E.A. Sports Today

Ware enters Hall

Former Anniston basketball coach among 11 to be inducted into 2019 class of Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame

By East Alabama Sports Today

MONTGOMERY – Schuessler Ware fashioned an impressive record in his nearly 20 years as Anniston High School’s head basketball coach and early next year state officials will recognize him for it.

Ware is one of 11 major contributors to prep athletics in Alabama who have been selected for induction into the 29th class of the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame next March.

The 2019 class, chosen from a field of 48 nominations, will be inducted at the 27th annual banquet at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel and Spa, March 18.

Ware is joined in the 2019 class by football coaches Phil Lazenby, David Lowery, Willie Carl Martin, Billy Odom and Ronnie Sikes; basketball coach Carolyn Wright; track coach Claborn Campbell; baseball coach Mark Mincher; basketball official Johnny Robertson; and longtime coach and administrator Reynolds “R.C.” Cook, chosen in the old-timers division. Mr. Cook is deceased.

The first class was inducted in 1991. These 11 new inductees will run the total enshrined into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame to 353.

“I am over the moon,” Ware said. “An honor like this doesn’t come every day. Surely God put this honor in my path. When you give all you have to a sport and all you have to the players good things sometimes happen.”

Ware, 60, began teaching and coaching at Anniston, his high school alma mater, in 1979 and spent his entire career with the Anniston City Schools. He became head basketball coach in 1997 and for the next 20 years his teams compiled a 422-166 record with two state championships – the Class 5A title in 2002 and the 4A championship in 2009. Anniston made five State Final Four appearances, five Northeast Regional titles and seven Calhoun County championships during his tenure.

He was chosen Calhoun County Coach of the Year nine times, AHSAA Class 5A (2002) and Class 4A (2009) Coach of the Year, and saw 13 of his teams win 20 or more games. Only one team had a losing record but still won the area title, and two years later the program rebounded to go 27-6 and reach the Northeast Regional tourney. His final game was a 45-43 loss to J.O. Johnson in the 2016 Northeast Regional final.

“I’ve worked with good coaches,” Ware said. “I’ve also been blessed with many great athletes. With two those combinations I landed in the Hall of Fame. What an awesome place to be. It’s a very special honor.”

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