E.A. Sports Today

Giddens approved at Randolph County

Longtime coach, administrator in Clay County going back to his basketball roots; updates with comments from school superintendent

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

WEDOWEE — Steve Giddens is going back to where he first coached varsity basketball, heading to Randolph County High School after being approved as the Tigers new boys coach Tuesday.

To move into the position he is retiring as the principal at Central High School of Clay County Sept. 1. He starts at Randolph County Oct. 1.

“I’ve been out of (varsity) coaching three years now and I think it re-energized my batteries,” Giddens said. “I’m excited about it. It seems like a good fit.”

His first head coaching job was at Randolph County in the early 90s. His Tigers teams won at least 26 games in back-to-back years and his 1992-93 team made the Final Four, falling by a point in the state finals.

From there he went to Lineville, where he coached football and basketball, and was the first head football coach of the consolidated Central-Clay County High team in 2012 before moving into the principal’s office. He coached with the Volunteers’ junior high basketball team last year.

“I always considered myself a coach, even as I did administration,” Giddens said. “As time when on you felt you’re not getting another chance (to coach). When this came up, well, there’s another chance.”

He said he would not schedule the Volunteers while he coaches the Tigers.

“I’m going to miss the people at Clay County and the children, working with them; they’re the best people on earth,” he said.

Randolph County schools superintendent Rance Kirby and Giddens go way back.

Giddens was Kirby’s varsity B team basketball coach when he was a student at Randolph County. Giddens also helped with the baseball team and Kirby recalled the time in 1988 he helped him hit the only home run of his career.

It was in a game against Lafayette that helped the Tigers win the first area championship in their school’s history, a victory at the time then-head coach Danny Horn called the biggest of his career.

“(Giddens) was our first base coach,” Kirby recalled. “He called a time out and told me their guy threw a fastball every first pitch so be ready for it and tee off on it when it comes. I teed off on it and it was the only home run I ever hit, so he helped with that.

“We’re proud to have him in Randolph County. He comes with a wealth of experience academically and athletically.”

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