Terry Curtis, head football coach at UMS-Wright Preparatory School in Mobile, has been named the 2019 National Coach of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations Coaches Association.
He is among 23 high school coaches from across the country who have been selected as sports specific 2019 National Coaches of the Year.
The NFHS, which has been recognizing coaches through an awards program since 1982, honors coaches in the top 10 girls sports and top 10 boys sports (by participation numbers), and in two “other” sports – one for boys and one for girls – that are not included in the top 10 listings.
The NFHS also recognizes a spirit coach as a separate award category.
According to a news release, winners of NFHS awards must be active coaches during the year for which they receive their award. This year’s awards recognize coaches for the 2018-19 school year.
Curtis, who spent the first 17 years of his career as an assistant coach, has compiled a 317-85 career head-coaching record in 31 years as a head football coach – with stops at Shaw and Murphy in Mobile, according to the news release announcing the award. His last 21 years have been at UMS-Wright, where his teams have compiled an 85-23 playoff record and a 125-11 region record overall, including 50 region wins in a row from 1998-2006.
His teams have won eight state titles – including the last three Class 4A championships in a row.
The Bulldogs currently own a 33-game winning streak and a 15-game state playoff win streak heading into next season.
The news release states Curtis ranks second behind Vestavia Hills High School’s Buddy Anderson (342-154) in all-time AHSAA football coaching wins. Anderson was inducted into the National High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2018.
Curtis has also been a leader off the court, currently serving as the District 1 representative on the AHSAA Central Board of Control. He is a District 1 officer and member of the AHSAA Legislative Council as well and has held numerous leadership positions, including tenures as president, in the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association and the Alabama Football Coaches Association (AFCA). He has also served a baseball official at the high school and college level.
Curtis, who was inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2004, will be recognized along with the other 22 NFHS Coaches of the Year at the 2020 NFHS Summer Meeting at Denver, Colorado. He is the fourth coach from the AHSAA to receive the National Coach of the Year award. Ann Schilling of Bayside Academy received the 2009-10 Volleyball Coach of the Year; Michael Gunner of Bob Jones High School received the 2016-17 Swimming & Diving Coach of the Year; and Sandra Seals of Winfield was selected the 2017-18 Spirit Coach of the Year by the NFHS Coaches Association.
He is one of three AHSAA coaches that have been named Section 3 Coach of the Year for 2018-19.
Vestavia Hills High School’s Brigid Meadow is the Section 3 Girls’ Soccer Coach of the Year, and Drew Bell of James Clemens High School is the Section 3 Girls’ Outdoor Track & Field Coach of the year.
Other recipients of this year’s national awards for boys’ sports are: Glenn Cecchini, baseball, Lake Charles (Louisiana) Alfred M. Barbe High School; J.R. Holmes, basketball, Bloomington (Indiana) South High School; Karl Koonce, cross country, Pearcy (Arkansas) Lake Hamilton High School; James Orcutt, golf, North Platte (Nebraska) High School; Terry Michler, soccer, St. Louis (Missouri) Christian Brothers College High School; David Hanson, swimming and diving, Warwick (Rhode Island) Bishop Hendricken Catholic High School; David Fredette, tennis, Armada (Michigan) High School; William “Bill” Thorn, track and field, Fairburn (Georgia) Landmark Christian School; and James Matney, wrestling, Paintsville (Kentucky) Johnson Central High School.
The recipients of the 2019 NFHS national awards for girls sports are: Jack Gayle, swimming and diving, Snellville (Georgia) Brookwood High School; Cherry Roberds, tennis, Miami (Arizona) High School; Desmond Dunham, track and field, St. John’s (District of Columbia) College High School; Valorie McKenzie, volleyball, Scottsdale (Arizona) Horizon High School; Sherri Anthony, basketball, Ponte Vedra (Florida) Nease High School; Dave Van Sickle, cross country, Phoenix (Arizona) Xavier College Preparatory; Dick Bliss, golf, Hopkinton (Massachusetts) High School; Carol Rainson-Rose, lacrosse, Northport (New York) High School; Meredith Messer, soccer, Rockport (Maine) Camden Hills Regional High School; and Deborah Schwartz, softball, Toms River (New Jersey) Donovan Catholic High School.
The recipient of the National Coach of the Year Award for spirit is Stephanie Blackwell of Bixby (Oklahoma) High School. Steven DeAngelis, a cross country skiing coach at Readfield (Maine) Maranacook Community High School, was chosen in the “other” category for boys sports, and Lois Emshoff, a badminton coach at Chandler (Arizona) High School, was chosen in the “other” category for girls’ sports.
A total of 857 coaches will be recognized this year with state, sectional and national awards.