Former Atmore coach on staff at Clemson

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Now that the college football championship game is over, it is only fitting that we mention a former Atmore coach who is on the staff of Clemson University.

Woodrow McCorvey Jr., Escambia County Training School standout athlete and son of former ECTS principal Woodrow Sr., is the Clemson associate athletic director for football administration.

He began his coaching career with a six-year stint at Tate High School under Atmore native Carl Madison.

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Woody, as he is called by his friends and peers, has coached at numerous SEC schools over the years. The schools include stints at Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina and Mississippi State.

Evander Holifield, world champion boxer, was born in Atmore in the early 1960’s and went on to become one of the country’s outstanding men of the ring. He was raised in Atlanta, Ga., but often found time to visit his father and other relatives during his reign.

He was the position coach of his current boss, Dabo Swinney, during his playing days at Alabama. Woody serves as Clemson’s liaison between Swinney and IPTAY administrators. He also oversees the management of the football administrative offices.

Another Atmore coach who led his teams to state and national championships is Floyd Adams. He and McCorvey worked on the same staffs in various coaching assignments.

Adams’ career soared after he was named head baseball coach at Tate. He led that team to state titles and was then appointed baseball coach at Jeff Davis Jr. College in Brewton.

His teams won over 300 games during his 10 -ear span as coach there. He also led the Brewton teams to the Jr. College World Series. His many accolades included his being inducted into the ABCA Hall of Fame.

Speaking of Madison, he is recognized as one of the nation’ most successful high school football coaches. Leading his Tate Aggies to several state titles, he also was instrumental in the success of Milton High School’s football championships.

Now retired, this Atmore native can frequently be found at the Monday Casino breakfast bar with his buddies, Floyd, James, I.G, Tom and sometimes me. By the way, those buffet breakfasts are really out of the world.

Don McNeal is another former ECHS player who made good. Leading his team to a state title in the mid 70s, he went on to star at the University of Alabama and the Miami Dolphins.

Guy Dennis from Walnut Hill, Fla., rode his football career to the Florida Gators and the Cincinnati Bengals. He was guided in high school by renowned coach Joe Latham.

A standout from the 1940s was Atmore native “Tarzan” White. This huge man made a name for himself at the Capstone and with several professional teams. It has been told that he spent his summers away from the University of Alabama hitching rides as a “hobo” on freight trains passing through Atmore. He was known to eat off the land on these treks thereby gaining the name Tarzan after the Johnny Weissmuller movie jungle hero.

Unrelated to athletics, another local man who did well in the professional world was Paul Crawford. After finishing high school here in the late 1940’s he went on to college and then into New Orleans, where he became famous as a jazz trombonist and music historian. He was featured with numerous Dixieland Jazz bands as well as his own band. Not only did he play in the Crescent City circles, but on cruises aboard luxury ships. In his later years, he was recognized as a leading music historian at New Orleans colleges and universities. Paul’s mother, known to all as “Mrs. Crawford,” was the long time pianist at First Baptist Church here.

Robert N (Bobby) Brantley, cousin to the Brantley Tire brothers, made a name for himself with the state of Florida. He was elected lieutenant governor of that state when Governor Martinez was in office. Born in Atmore, his family moved to central Florida in the 1950s. Joe Brantley tells me he often attended Brantley family gatherings and funerals.

After that big game Monday night, some of you may want to mount your favorite college imposed license plate on your vehicle. But, if you do, you will pay more for it this year. Because of a new law passed by the state legislature, specialty tag fees will cost $50 plus a $5 issuance fee. This is a slight increase from the last tags. Cost of some specialty tags like “helping schools,” etc. will not be increased.

Now that the championship game is in the books, we will wait to see if there will be an increase in numbers of “Roll Tide“ license plates.

Last week, I told you I would have news this week on 40-50’s North Main Street merchants. However some data needed for that column has not come in yet. Hopefully, I will have it next week and we will expound on it then.

More news next week.

Reach Lowell by email at