RONNIE STAPLER (COACH): The Butler High School 1965 graduate returned to Huntsville following college at the University of North Alabama and began a high school basketball coaching career that has for 50 years.
Stapler, 74, has had coaching stops at Grissom High School, Guntersville High School, Randolph School and currently Westminster Christian Academy, where he has recorded more than 800 career wins in 47 seasons. His 800th win came in January of 2021 making him the sixth coach in AHSAA history to reach that milestone coaching boys’ basketball.
His program has sent more than 100 players to the college ranks with scholarships. One of the state’s biggest high school basketball advocates, he served as Grissom’s boys’ basketball coach from 1970 to 2003 – winning state championships in Class 6A in 1988 and 1999. The Tigers finished runner-up in 1997.
He led the Guntersville basketball program from 2003 to 2008, then spent five years at Randolph School in Huntsville coaching the girls’ team.
He moved to Westminster in 2014 and has remained with the Wildcats ever since. He guided Westminster to the 4A state crown in 2016 and had runner-up finishes in 2015 and 2019.
Stapler also coached boys’ golf at Grissom winning the 4A state title in 1983. He has received numerous coach of the year awards and coached in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic in 1999 and 2016. Three of his players earned Mr. Basketball honors.
During his 50-year coaching career he has also coached wrestling, football and softball. He served on the AHSAA Basketball Coaches Committee from 1997-2001 and was inducted into the Huntsville/Madison County Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997.