Luther Tiggs Grabs Career Victory No. 400
MADISON- Bob Jones head basketball coach Luther Tiggs has always been proud of his career both as a player and as a coach, but has always looked out for his players and teams, first. So, when the game ended recently in Decatur at Austin High, it was a rare time when most people around the program took note of not just the 55-52 victory, but the milestone reached by the 56-year old leader of young people.
The victorious night was win No. 400 of his 22-year scope as a head coach.
“This milestone has never been about me as I’ve been truly blessed with an elite group of assistant coaches and plentiful players who were committed to set a core values, work ethic and a team above self-type attitude,” said Tiggs, in his usual humble style comments. “I’m grateful beyond words.”
Victory 400 did not come easy to the visiting Patriots in the Class 7A Area 8 opener for both teams. Bob Jones opened an early lead only to see the Black Bears come back in the second half and actually cut the Bob Jones lead to two points, 48-46, with 4:54 remaining in the game. In true Bob Jones style under the direction of Tiggs, the Patriots responded with a 5-0 run that sealed victory number 10 on the season and 400 for their coach. Malachi Steele (G, 5-9, Jr.) finished with 19 points for Bob Jones. Sean Paul (G, 5-11, Jr.) had 12 and Bryson Smith (G, 6-1, Sr.) and Christian Rice (F, 6-3, Sr.) each had 11.
“I told all of my players I couldn’t have done it without their hard work and dedication,” Tiggs added.
An All-Star player in both high school, at Russellville High where his team won the 1982 state championship and was named the Class 3A State Tournament Most Valuable Player, and at both Cincinnati and North Alabama in college, Tiggs was destined to be an outstanding coach and student of the game.
His first head coaching position was at Buckhorn High in the 1994-1995 season and led the Bucks to a 26-6 record. He remained the head coach at the Madison County school for four campaigns before moving over to county rival Sparkman where Tiggs remained for a decade. In 2012, he surprised many by taking over the similar position at James Clemens where he amassed a 37-24 mark over just two seasons before leaving coaching for a more of an administration position within Madison City Schools. The thought of not coaching deeply bothered Tiggs and after just one year rolled back into his role as a head basketball coach at Bob Jones. He’s currently in his sixth season as head Patriot where his team is 10-11.
“A lot of credit goes to one of my mentors, Ronnie Stapler,” said Tiggs of Stapler, the head coach at West Minster. “He has been my wing man since I started as a young coach making all my mistakes. I am grateful beyond words for the opportunity to have worked in great school systems with tremendous support from the administration and the community. Right now, I want to enjoy the ride…who’s counting?”