Grant selected for Hall of Fame

Published 3:00 am Thursday, November 17, 2016

Former Pike County head football coach Wayne Grant has been selected for induction into the 27th class of the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame.

Grant will be one of 12 to be enshrined at the banquet at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel and Spa on March 20.

Grant was one of just seven high school coaches in the AHSAA to coach at least five state championship teams, a feat he accomplished during two different tenures at Pike County High School. During his first tenure as a Bulldog from 1980-1991, Grant led the Bulldogs to a 97-33 record and helped them win their first two state titles in 1988 and 1989.

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After coaching at Talladega High School from 1992-1997, he returned to coach the Bulldogs after the team had fallen into some tough times.

When Grant took over, the program had gone 6-24 over the previous three seasons. He led Pike County back to prominence quickly with a winning season in 1999 and a state championship in 2003.  The 2013 team had just 18 players and they rolled to a 14-1 record. The Bulldogs were 15-0 and 3A state champs in 2005 and then again in 2006.

Grant finished his second tenure at Pike County with a record of 100-19 to close out his coaching career with a 231-94 record.

Grant’s Pike County teams garnered 22 region championships, made the playoffs 18 times in 21 years, reached the quarterfinals 13 times and were 5-0 in Super 6 championship appearances. Grant’s overall playoff record was 44-14. He coached in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game twice and the North-South Game once with all three of his teams winning.

During his tenure, Grant coached two Mr. Football winners in Chris Nixon and Steven Coleman and two players that went on to have success in the NFL in Fred Baxter and Cornelius Griffin.

Grant is a graduate of Zion Chapel High School and he also earned his college degree and Masters at Troy University.

Along with Grant, selected for induction are football coaches Peter Braasch, Danny Horn, Russell Jaoway, and Dwight Sanderson; basketball coaches Wayne Bowling, Richard Carter, Bob Harpe; volleyball and softball coach Rebecca Lee; softball coach Tony Scarbrough; tennis coach David Bethea; and coach/administrator Lorenzo Jackson, who was selected in the “old-timer” division. Jackson is deceased.

Veteran sportscaster Jeff Shearer will emcee the banquet. The first class was inducted in 1991 and the 12 new inductees will run the total enshrined into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame to 332.