Luther Tiggs Retires As Basketball Coach At Bob Jones
MADISON- Luther Tiggs has drawn up his last play in a playbook, his last direction of a player on the court and barked his last displeasure at an official for a call he didn’t agree with. All those lasts are part of his 22 years as a head coach and 33 years overall as a coach and teacher as the 58-year old has retired from his positions at Bob Jones High.
“People asked me for years how much longer I will be coaching, and another year became a new year each year that went by,” said Tiggs. “For me, it was time to make a change.”
Tiggs was head coach of the basketball program and physical education teacher at Bob Jones for seven seasons while prior to that position he was in similar positions at James Clemens, Sparkman and Buckhorn. As a head coach he amassed 427 wins and 248 losses. His 2005 team at Sparkman made the AHSAA Final Four, but his best won-loss record team was the 2005-2006 squad as the Senators sported a 32-4 record.
Like any coach, winning was important, but Tiggs leaves the coaching profession knowing he taught more than winning and basketball Xs and Os as he said, “I’m extremely proud to see the accomplishments we had on the court, but I’m even more blessed to have tremendous relationships I’ve made through my decades as a coach.”
The former two-time All-American high school player at Russellville High won a state championship and was named the state Most Valuable Player. He played college basketball at both the University of Cincinnati and the University of North Alabama (UNA) where he became the all-time assist leader at the school in a game, season and career.
His first head coaching position was at Buckhorn High for three seasons. He jumped across Madison County to take a similar position at Sparkman where he remained for 10 seasons without posting a losing record. In 2012, he surprised many by taking the spot as head coach at James Clemens where he was 37-24 over two seasons before embarking on a two-year hiatus from coaching by working in administration within Madison City Schools. Hs time away from the hardcourts ate away at his natural desire to be a coach and he soon took the head coaching position at Bob Jones where he remained until his recent decision to retire.
He and his wife, Sylvia, have been married 31 years and they have two sons, ages 29 and 31. Tiggs said he has no desire to coach any longer. He added, “My body was programmed to the daily routine of being a coach as I was always working at basketball. Now, my mind is free and there’s relief from having to deal with the small details of being a head coach. I’m now living life and having fun. I’ll miss the kids, my peers, and, of course, the competition as I’ve been a part of basketball competing on the court since I was eight years old. I’m now a fan.”
Tiggs has always been highly regarded among his peers, so much so, he’s been on Committee for the annual All-Star Game for Alabama for 25 years and will remain in that capacity. He’ll also continue his role of tournament director for the annual N2Hoops Tournament he helped begin at Bob Jones several years ago.
“I may look for other opportunities and hope to stay close to the game,” said Tiggs. “Sylvia and I will spend more time together and I will now have more opportunities to spend time with my sons. My official retirement date is June 1, but as I venture away from the basketball court and put up my coaches’ whistle, I am thankful to all the coaches who helped me to learn this profession.”