MA’s John Tatum highlights Hall of Fame class

Montgomery Academy’s John Tatum was one of 12 selections for the AHSAA Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2015 on Monday night.

Tatum, a Montgomery native, coached the Eagles for 23 seasons and led MA to a 170-95 record from 1984-2006. He graduated from Robert E. Lee in 1987 and was an eight-time Montgomery Advertiser All-Metro Coach of the Year selection. He still helps coach the MA middle school football team.

“It’s just absolutely wonderful. It’s hard to even imagine to be inducted into the AHSAA’s Hall of Fame,” Tatum said. “There’s so many people that I’ll credit to for that, the coaching staffs, the Bethea brothers, Anthony McCall, all those people. Joe Mooty, who was the former athletic director, had such a great influence on my life. Of course I’d have to thank my wife because she’s stood by me all these years.”

Tatum led Montgomery Academy to the playoffs 18 times, reached the semifinals four times and won the school’s only football state championship in 1987.

“I remember, we had gone up with about 1:43 to go in the game 10-6,” Tatum said of the championship game. “And then I remember they were throwing the ball deep, I remember seeing Hamp Greene go up high and intercept the last ball. He ran past me and that was the ball game, we were celebrating by then.”

The other inductees were:

Nance Becker: Coached 10 Class 6A state championship tennis teams and eight runners-up in 23 years at Vestavia Hills.

James “J.D.” Chasteen: Was 86-64-6 in 16 years as head football coach at Coffee Springs, Samson and Geneva County.

Jack Doss: Currently the boys basketball coach at J.O. Johnson. Has won seven state championships and picked up his 700th career victory last season.

Doug Goodwin: Was 234-91 as football coach at five schools and led three to the state finals. Currently the director of high school relations and NFL liaison for Auburn University.

Ron Ingram: Started and chaired the Alabama Sports Writers football and basketball rankings and All-State teams from 1978-2007 while mostly with the Birmingham News. Currently the AHSAA’s director of communications.

Steve Jefferson: Won more than 650 boys basketball games and coached two state championship teams in 31 years at Carver-Birmingham. Graduated from Alabama State in 1962.

Myra Miles: Was athletic director at Hoover from 2008-14 and coached there from 2002-07. During her tenure, the Bucs won more than 20 state championships in 10 sports. Was St. James volleyball coach in 1999 (21-22) and softball in 2000 (34-13).

Alan Mitchell: Worked with the AHSAA for 35 years and was the organization’s first director of publicity and publications. The Huntingdon College graduate is a member of the school’s athletic hall of fame. A Robert E. Lee graduate. Former sports writer with the Advertiser and Alabama Journal.

Steve Rivers: Was 188-95 as football coach at Pelham, Decatur, Athens and Wakefield, N.C. Had three unbeaten regular seasons over 27 years. Father of NFL Pro Bowl quarterback Philip Rivers.

Bobby Wright: Currently 449-160 in 22 seasons as boys basketball coach at Central-Phenix City. Has reached the state semifinals five times. Has been Central’s defensive coordinator for 26 years.

Houston Young: A track and field official since 1968 and currently serves as the state meet director. Won the National Federation’s track official of the year in 2010. Was an Olympic torch bearer in 1996. Taught for one year at Lowndes County Training. Lives in Selma.

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