Former Trojans Eddie Brundidge and Rick Rhoades to be inducted into AHSAA Hall of Fame

Published 1:33 pm Friday, November 17, 2023

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Former Trojans Eddie Brundidge and Rick Rhoades to be inducted into AHSAA Hall of Fame

By Josh Boutwell

On Friday, the Alabama High School Athletic Association announced the 2024 Induction Class of the AHSAA Sports Hall of Fame and a pair of former Trojans, Eddie Brundidge and Rick Rhoades, were among the list of 12 to be inducted.

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Joining Rhodes and Brundidge in the Class of 2024 are Frank Kendall, Kimberly Vickers, Clarence Torrence, Thomas Boyd, Chris Goodman, Phillip Lolley, Chucky Miller, Ron Nelson, Perry Swindall and Richard Wright.

Brundidge, a native of Dozier, was a part of a formidable backfield at Troy in the 1980s alongside Troy Hall of Famers Ted Horstead and Mike Turk. Brundidge was the first Trojan to ever surpass 200 yards rushing and did it twice. Brundidge’s 244 yards against Valdosta State in 1984 stood as Troy’s single-game rushing record for nearly 40 years until Kimani Vidal broke it this season.

Following his college career, Brundidge began his coaching career. From 1989 through 1994, Brundidge served as an assistant football coach and head softball coach at Jackson High School before heading over to TR Miller, where he served as an assistant coach for a number of years. He also led TR Miller’s track program to an eye-popping seven state championships and six runner-up finishes.

In 1997, Brundidge returned to Jackson where he served as an assistant principal and head football coach until 2004. In 2004, Brundidge returned to TR Miller as an assistant coach and winning more state titles in the track program.

In 2021, Brundidge took over the head football coaching duties at Houston Academy, where he currently sits. His Houston Academy teams have gone 20-2 in the past two seasons.

Rhodes, who played college football at Central Missouri State, started his coaching career as the head coach at Handley High School in Roanoke. He then served as an assistant coach at Jeff Davis from 1973 until 1975 before taking over as head coach at Mountain Brook in 1976, where he won a State Championship. He served as head coach at Davidson in 1977 and then became the offensive line coach at Troy University from 1978 until 1979.

He returned to the high school game as the head coach at Andalusia for a year before taking over as offensive coordinator at North Alabama from 1981 through 1982.

Rhodes made his return to Troy in 1983 as a defensive coordinator for Chan Gailey, helping the Trojans win the 1984 Division II National Championship. He took over as head coach in 1985. Rhodes’ tenure as head coach at Troy led to two Gulf South Conference Championships and the 1987 Division II National Championship.

Rhodes left Troy in 1988 to take over as the head coach at Illinois State, who was in Division I-AA (FCS) at the time. After one year there he moved on as offensive line coach at Alabama in 1989 and Kentucky in 1990. He served as offensive coordinator and running backs coach at Kentucky from 1991 through 1992.

Rhodes took over as head coach at Nicholls in 1993 and served as a linebackers coach at Stephen F. Austin in 1995 before returning to high school football in Alabama. He served as head coach at Pelham from 1996 through 2000 and then jumped to the professional game as offensive line coach for the Birmingham Thunderbolts of the upstart XFL in 2001.

He returned to the college game as head coach of Delta State from 2002 through 2006 and then served as head coach for the Graz Giants, a professional football team in Austria, from 2007 through 2011. He continued to coach overseas before spending two years as a defensive coordinator at the Kate Duncan Smith DAR School in Grant. He then served as an assistant coach for a professional team in Poland and currently is the defensive coordinator for the Salzburg Ducks in Austria along with providing play-by-play for the AHSAA TV Network.

Rhodes is the only coach in the history of AHSAA to win a state championship in high school and national championship at the college level. He also holds a professional championship as two of his European teams won championships. Rhodes is also a Troy University Sports Hall of Famer.

Additionally, Torrence – who won two state championships at Escambia County Training – earned a master’s degree from Troy University. His son, Jeff Torrence, played football at Alabama and currently serves as principal at Pike County High School.