Grant honored to be member of Wiregrass Hall of Fame

Published 9:47 pm Thursday, July 26, 2012

When Wayne Grant started his coaching career 37 years ago, he wasn’t even aware high school coaches could get into a Hall of Fame.

After a decade-long stretch of success at Pike County High School, Grant began to hear mumblings of joining the other elite coaches.

On July 14, Grant was inducted with 10 other member into the Wiregrass Hall of Fame.

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“It never crossed my mind,” Grant said. “It’s an honor to go into the Wiregrass Hall of Fame because that’s were I’ve done the majority of my coaching.”

Grant’s run at Pike County began in 1982 but the team finished that season just 3-7. In 1988, however, Grant led the Bulldogs to the Class 4A AHSAA state title with a final record of 13-2. The team repeated in 1989 again finishing 13-2.

Grant left Pike County in 1992 to take over at Talladega High School. He would coach there for six seasons before returning to Pike County in 1999.

Grant would remain with the Bulldogs until 2007 winning three more state championships, This time at the 3A level, before retiring from the public school system.

Grant would serve as on-again, off-again offensive coordinator at Pike Liberal Arts where he was named Athletic Director and head coach of the school’s football team in June.

“There were a lot of my peers on (Wiregrass Hall of Fame) committee,” Grant said. “It was an honor for them to pick me as being one of the inductees.”

Grant said long-time WTBF radio personality Ralph Black informed his of his selection.

“He called and told me that I had been selected and I said ‘No way’,” Grant recalled.

Black responded with “You deserve it.”

Deserve it he did.

Over his 27 season of being a head coach, Grant has compiled a career record of 217-101 including a 45-14 mark in the playoffs.

Other inductees were: Ronnie Joe Barnes, Charles Clark, Micky Crawford, George Little, Jimbo Payne, Phillip Parker, Joe Pate, Merrill Shirley, and Tommy Whitehurst.