Legendary basketball coach Ronnie Stapler announces retirement

2019 Ronnie at Press Conference for State Tournament
Ronnie Stapler has coached basketball in the Huntsville area for more than 50 years. (Westminster Christian)

One of Alabama’s coaching legends is stepping down after a stellar 53-year coaching career. Ronnie Stapler — who has coached basketball at Grissom High School, Guntersville, Randolph and most recently Westminster Christian — announced his retirement this week.

Stapler is an Alabama High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame inductee and has earned more than 800 wins on the basketball court as a coach.

A coaching legend

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Ronnie Stapler amassed more than 800 wins in his coaching career. (Westminster Christian)

To say Stapler is retiring with an impressive resume would be a massive understatement, as the coach has won basically everywhere he has coached, and amassed more than 800 wins in his stellar career.

Stapler attended Butler High School and then attended Florence State University — now the University of North Alabama — before embarking on a coaching career that spanned 5 decades.

His retirement comes after 10 years coaching at Westminster Christian Academy where he won 5 area championships, made it to two AHSAA Final Fours and won a state championship in the 2015-16 season.

The school issued a statement Tuesday wishing their beloved coach well.

“The Westminster family appreciates everything you’ve done here at the school and for our community, Coach Stapler! We pray that God will bless your retirement.”

Statement from Westminster Christian Academy

An impressive resume

Ronnie Stapler coached three state championship basketball teams in his career. (Westminster Christian)

As we said, Stapler’s resume is amazing. Over 53 seasons, he built one of the most impressive records in Alabama high school sports history. Here are some of his career highlights:

  • Finished career with 868 wins (3rd all-time in Alabama)
  • Won state championships at Grissom (87-88, 98-99) and Westminster Christian (15-16)
  • 4-time AHSAA runner-up
  • 9 Final Four appearances
  • 23 area championships
  • 3-time AHSAA Coach of the Year
  • Member of the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame

“I’m thankful for all the great players, loyal assistant coaches, supportive administrators, parents, and fans that have made coaching a pleasure for me. Being a basketball coach is all that I ever wanted to do, and I hope that my enthusiasm and passion have helped people along the way.”

Coach Ronnie Stapler in a statement to ESPN radio 97.7

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Michael Seale
Michael Seale
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