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Former Verbena, Montevallo coach dies in car accident

Coach Richard Gilliam, whose high school coaching career included roles at Verbena, Calera and Montevallo high school, died Saturday in a two-car accident near Clanton.

Gilliam was killed in the wreck, which happened Saturday afternoon about three miles south of Clanton on Chilton County 9. Another person was injured in the accident.

Gilliam, who retired from coaching in 1988, began his career as a coach and educator at Verbena. Gilliam coached at Verbena for five years, then left the school for a 7-year stint at Calera High School.

Gilliam joined Montevallo as an assistant football coach in 1972 before taking over the head coaching position from Paul Woolley in 1973. Between 1973-1988, Gilliam compiled an overall record of 85-75-1, with his best overall seasons coming in 1976 and 1983 with overall records of 10-2.

Gilliam retired from coaching in 1988 but stayed at Montevallo through 1993 as a teacher before retiring as an educator.

Gilliam was responsible for the successful integration of the Bulldogs’ football team in 1973, and the school renamed its football field Richard Gilliam Field in 2006. During his time at Montevallo, Gilliam also coached baseball and basketball.