coaching wins in the state with a record of 325-140. 

           The Higginbothams: Morris Higginbotham is recognized as one of the greatest coaches of his era. His head coaching career began in 1952 with Walnut Grove and would span a total of thirty-one years and eight high schools before he finally retired following the 1982 season at Hueytown. He would remain at Walnut Grove for only one season which included being named as state champions by the Birmingham News.

          In 1953 he took the head position at West Blocton where in five years his teams were named state champions three times by the Birmingham News and Post-Herald. In 1960 his Enterprise Wildcats team won another title as awarded by the Birmingham News and the ASWA. His overall record was 159-79-10. As a father and son combination their record was 460-200-14.

          Robert Higginbotham won a state championships at Mountain Brook in 1975 where he was the head coach between 1973 and 1975. In 1977 he took the head coaching job at Shades Valley where he served for the next twenty-two seasons. His teams there produced eleven region championships and qualified for the playoffs fourteen times.

          Following the 1998 season Coach Higginbotham would take over the reins at Tuscaloosa County where his success continued. In ten seasons the Wildcats made the playoffs each season and won another seven region titles. For forty-seven seasons a Coach Higginbotham roamed the sidelines of Alabama high school football. Father and son would finish their careers with a combined record of  460-200-14.

          One family actually has three generations of head coaches. Chris Elmore became the head coach at Chelsea in the fall of 2013 and joined his father and grandfather on the sideline. His father, Jerry, and his grandfather, Ferman, were coaches that roamed the sidelines for many years. Ferman won 99 games while Jerry won 122 during their careers.

          When it comes to coaching brothers it is difficult to have a discussion without talking about the Atkins. Brothers Nolan, Roland and Sid won a combined 416 games during their high school football coaching careers.

          There are other coaching families we are missing simply because we do not know of them. If you have knowledge of others please email me at

Father & Son Coaching Combos
Wins Father Record Son Record Son Record
503 Dovey Anderson 178-82-25 Buddy 325-140-0    
460 Morris Higginbotham 190-73-11 Robert 270-127-3    
452 John Niblett 224-105-0 Josh 183-45-0 Tad 45-53-0
434 Lee Holladay 207-152-7 Trey 92-107-0 John 135-71
377 Bobby Wasden 210-95-8 Shayne 91-34-0 Tommy 76-88
374 Louis White 181-83-0 Laron 148-30-0 Kelvis 45-50
370 Mike Battles Sr. 214-135-1 Mike Jr. 156-75-0    
364 Waldon Tucker 309-126-3 Lance 55-35-0    
333 Jim Hubbert 173-59-0 Brent 160-38-0    
328 Woody Clements 238-167-7 Skipper 90-48-0    
312 Jimmy Foshee 207-83-1 Jeff 105-72-0    
305 Lynn Wright 209-75-0 Josh 95-21    
298 Kenneth McKinney 217-109-3 David 81-38    
286 Don Creasy 186-77-2 Allen 100-88-0    
283 Robert Earl Grisham Sr. 166-113-5 Bob 117-76    
279 Ed Boggs 179-128-5 Randy 98-72-1 Stan 2-18
246 Ferman Elmore 99-55-15 Jerry 122-87-1 Chris (grandson) 25-17
231 Robert Herring 147-61-3 Ryan 74-48-0 Robert Jr. 10-28
221 Jack Hankins Sr. 83-55 Jack Jr. 139-47-0    
211 Ragan Clark 105-95-3 Bill 106-11-0    
196 R.L. Watson 116-85-1 Todd 80-36-0    

Brother Coaching Combos
Wins Brother Record Brother Record Brother Record
416 Nolan Atkins 270-67-5 Roland 91-61-5 Sid 55-109-2
301 Keith Luker 135-113-0 Stacy 188-73-0    
281 Joe Nettles 252-200-4 Jimmy 25-32-1 Henry Jr. 4-13-3

David Parker

Great Moments in Alabama High School Football History

The Prattville Lions won 56 consecutive regular season games between 2001 and 2007.