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AHSFHS Article Series

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

Coaching State Championships

(Updated 5/6/2017)

          The high school football playoffs began in Alabama in 1966 with a single game following that season to determine the state champion.

          Sidney Lanier defeated Lee Montgomery 9-7 in a much anticipated rematch for the title. In 2014, champions were crowned in seven classifications for the AHSAA schools and three classes for the AISA schools.

Super Six State Championship
          Every team begins the season with the state championship as their goal only to fall short somewhere along the way. It seems more and more that the same teams make their way through the season and reach the title game. The other trend is that more often that not the same teams appear in the title games over and over again.

          This could be attributed to demographics, location of the school or coaching. Some teams win championships due to their location. Do you think it is a coincident that Hoover, Prattville, Daphne and Spanish Fort are all within twenty miles of the three biggest cities in the state?

        Many fans have felt for a long time the private schools have an advantage because their teams have no school districts. These could include Briarwood, UMS-Wright, and Madison Academy. Another possibility could just simply be better coaching.

          One coach for years has dominated the ranks of the AISA when it comes to winning titles. Robby James has won nine titles at several schools. Coach James has appeared in seventeen state championship games.

          Among AHSAA coaches Danny Horn won six championships at Clay County before moving on to Benjamin Russell a few seasons ago. His Clay County teams also appeared in two other title games that they lost. Mark Freeman won four AISA championships at Bessemer Academy before taking his talents to Spanish Fort for another two titles. Josh Niblett won a championship at Oneonta and another five as the head coach at Hoover.

          Following these coaches are eleven coaches with five championships under their belt.

State Playoff Championships Won    
Titles Coach Teams Playoff Record    
9 Robby James Catherine Academy, Morgan Academy, Marengo Ac. 46-19    
7 Robert Gartman Morgan Academy, Wilcox Academy 36-18    
7 Bobby Carr Edgewood Academy 28-7    
6 Josh Niblett Oneonta, Hoover 48-10    
6 Mark Freeman Bessemer Academy, Spanish Fort 33-9    
6 Danny Horn Clay County 61-19    
6 Danny Powell Leroy, Jackson 41-7    
5 Keith Etheridge Leeds 33-9    
5 Billy Hamilton Grove Hill Academy, Clarke Prep 28-21    
5 Bob Newton Homewood 34-4    
5 Jimmy Warr Thomasville Academy, Patrician Academy 16-5    
5 Mac Champion Lowndes Academy, Monroe Academy 23-11    
5 Rush Propst Hoover 42-8    
5 Stacy Luker Sweet Water 42-13    
5 Terry Curtis UMS-Wright 60-20    
5 Wayne Grant Pike County 45-14    
5 Bobby Wasden Meadowview Christian 19-6    
5 Lynn Wright Pickens Academy 27-10    
4 Ben Harris Blount 31-9    
4 George Cochran Hooper Academy, Eufaula 21-8    
4 James Carter Autauga Academy, Billingsley 32-14    
4 Jamie Riggs T.R. Miller 69-24    
4 Jessie Little Marengo Academy 11-5    
4 John Niblett South Mont. Ac., Demopolis Ac., Glenwood Ac. 16-11    
4 Louis White Courtland 45-14    
4 Rickey Johnson Hazlewood 38-11    
4 Nolan Atkins Sweet Water 35-19    
4 Shaun Bonds Southern Academy 31-15    

State Championship Game Appearances    
Titles Coach    
17 Robby James      
13 Robert Gartman      
10 Bobby Carr      
10 Josh Niblett      
9 Nolan Atkins      
8 Danny Horn      
8 Mark Freeman      
8 Jamie Riggs      
7 Billy Hamilton      
7 Mac Champion      
7 Rush Propst      
7 John Mothershed      

David Parker

Great Moments in Alabama High School Football History

The Hazlewood Golden Bears have won 11 state titles. The most of any team in any classification since the playoffs began in 1966.