Rick Rhoades Named to Hall of Fame

Rick Rhoades Named to Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame’s Class of 2024
Posted on 11/17/2023
Rick Rhoades, former Pelham High School football coach and past president of the Pelham City Schools board of education was selected, along with eleven other major contributors to prep athletics in Alabama, for induction into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame's Class of 2024.

The honorees were announced by AHSAA Executive Director Alvin Briggs and Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA) Director Brandon Dean on November 17. A selection committee comprised of coaches, administrators and media representatives made the selections from a very impressive list of 59 nominations.

Coach Rhoades holds the distinction of being the only coach in AHSAA history to serve as head coach for an AHSAA state high school championship team and a college championship team.

A 1965 graduate of Broomfield High School in Colorado, he earned a degree from Central Missouri State College (1970) and later earned a masters’ of science in secondary administration. He began his coaching career at Floyd Junior High School in Montgomery, and in 1972 has an inauspicious beginning as a head coach he was 1-8-1 at Handley High School in Roanoke. He returned to Montgomery, however, after that one season and worked on the staff of Hall-of-Fame coach Billy Livings at Jefferson Davis for three seasons. Ready to try head coaching again, he replaced another HOF coach Robert Higginbotham at Mountain Brook in 1976 and led the Spartans to their second straight Class 4A state championship finishing 14-0 with a 52-28 victory over Murphy at Legion Field in the finals. He moved to Mobile the next season leading Davidson to a 7-3 mark, then spent two years at Troy University, then returned to the high school ranks as head coach at Andalusia going 6-4. He left high school coaching again – landing back at Troy University serving as defensive coordinator for head coach Chan Gailey. One year later, the Trojans won the Division II National Championship. The next year, Gailey moved on and Rhoades was promoted to head coach. In 1987 he coached Troy to the National Division II college championship.

His career led him into pro football and back to high school in his later years. He was head coach at Pelham for five seasons from 1996-2000 compiling a 41-19 record and  reaching the state playoffs each year. In his retirement years he has stayed close to

high school sports – serving as a lead analyst and color commentator for the AHSAA TV Network Game of the Week and Super 7 championships for several seasons. He has also remained active in the community helping Pelham move from a county to city school system. He was the inaugural school board president where he served for 10 years. He was also nominated for the AASB All-State Board of Education.

Source: Ron Ingram / Assistant Director (Communications), Alabama High School Athletic Association