Taylor to be inducted into Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame

Published 1:00 pm Wednesday, November 9, 2022

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Andalusia High School head football coach Trent Taylor will be one of 13 selected for induction into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame in the Class of 2023.

Andalusia High School Trent Taylor will be one of 13 inductees into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame in March 2023. (STAR-NEWS FILE PHOTO)

These 13 individuals have been major contributors to prep athletics in Alabama. The class of 2023 was selected Thursday, Nov. 3, at a meeting of the selection committee assembled by the Alabama High School Athletic Directors and Coaches Association from more than 75 nominations submitted by member schools and other organizations.

“This is a tremendous honor. When you look at the names of the people that have been inducted just from our district, obviously Coach (Richard) Robertson is the first name that comes to mind, and Don Sharpe is another. Both men are from right here in Andalusia and two I grew up with. It’s an individual award, and I’m very honored to win it, but football is the ultimate team sport. Being a football coach is the ultimate team-coaching concept. Most of the time, a head coach is only as good as the guys he has on his staff. I’ve been so fortunate in my 35 years of coaching and have had some tremendous men that have coached along with me. These men love kids and wanted to be an important part of their lives,” Taylor said.

He added that he is happy to accept the award for any player who has ever played for him or coached with him as well as his family. “So many coaches say you sacrifice so much, and you really do because you spend time with other people’s children. While I’m honored, this award is also attributed to the communities I have been part of. I have so many friends in this county and so many people who have certainly helped to mold and develop me.”

An Andalusia graduate in 1978, Taylor earned his college degree from the University of Mobile.

He began teaching and coaching at Baldwin County High School in 1987, moved to Kinston High School in 1988 as head football coach, and moved back to Covington County in 1990 to become head football coach at Straughn High School, where he remained for the next 25 years. In 2015, he moved back to his alma mater Andalusia High School to head up the Bulldogs’ football program and has remained there ever since.

“I would like to thank Clayton Bryant (superintendent of Coffee County Schools at the time) for giving me my first opportunity to be a head coach. It allowed me to return close to home at Kinston in 1988 before I went over to Straughn for a while and then ultimately back here to my alma mater,” he said.

Taylor has led this year’s Andalusia team to a 10-1 record entering Friday’s second-round playoff game at American Christian.

In 35 seasons, he has compiled a 263-146 career record. In his two years at Kinston, he led the 1A team to two of the school’s first three playoff appearances. At Straughn and Andalusia, he has the distinction of being the school’s career wins leader. 20 of his 25 teams at Straughn reached the state playoffs with his 2012 and 2013 teams reaching the Class 3A state semifinals. His overall record at Straughn was 175-107.

In eight seasons at Andalusia, seven teams won nine or more victories and five of his squads reached the Class 4A or 5A state semifinals. His current overall record through the 2022 regular season is 79-25, which moved him ahead of Hall of Fame Coach Don Sharpe, who posted 76 wins in his tenure at Andalusia. He posted his 200th career coaching win at Andalusia in his second season with the Bulldogs.

Taylor’s players describe him as a major positive influence and teacher by example. Fellow teachers say his impact goes far beyond the football arena. He has also served on the AHSAA Central Board of Control and the AHSAA District 2 Legislative Council.

“Even though I am 63, I am still growing as a coach, and that’s what makes it exciting. I learn something every day, week, and year. I’m very humbled, and the most important thing is that this community deserves it,” Taylor said.

All 13 inductees will be inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame at a banquet held at the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel and Spa Convention Center in March 2023.