AHSAA Mourns Death Of Herman L. Bubba Scott
March 12, 2012Alabama Radio
AHSAA Mourns Death Of Herman L. ‘Bubba’ Scott
Herman L. "Bubba" Scott, the second full-time executive director in Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) history, passed away Sunday at Baptist East Hospital in Montgomery after a brief illness.
Scott, 84, was married to the late Dot Scott, for 58 years. He is survived by sons Michael L. (Angela) Scott of Birmingham and Al (Billie) Scott of Montgomery; grandchildren Susan Scott (Alexander) Carothers; Laura (Phillip) Scott Young; Lee (Grant) Scott Jackson; and Allison Scott; great-grandchild Alexander Scott Carothers.
Funeral arrangements were not complete Sunday night.
Scott served the AHSAA with distinction as its executive director from 1966-1991. He led the state’s high schools through some historic times, including the integration of athletic events; organization and development of officials associations and administrative associations; the organization and development of the first state football championship playoff system; and the advent of girls athletics. He also helped organize and develop the Bryant-Jordan Student-Athlete Scholarship Program that now awards more than $800,000 annually to senior student-athletes at AHSAA member schools.
“Bubba Scott has been truly a great Alabamian and his contributions to this state have been far reaching,” Steve Savarese, current AHSAA Executive Director, said Sunday. “He is an icon in this state. His leadership and example have been a cornerstone of the AHSAA and all that it stands for. We will all miss him very much and offer our prayers to his wonderful family.”
It was through Scott’s firm, consistent and fair leadership that Alabama became a model for other states with its successful merger of the state’s black athletic association (Alabama Interscholastic Athletic Association) and the state’s white association (AHSAA) in 1968. That merger helped provide a smooth and peaceful transition for the integration of the state’s high schools.
Scott introduced the AHSAA’s first football state playoff system in 1966 with four teams in Class 4A. It has now grown to 192 teams – 32 in each of six classifications – with the championships played on a rotating basis at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa and Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn.
Under Scott’s watch, full-scale girls athletics was added in the 1970s with the first AHSAA girls state basketball tournament held in 1978. Girls now compete in basketball, volleyball, softball, soccer, tennis, golf, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, cross country, swimming and diving and cheerleading.
His leadership and guidance was considered a large part the foundation for what the AHSAA has become today.
Scott served as president of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). He also served on the NFHS National Football Rules Committee for many years and oversaw many of the rules changes initiated while serving as vice-chairman from 1976-85 and as chairman from 1986 until his retirement. He also served as the NFHS representative on the U.S. Olympic Committee and NCAA Ad Hoc Committee on Football Rules.
Scott was inducted into the National High School Sports Hall of Fame in 1990 and into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1996. He was inducted into the AHSAA Sports Hall of Fame in its inaugural Class of 1991.
Born April 24, 1927, in Autauga County, Scott attended Autauga County High School (Prattville), served in the Navy after high school and then attended and graduated from Troy State College where he lettered in football.
He began his coaching career at Haleyville High School where he served for 14 years, the last 10 as head coach. He compiled a 76-21-3 head-coaching record with three state championships and led Haleyville to 35 consecutive wins from 1958-61. Six of his teams were either undefeated or 9-1, including a stretch from 1958-62 where the Lions were 47-2-1.
Scott was named Troy State’s Alumnus of the Year in 1975. His former Haleyville football players donated a cottage to the Big Oak Boys Ranch in honor of the Scotts in 2002. The field at Haleyville High School was also named in Mr. Scott’s honor.
"Bubba Scott changed my life," said Buddy Lockhart during the 2002 ribbon-cutting ceremonies at the Big Oak Ranch. Lockhart was one of Scott’s former Haleyville players and a Birmingham businessman who helped ramrod the Big Oak Ranch project.
"He gave us a desire to become somebody special. Haleyville was basically a textile town when he arrived. He gave us pride and molded us into a winning football team. More importantly, he molded us into successful men. He taught us how to work through the tough times.
“We wanted to do something in his honor that would be a lasting example of what he has meant to us."
Scott served on the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors and on the Board of The Alabama Baptist. He was a member of First Baptist Church of Montgomery, the Kiwanis Club and numerous other organizations where his civic, religious and educational contributions have been significant.