Baker named to hall

Published 12:57 am Monday, January 21, 2008

By By Adam Robinson – sports editor
Brewton and T.R. Miller's Alan Baker has been selected to the 18th class of the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame.
Baker is one of nine major contributors to prep athletics in Alabama selected to the 2008 class, the Alabama High School Athletic Association announced.
The 2008 class, which will be inducted at a March 17 banquet at the Renaissance Hotel at the Convention Center in Montgomery, includes coaches, administrators and contributors.
Baker is now serving in the state House of Representatives.   
The 17-member Hall of Fame Committee made the selections from the 53 nominations to the Hall of Fame, which is located at the state office of the Alabama High School Athletic Association in Montgomery.
Baker, who retired from the Brewton City School system in 2005, was T.R. Miller's track coach from 1984-2005 and developed the Tigers' program into one of the best in the state.  
The Brewton school won the AHSAA outdoor track championship under Baker's tutelage in 1991, 1992, 2003 and 2004 and was runner-up in 1993, 1994 and 1996. His track team also won the indoor state crown in 1992 and was runner-up in 1991. His boys also won 13 section titles, including seven in a row from 1994-2000.  His girls won section titles twice (2003 and 2004).
Baker also served as assistant football coach from 1984-2004 and was defensive coordinator from 1989-2004.  During that span, T.R. Miller won five state championships and finished second five times. The 1991 and 1994 teams were undefeated. Miller was the winningest team in the state from 1991-2000 (117 wins) and had a 27-game winning streak. He is a graduate of T.R. Miller and Auburn University.
Also selected to the 2008 class were Michael Cheatham, Don Cox, Greg Echols, James Findley, Rickey Johnson, Bob Pannone, Tammy Richardson and Dale Welsh. Cheatham and Findley are deceased.
Cheatham, also a Brewton native, coached Conecuh County Training School to four AIAA state basketball championships (1952, 1954, 1956, 1957) and one unofficial girls state crown over Westfield (1958). His boys team was also runner-up in 1955.  The girls title came after the AIAA had discontinued its championship program, but CCTS and Westfield were generally regarded as the two top teams.  His 1951-52 team finished 27-1 and his 1953-54 team was 39-0. He also coached football as an assistant and head coach. He graduated from Southern Normal High School and Alabama State University.