Azar, Geter among several basketball coaches that added to their state-title legacies

Mays girls coach Chantay Frost won her fourth state championship, first with Mays. She had won three at Columbia in DeKalb County.

Some of Georgia’s most prominent high school basketball coaches moved up in the record books last week, adding to their impressive collection of state titles.

Seven of the 16 coaches that won titles this season have a least three in their careers. Two others have two.

Jan Azar of Class A private-school girls champion Wesleyan won her 12th state title. That is twice the number of any other girls coach. (Angie Hembree of Norcross is among three that have won six.)

”I have had the opportunity to coach some amazing girls and alongside some great coaches during my time at Wesleyan,” said Azar, whose teams have made 16 finals in the past 17 seasons. ”As I think about those teams listed, the trophies don’t stand out as much as the girls, the coaches and the families that I was lucky enough to have in our program. I am extremely grateful to Wesleyan for the opportunity to coach at such a great school.”

Aaron Geter of Class A public-school boys champion Wilkinson County won his ninth title. That moved him ahead of the late Eric Staples of Perry and into second all-time among boys coaches behind Shelby Buck, who won his last title for Lanier of Macon in 1951. Buck remains the only coach with more state titles overall (boys and girls) than Azar.

Eddie Martin of Class AAAAA boys champion Buford won his eighth. That ties him for third with Staples among boys coaches. Martin also became the third coach (boys or girls) to win state titles at three schools. He has won at Buford, Greater Atlanta Christian and Norcross.

Phyllis Arthur of McEachern’s girls and Gene Durden of Buford’s girls won their fifth state titles. Only 10 girls coaches in history have won that many.

Chantay Frost of AAAAAA girls champion Mays won her fourth title. She won three at Columbia. She has won in three classifications – AAA, AAAA and AAAAAA.

Below is a list of Georgia high school coaches with at least three championships. Thanks to the Georgia High School Basketball Project for making such research possible.

Note correction: An original list failed to credit David Jones as coach of Greenforest Christian’s 2013 championship team. Jones has five state titles overall and joins Eddie Martin and David Boyd as coaches with championships at three schools. Larry Thompson has been coach of Greenforest’s 2016 and 2017 championship teams.

BOYS

Thirteen

Selby Buck (Lanier 1925, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1933, 1934, 1936, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1948, 1950, 1951)

Nine

Aaron Geter (Wilkinson County 1999, 2000, 2002, 2007, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017)

Eight

Eddie Martin (Norcross 2006, 2007, 2008, Greater Atlanta Christian 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, Buford 2017)

Eric “Fesser” Staples (Perry 1947, 1949, 1953, 1956, 1959, 1962, 1963, 1964)

Six

Willie Boston (Westover 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1998, 2001)

David Boyd (Campbell 1982; Tucker 1996; Berkmar 2000, 2001; Milton 2010, 2012)

Anzy Hardman (Woodbury 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985; Taylor County 2001, 2002)

Doug Lipscomb (Wheeler 1994, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2009, 2015)

Don Richardson (Southwest Macon 1973, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1985, 1989)

Sharman White (Miller Grove 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016)

Five

David Jones (Southwest Atlanta 1973, 1974, 1979; Southside 1990. Greenforest Christian 2013)

Phil McCrary (Columbia 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012)

Rufus McDuffie (Mitchell-Baker 1990, 1991, 1998, 1999, 2000)

Joseph Williams (Clay County 1978, Randolph-Clay 1983, 1986, 2004, 2005)

Four

Wallace “Country” Childs (Irwinville 1947, 1950, 1951; Blackshear 1955)

Norman Faircloth (Cochran 1943; Fort Valley 1952, 1954, 1961)

*Harold “Hal” Scott (Nahunta 1958; Savannah 1972, 1974, 1976)

John Varnedoe (Savannah 1930, 1931, 1932, 1937)

*Scott also won a state championship as a girls coach.

Three

Ron Bell (Marist 1989, 1994, 2000)

Jackie Bradford (GAC 1971, 1972, 1977)

*Glenn Cassell (Vienna 1956, 1957, 1965)

Jimmy Hires (Richmond Hill 1988, 1993, 1994)

Joe Jenkins (Vienna 1927, 1928, 1929)

Tyrone Johnson (Whitefield Academy 2003, 2009, 2012)

Elmer Morrow (Druid Hills 1953, 1954, 1957)

John Penland (Hogansville 1971, 1972, 1974)

Bob Reinhart (Decatur 1970, 1980, 1982)

Darron Rogers (Westlake 1999, 2002, 2016)

Kenneth Ross (Murray County 1960, 1962, 1969)

Kenneth A. Ross (College Park 1974, 1975, 1976)

Dick Shrewsbury (LaGrange 1963, 1965, 1977)

*Cassell also won a state championship as a girls coach.

GIRLS

Twelve

Jan Azar (Wesleyan 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2017)

Six

Norman Carter (Butler 1964 girls; Taylor County 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972)*

Angie Hembree (Collins Hill 2001, 2002, 2005; Norcross 2010, 2011, 2013)

P. Malcom (Seminole County 1956, 1959, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1969)

*Carter also won a state championship as a boys coach.

Five

Phyllis Arthur (McEachern 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)

Alvin Copeland (Northeast 1975, 1981, 1982, 1985, 2002)

Bob Davis (Baxley 1947, 1948, 1949; Dodge County 1962, 1966)

Gene Durden (Buford 2009, 2010, 2011, 2015, 2017)

Matt Troutman (Taylor County 1988, 1992, 1994, 1995, 2003)

Kathy Walton (Southwest DeKalb 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2016)

Four

D.B. Carroll (Jasper 1951, 1951, 1954; Forsyth County 1959)*

Jimmy Conner (Jeff Davis 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955)

Charles Cooper (Lowndes 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980)

Chantay Frost (Columbia 2010, 2012, 2013, Mays 2017)

Manson Hill (Gainesville 1994, 001, 2003, 2004)

A.C. McCullers (Morrow 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993)

Eddie McCurley (Hart County 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992)

*Carroll also won a state championship as a boys coach.

Three

Janet Allman (Baldwin 1986, 1987, 1988)

Charlie Bess (Cherokee 1967, 1968, 1969)

Bill Burton (GAC 1974, 1982, 1983)

Walter Daniels (Miller County 1977, 1979, 1980)

Stephanie Dunn (St. Pius 2004, 2006, 2007)

Calvin Epps (Central Talbotton 1984, 1985, 1986)

Aisha Kennedy (St. Franis 2013, 2015, 2016)

George Lindsey (Pitts 1955, Dexter 1962, 1963)

Jesse McLeod (Seminole County (1984, 1987, 1989)

Mike Mitchell (GAC 2001, 2002, 2007)

Lois Myers (Coffee 1980, LaGrange 1983, 1984)

Jim Waller (Woodward Academy (1995, 1996, 1999)


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