Sparkman’s Laron White Retires- To Leave Education After More Than 20 Years
HARVEST- Laron White has announced his retirement as coach and teacher at Sparkman High after six years at the school and more than 20 years in education.
Sparkman principal Chris Shaw said White will be missed on the sidelines and added, “He created a culture and community we are very proud of. His high expectations, intense preparation and desire to see each student-athlete in his program succeed are just a few reasons he will retire as one of the most decorated coaches in Alabama.”
A native of Courtland and a 1992 graduate of Courtland High, White received a football scholarship to play football for the Alabama Crimson Tide where he played for legendary coach Gene Stallings from 1993-1996. He graduated for the university in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree and later earned his master’s degree from the University of West Alabama.
He first took a job at Decatur High before landing the head coaching job at Tanner High where he coached for 14 seasons posting an overall record of 148-30. Among those wins included state championship victories in both 2012 and 2013. He took the job at Sparkman in 2018 and earned a 34-30 record in his stay with the Senators. His best season was in 2019 where the Senators were 8-3. His last season his squad was 5-5.
His younger brother, Kelvis, is the head coach at Sparkman’s archrival Bob Jones.
“It was time to get away from the game as I’ve been thinking of this move for about a year,” said White, who will turn 49 on Valentine’s Day. “I’ve been a head coach a long, long time as there’s not many head coaches who have been at it as long as I have. I’m proud of that fact.”
White said his most memorable event during his tenure as head coach at Sparkman came in the sixth game of the 2019 season. The Senators battled against Austin High, which was regarded as one of the top teams in Alabama. White said, “We beat Austin 24-21 winning the game at the end as Austin was a great team.” Sparkman won its first seven games on the schedule in 2019 and earned a season-high No. 6 state ranking.
White and his wife, Kathy, who works for the Decatur City Schools System, have three sons. The oldest, KaRon, plays football for Appalachian State while 12-year old twins, Kaden and Karsen, attend Monrovia Middle School and will play football next season. White wants to see them play. “My schedule would not allow me to see them, so I’ve decided now is the right time for me to see my family,” added White.
Assistant coach Ronnie Watson has been named interim coach as Shaw indicated a search for a new coach is aggressively underway. White said he has not recommended someone for his replacement and will not be involved in spring practice. He will remain in his teaching position until the end of the current school year and will assist in any type of transition to the New coach.
“This is a good job here at Sparkman as the talent is there,” added White.
He will pursue a job in the private sector and wants to work in area away from football.
“It’s time to hang up my coach’s whistle,” said White.