The following is an excerpt from: Math Teacher William Booth’s Baseball Coaching Career Adds Up to Hall of Fame, By Bill Plott, AHSAA Historian. To read the complete article, click here.
Coaching baseball was not William Booth’s first calling. A glance at his resume shows first choices as math teacher, assistant principal, advanced placement coordinator, transportation coordinator, and he also coaches baseball.
It can be said that he excelled in all of them. His baseball coaching has added up to an Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame selection for Booth, the state’s all-time prep baseball wins leader. The Class of 2018 will be inducted March 19 at the banquet to be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center.
“At the age of 42, he was called on to help out Hartselle High School’s baseball team. Without any previous experience in (high school) coaching, he walked on to the field and immediately started winning,” recalled his friend Don Logan, owner of the Birmingham Barons and B.A.S.S.
Despite his late start, Booth’s 30-year career as baseball coach at Hartselle has resulted in the following accomplishments for his storied program.
- A won-lost record of 1,025-431 through 2017, making him the all-time winningest coach among Alabama high school baseball coaches.
- Eight state championships (1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1999. 2000, 2009, 2013) and three runners-up (1993, 1998, 2010).
- Seven AHSAA final-four finishes, two final eight and six final 16.
- 20 Area championships and nine runner-up finishes.
- The 2009 team finished with a record of 50-9. Five other teams won 40 or more games while 15 won more than 30 games. There has only been one losing record (20-27) during his career.
- 101 players have received college baseball scholarships, including eight who went into professional baseball. Two of them, Steve Woodard and Chad Girodo, made it to the major leagues. Others have gone on to coaching careers.
He was also a Little League baseball coach for 10 years, winning two state championships and finishing second once. Booth was inducted into the Alabama Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2004.
A native of Hartselle, Booth graduated from Morgan County High School in 1962. He attended Athens College and Alabama A&M, earning degrees in math and administration.
Don Logan pointed out that Booth’s accomplishments have not been limited to the baseball field. “He has also excelled in the important role of developing boys into men, and he has helped many earn college scholarships and quite a few more to sign contracts to play professional baseball,” Logan said. “Outside of baseball, he set what might be another record, teaching thousands of students subjects such as calculus and higher mathematics for 50 years. He recently retired from the classroom, but at age 73 he hasn’t quit working with young people, on and off the field.”
Dr. Dee Dee Jones, superintendent of Hartselle City Schools, calls Coach Booth “the finest example of how to coach students on all levels – mentally, academically, athletically and personally. “He continually goes beyond expectations to equip the students of Hartselle in whatever capacity he serves,” she stated in her nomination letter for his Hall of Fame selection. “During his 52 years in education – yes, I said 52 years – he has served as an advanced math teacher (49 years), Federal Programs Coordinator, Assistant Principal, Transportation Coordinator, Director of School Operations, and now as Assistant Superintendent. Over the past 30 years he has also served as the high school baseball coach. Mr. Booth has the distinct honor of being the winningest coach in Alabama.”
Coach William Booth is one of 11 inductees to the Alabama High School Hall of Fame, Class of 2018. For a complete list of other 2018 inductees, please click here.
Encore Rehabilitation is proud to provide Sports Medicine Coverage for the Hartselle High School Tigers and the Alabama High School Athletic Association.
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