Published 12:05 am Friday, July 31, 2015

Coach Richard Robertson is retiring as head basketball coach. | File photo

Coach Richard Robertson (far left) is retiring as head basketball coach at Andalusia High School. | File photo

Coach Rob retires after half century teaching, coaching

Richard Robertson, who has taught and coached in the Andalusia City School system for 50 years, is retiring.

The Andalusia Board of Education accepted his retirement resignation Thursday afternoon.

Robertson served as athletic director and head basketball coach, and is a former football, track and baseball coach.

“I’ve got to have more time at home and with my family,” he said. “They’ve been real supportive of me. I love coaching, but I don’t want to stay too long.”

Robertson, whose contract expired today, said he met with AHS principal Dr. Daniel Shakespeare earlier this week. A press conference to discuss Robertson’s departure and the search for a successor is expected to be called on Monday.

Robertson, who graduated from Ralph Bunche High School in 1961, returned to Andalusia after graduating from Alabama State in August of 1965. He’s worked in the school system ever since, but said he probably would have left a long time ago if former Superintendent Oscar Zeanah hadn’t told him to get certified in driver’s ed, which he’s taught since 1970.

“Mr. Zeanah didn’t ask you to do things, he told you,” Robertson said. “He told me he was going to send me to driver’s ed school because he was tired of hiring driver’s ed teachers and he knew I’d be here a long time.”

Robertson, who has a reputation as a tough coach, says otherwise.

“Everybody thinks I’m real tough, but I’m real tenderhearted,” he said. “I’ve got a sign up a the school, and over at the Coleman Center. It says ‘Just do right.’ If you do that, you won’t have no problems.”

Dr. Shakespeare, who as a teen worked with Robertson at the Coleman Center and was a member of a Robertson-coached track team, said the soon-to-be retired coach has been an inspiration for many.

“When I was the principal at Aliceville High School, he called me at least once a month to encourage me,” he said. “I’ve never forgotten it. When I see him in the hallway it school, it just picks me up.”

Robertson’s basketball team won the 5A state championship in 1996, and he was an assistant coach for Andalusia’s football championship teams in the 1970s.

He amassed more than 700 wins on the basketball court.

In other personnel business, the board:

• Transferred Sara Catherine Patrick from career tech to 9th grade English teacher.

• Transferred Daniel Bulger from AHS social science teacher to driver’s ed teacher.

• Transferred Erin Chavers from AES 6th grade reading teacher to AJHS 8th grade English.

• Hired David Kirkland as AHS social science teacher.

• Hired Vanessa Snider as AES 6th grade language arts teacher.