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AHSFHS Article Series

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

Most Region Championships

(Updated 5/7/2017)

          Which coach has won the most football region championships? Most fans would struggle to come up with the correct answer to this question. In 1974 the AHSAA began what we now know as regional alignment. The schools were divided into four classifications with roughly about ninety teams in each classification. The highest classification was 4A which was divided into ten regions. The remaining classifications were divided into 16 areas.

          The AHSAA jumped back and forth between region and area play over the years making it difficult to keep them separated. So, to simplify things we will refer to both as regions.

          Over the years the AHSAA has changed the alignments and expanded to six classifications in 1984 and seven in 2014. One thing that has remained consistent is that winning a region championship assured a team of a spot in the state playoffs following the season. In the early years only the region champion would qualify for a playoff spot making it that much more important to win the region. Today the top four teams in each region will continue play in the first round of the playoffs.

          So, back to the topic at hand. Which coach led their team to the most football region championships? The answer is Spence McCracken of Lee Montgomery and Opelika fame. But did you know the hall of fame coach won four consecutive region championships at 1A Montgomery Academy between 1980 and 1983? He then moved over to the Lee Generals and won ten of the next eleven region championships.

          In 1995 Coach McCracken took his coaching skills to Opelika where he won an additional seven championships over the next fourteen years. Overall his teams won twenty-one region championships giving him more than any other coach in state history. During his football coaching career he amassed a region record of 108-15.

          In second place is Robert Higginbotham another hall of fame coach from Mountain Brook, Shades Valley and Tuscaloosa County. Coach Higginbotham won a total of nineteen region championships between 1973 and 2008 his last season at Tuscaloosa County. His overall region record is a stellar 110-26.

          Among active coaches Buddy Anderson leads the pack with a total of sixteen region championships at Vestavia Hills since 1978. While researching this article I could not find any other coach that has won more region games than Coach Anderson who has an overall region record of 139-56. 

          Recently retired Coach David Lowery of Brantley won 92 of 95 region games during his career at Elba and Brantley. He also won fourteen championships during his short sixteen year career.

          Below is a list of the coaches with at least twelve region championships.

Champs Coach Teams Record  
21   Spence McCracken Montgomery Academy, Lee Montgomery, Opelika 108-15  
19 Robert Higginbotham Mountain Brook, Shades Valley, Tuscaloosa County 110-26  
17 Louis White Courtland (won 14 in a row 1985-98) 56-19  
16 Nolan Atkins Thomasville, Sweet Water, Patrician Academy 71-6  
16 Buddy Anderson Vestavia Hills 139-56  
16 Terry Curtis Shaw, Murphy, UMS-Wright 134-20  
15 Fred Yancey Briarwood 123-22  
15 Jimmy Forshee Stanhope Elmore 70-15  
15 Bill McNair Thomasville, Patrician Academy 75-7  
14 Danny Horn Clay County, Benjamin Russell 120-31  
14 David Lowery Elba, Brantley 92-3  
14 Jamie Riggs Opp, T.R. Miller 119-27  
14 Jackie O'Neal Reeltown 104-32  
14 John Mothershed Deshler 102-13  
14 Rickey Johnson Mount Hope, Hazlewood 67-25  
14 Steve Savarese Ensley, Benjamin Russell, Daphne, McGill-Toolen 75-23  
14 Doug Goodwin Lineville, Demopolis, Russellville, Homewood 108-28  
14 Paul Benefield Fyffe 127-16  
13 Dale Pruitt Pisgah, Plainview, Fort Payne 117-44  
13 Shaun Bonds Greensboro, Valley, Demopolis, Southern Academy 84-39  
12 Billy McGee Carrollton 50-18  
12 Charles Lee Jeff Davis 31-7  
12 Russell Jacoway Sand Rock 104-61  
12 Waldon Tucker Gordo, Fayette County 107-34  
12 Bobby Carr Edgewood Academy 75-13  

David Parker

Great Moments in Alabama High School Football History

The Alabama High School Athletic Association was first organized in 1921.