Hand resigns after 12 seasons as CCHS coach

Published 9:54 pm Thursday, March 25, 2010

After 184 wins, 11 county tournament championships and nine playoff appearances in 12 seasons, Donnie Hand is leaving the Chilton County basketball program for another coaching job.

With that kind of success at a school more passionate about football and baseball, one might assume Hand had been lured away by a state basketball powerhouse or even a college program.

Instead, Hand will spend next season coaching his 8-year-old son’s YMCA team in Wetumpka.

Hand will continue to teach his three math classes at CCHS. He said the responsibilities of his coaching position simply began to wear on him.

“I was tired of all the little things that go into coaching—upkeep of the gym, fundraisers, and even having to ride the bus to places like Demopolis and Tuscaloosa,” Hand said. “I loved the practices and the games, it was just the other stuff that made me start thinking about quitting.

“As a coach, you have to be 100 percent dedicated or you are doing a disservice to the kids and school.”

The Chilton County Board of Education accepted Hand’s resignation Tuesday at a special meeting.

In 1998, Hand came back to coach at the school where he played basketball and graduated from in 1986.

Hand—the son of legendary CCHS football, baseball and basketball coach Don Hand—said he never thought about returning to Clanton, but the opportunity presented itself.

“The one thing about that is you’ve got a little bit more pride in the school when you’re from there,” Hand said.

Hand’s teams played with pride, utilizing a brand of basketball that was both successful and exciting to watch.

“I didn’t want anybody to say they didn’t hustle,” Hand said.

CCHS went 184-125 during Hand’s tenure. The Tigers under Hand regularly won the county basketball tournament and earned a playoff berth—until the past two seasons, when an area grouping with perennial powers Carver-Montgomery and Selma yielded sub-par seasons.

Hand said he most enjoyed studying the game and seeing players improve.

One such case was Charles Slaughter. Hand said Slaughter was the last player to make the team his freshman year, but Slaughter worked his way up and became the starting point guard his senior year.

Slaughter died in a car wreck the spring after basketball season, making his growth even more memorable.

Hand also always made sure the gym looked good. Hand’s wife, Tammy, sponsor of the school’s junior varsity cheerleading squad, thinks her husband may miss that part of the job as much as any other.

“She said, ‘I don’t know what you’re going to do all summer because that’s all you used to do is paint,’” Hand said.