Alan Beckett

Former Collinsville and current Winterboro football coach Alan Beckett is one of seven recipients for this year's "Making a Difference" award. File photo by Shannon Fagan.

MONTGOMERY – Former Collinsville and current Winterboro football coach Alan Beckett is one of seven individuals who have been selected for the 2017 Making a Difference award. The award is presented by the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) and the Alabama High School Athletic Directors and Coaches Association (AHSADCA).

The award was established in 2011 by the AHSAA and AHSADCA to recognize individuals who go beyond their normal duties as a coach, teacher or administrator to make a positive impact in their schools and communities.

One recipient from each of the AHSAA's seven classifications was chosen from nominations submitted by AHSAA member schools and other support organizations. Beckett is the Class 1A representative. The other recipients are G.W. Long's Lamar Brooks (2A), Ohatchee's Bobby Tittle (3A), Bibb County's Charles McCaleb (4A), Lawrence County's Richard Dutton (5A), Chelsea's Janiece Calhoun (6A) and Buckhorn's Alvin Rauls (7A).

Beckett, who was head coach at Collinsville from 2007-12, has been a head football coach for 11 years and has compiled a 59-48 overall record. Beginning his fifth year at Winterboro, Beckett guided the Bulldogs from an 0-10 start his first year to two straight winning seasons the last two years. He is also Winterboro's head baseball coach.

Beckett is described as a man of strong character and tireless work ethic by Winterboro principal Emily Harris.

“He is a father to the fatherless, and a mentor to those who need a mentor,” she said.

Beckett personally has helped many of his student-athletes through hard times – whether it be a dysfunctional home situation or a problem dealing with other off-the-field difficulties. He personally insures each student can get home from practice – driving countless miles himself to insure they get home safely.

Short-staffed for many years, this son of a coach has had to carry the weight of rebuilding this school's struggling athletic program and has done the job well – with a smile on his face and never complaining. Active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Beckett does not tolerate cursing or bullying and shows impeccable character in his everyday dealings with students.

This year's Making a Difference honorees will be recognized at the championship coaches banquet at the Renaissance Montgomery Convention Center July 21 at 6 p.m. The event will close out the 2017 AHSAA Summer Conference and All-Star Sports Week for member schools. The officials' awards luncheon will officially close out the week on Saturday, July 22, at the Renaissance at 11:30 a.m.

“The recipients in this 2017 Making a Difference class are excellent examples of men and women who take their positions as role models for their students, faculty and community very seriously. They are each outstanding choices for what this award stands for. Each have had a major positive impact in their communities and schools and across the state," AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese said.

“This award is the most important honor a professional educator in our state can receive. Characteristics considered for this prestigious award include the recipient's character, integrity and service, all of which have enabled these individuals to have a life-changing impact on the community or school where they serve.”

Savarese said this special award exemplifies what makes education-based sports so important.

“This is one way we can honor them for the examples they set and the life lessons they teach on a daily basis,” he said.