Taylor is inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame
Published Wednesday, November 9, 2022 at 1:00 p.m
Trent Taylor, Andalusia High School’s head football coach, will be one of 13 selected for induction into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame in the Class of 2023.
These 13 individuals have been instrumental in preparing for athletics in Alabama. The class of 2023 was selected from more than 75 nominations submitted by member schools and other organizations at a meeting of the Alabama High School Athletic Directors and Coaches Association selection committee on Thursday, November 3.
“It’s a tremendous honor. Obviously, if you look at the names of people just inducted from our district, Coach (Richard) Robertson comes to mind first, and Don Sharpe is another. Both men are from here in Andalusia and I grew up with two. It’s an individual award and I’m very honored to win it, but football is the ultimate team sport. Being a soccer coach is the ultimate team coaching concept. Most of the time, a head coach is only as good as the guys he has on his staff. I’ve been so fortunate in my 35 years as a coach and have had some great men training alongside me. These men love children and wanted to be an important part of their lives,” Taylor said.
He added that he is happy to accept the award for every player who has ever played for him or trained with him, as well as his family. “So many coaches say you sacrifice so much and you really do because you’re spending time with other people’s kids. While I am honored, this award is also credited to the communities I have been a part of. I have so many friends in this county and so many people who have certainly helped shape and develop me.”
Taylor, who graduated from Andalusia in 1978, received his college degree from the University of Mobile.
He began teaching and coaching at Baldwin County High School in 1987, transferred to Kinston High School as head football coach in 1988, and returned to Covington County in 1990 to become head football coach at Straughn High School, where he spent the next 25 years remained years. In 2015, he returned to his alma mater Andalusia High School to oversee the Bulldogs’ football program and has remained there ever since.
“I want to thank Clayton Bryant (then Superintendent of Coffee County Schools) for giving me my first opportunity to be a head coach. It allowed me to return close to my home in Kinston in 1988 before going to Straughn for a while and then eventually back to my alma mater,” he said.
Taylor has led this year’s Andalusia team to a record 10-1 going into Friday’s second-round playoff game at American Christian.
In 35 seasons, he has a career record of 263-146. In his two years at Kinston, he led the 1A team to two of the school’s first three playoff appearances. At Straughn and Andalusia he has the distinction of being the school’s Career Winners Guide. 20 of his 25 teams at Straughn made the state playoffs, while his teams made the Class 3A state semifinals in 2012 and 2013. His overall record at Straughn was 175-107.
In eight seasons in Andalusia, seven teams recorded nine or more wins and five of his teams reached the Class 4A or Class 5A semi-finals. His current overall record in the 2022 regular season is 79-25, putting him ahead of Hall of Fame coach Don Sharpe, who had 76 wins during his tenure at Andalucia. In his second season with the Bulldogs, he scored his 200th coaching win of his career with Andalusia.
Taylor’s players describe him as a huge positive influence and role model. Colleagues say his influence extends far beyond the football arena. He has also served on the AHSAA Central Board of Control and the AHSAA District 2 Legislative Council.
“Even though I’m 63, I’m still growing as a coach and that makes it exciting. I learn something new every day, every week and every year. I’m very honored and the most important thing is that this community deserves it,” said Taylor.
All 13 candidates will be inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame at a banquet at the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel and Spa Convention Center in March 2023.