The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Letters to the Editor

July 29, 2012

Letters to the Editor 7/29/12

The News Courier encourages letters to the editor. Submissions should be no more than 400 words and should include a name, address and telephone number for verification. Submissions that do not meet requirements are subject to editing. Send letters by noon on Thursdays to P.O. Box 670, Athens, AL, 35613, or email to

Coach should be in HOF

Dear Editor:

Hall of Famer! The words sound presumptuous. But if we are who we say we are, if we believe in fair play and courage and integrity, then they are fitting words to describe talented individuals. I have followed and participated in sports in Athens for a number of years. I began playing recess baseball at Miller Public School, as a 6-year-old. I earned varsity letters in track, football and tennis in high school. After entering the Army I was the head coach for nine basketball championship teams at Fort McClellan, in Germany, and in France. When I returned to Athens I became a charter member of the Limestone County Sports Hall of Fame Committee.

I believe I know just a small bit about sports and that is why I am puzzled as to why the great coach of the Trinity High School Panthers from 1946 to 1967, Coach H.B. Provience, is not in the Limestone County Sports Hall of Fame.

It is easy to Monday morning quarterback but that is not my intention here. It is my intention to lay out a case as to why coach Provience should be in the Hall of Fame.

During a span of 22 years at Trinity, coach Provience was the head football, basketball, baseball and track coach. Newspaper of that era did not fully cover the games of black schools therefore his full record is difficult to obtain. However in 10 years of research I have been able to develop an accurate picture of his accomplishments. Listed below are enough to ensure his selection to the Hall.


• Coached two undefeated football teams (1951, 1958).

• Won the signature football game in the North Alabama Athletic Association (1952, 32-14 against Alabama A&M High).

• Coached a team whose defense only allowed 6 points to be scored upon it in a full season (1951). 

• Won more than 100 football games.

• Coached in the North Alabama Athletic Association Negro Division All-Star Game.

• Coached Limestone County Hall of Fame charter member “Redbone” Kirby and Hall of Fame member Louis Coger.


• Head coach for Trinity’s first post-season team (1960).

• Coached Limestone County Hall of Fame member Ronnie Fletcher.


• Head coach for six years.

• Coached the North Alabama Athletic Association District 100-yard-dash champion (Louis Coger).


• Head coach for six years.


• Earned a master’s degree with a thesis on improvements needed for the “Alabama High School Athletic Associations.”


• Coached more than 400 high school boys during a difficult time in their lives and taught them how to be men and how to win with honor.

Coach Provience should be in the Hall of Fame.

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