MONTGOMERY – Thirteen major contributors to prep athletics in Alabama have been selected for induction into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame in the Class of 2023 including legendary LaFayette Bulldog Basketball Coach John Woody. The induction will take place at a banquet held at the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel and Spa Convention Center next March.
The Class of 2023 was selected last Thursday at a meeting of the selection committee assembled by the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association from more than 75 nominations submitted by member schools and other organizations.
The Class of 2023includese administratorscoachese,s and two selections from the “old timer” category.
Joining Woody are football coaches Paul Benefield, Steve Giddens, David Powell, Mike Robertson, and Trent Taylor; basketball coaches Homer Davis, Ronald Jackson; Tim Miller; and Jack Steele
The longtime boys’ basketball coach at LaFayette High School, now 72, was born and raised in Chambers County. He graduated from Lanier High School of Lanett in 1969 and Jacksonville State University in 1977. He also earned a master's at Auburn.
Following an outstanding high school and collegiate career, he began teaching at Lafayette High School in 1975 – where he remained until his retirement in 2011. He served as head softball coach from 1975-1985 and was an assistant girls’ basketball coach, boys’ JV basketball coach, and varsity assistant coach during that same time spaperiodn.
In 1987, he became head boys’ basketball coach – beginning a legendary run that included 14 area titles, five Elite 8 or regional appearances, three trips to the Final Four state tourney, and two state titles (1989 and 2002) – and one as an assistant (1986).
After his retirement, the court at LaFayette High School was named John T. Woody Court in his honor.
The quiet and calm coach was a strong disciplinarian who consistently earned a reputation for putting life lessons ahead of winning at all costs and compiled a 435-234 record in his basketball head-coaching career. He directed the LaFayette girls to their first region title, and he guided the LaFayette JV team to a 147-25 record over nine seasons with three undefeated teams and a 53-game JV winning streak. He was twice named the Class 3A State Coach of the Year and the overall State Coach of the Year in 2002.
He has continued to be active in the recreation program at LaFayette and has also served his church as Junior Sunday School Superintendent.
Congratulations Coach John T. Woody.