7 life lessons from hall of fame Alabama high school coach Buddy Anderson

By Kailey Harmon | Posted 6/18/2018

Buddy Anderson (second from right) poses with former players (from left) Jeff Looney, Randy Thomas and Wayne Lee. (photo via newsaegis.com)

With 329 wins and counting, Vestavia Hills High School coach Buddy Anderson is leaving his mark in history for Alabama high school football. He will be inducted into the National High School Hall of Fame on July 2 in Chicago.

Anderson is the fourth Alabama high school coach and 12th Alabamian to be enshrined. He’s already been inducted in the Vestavia Hills Athletic Hall of Fame and the Alabama High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame.

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AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese praised Anderson in a news release in March, when his Hall of Fame induction was announced.

“Buddy Anderson is an outstanding football coach, but more importantly, he is a role model all coaches can emulate," Savarese said. “"His influence as a teacher and coach will have a positive impact for student-athletes and coaches in this state for many years to come.”

In Anderson’s 45 years of coaching the Rebels, he’s developing a list of life lessons he’s learned along the way. Anderson shared these lessons with the Pell City Kiwanis Club and explained each one:

1. Belly laughs are good for the soul:

“You have to have fun with what you do.”

2. A rolling rock doesn’t gather too much moss:

“God has a plan. Find a place to go and lay down roots.”

3. Where your treasure is, there will be your heart also:

“You got to have priorities. Kids don’t care how much you know until they know who much you care. They are going to read you like a book. Take time to tell people you care about and love them.”

4. If you lie down with a dog, you’re going to get fleas:

“Be careful in choosing your friends. It was surprising to me that statistics show one-fifth of professional athletes have a criminal record.”

5. No “I” in the word “team”:

“Everyone is important, even that guy that never gets in the game. He has a place on that team.”

6. Storms of life will come; where’s your anchor?

“After a 10-year winning streak, I was not having a good year. My dad said, ‘Son, you’re still the same coach and what you’re doing in their (players) lives is just as important.’”

7. Sharing victory is the greatest thrill.

“Over the years, we have won a lot of games, including state championships, but the best are those comeback games. When I had a player return to a game with his 9-year old son and said, ‘Because of you, my son is a Christian today.’ That is the greatest victory.”

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Anderson said he is humbled in receiving this prestigious honor.

"It's a high honor," Anderson said. "There's a lot that has gone into that, as far as my family and the coaches who have been with me for so long, and, of course, the players."

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