Torrence to be inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2024

Published 2:14 pm Tuesday, November 28, 2023

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Former Escambia County coach Cornell Torrence will be one of 12 inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2024, according to the Alabama High School Athletic Association.

Torrence, who passed away last March, was selected from the old timers’ division with Frank “Swede” Kendall.

The individuals included administrators, coaches and the old timers category. The other 10 selected include Phillip Lolley, Ricky Rhoades and Perry Swindall, football coaches; Charles Ron Nelson, basketball coaches; Christopher Goodman, softball and baseball coach; Eddie Brundidge, track and football coach; and Kimberly Vickers, administrator.

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According to Advance archives, Torrence taught in the Escambia County School System (Ala.) for some 39 years with stints at Escambia County Training School and ECHS. He was a physical education teacher and coached football and basketball at ECTS, and taught driver’s education and coached football and basketball at ECHS.

The gym at ECHS was named after him because of his legacy of service and excellence on Feb. 12, 2015.

An AHSAA release said, “Thanks to men like Torrence, who was dedicated to making integration work for all during that time, the school flourished at Atmore with some of its most successful years over the next decade.”

At Escambia County Training, he helped coach two state titles, one in football and one in basketball. He compiled a 545-210 overall boys’ basketball coaching record with trips to the state tourney in 1984 and 1993 after the merger. His 1991 team was ranked No. 1 in the state for most of the season.

Torrence dedicated his life to helping others in the community. For 45 years, he was a lifeguard at the Houston Avery Park Summer Youth Program. Later, he became director of Houston Avery Park.

Torrence was a founding member of the Progressive Civic and Recreational Club Inc. (PCRC) of Atmore.

For a full list of biographies, visit