Alvin Briggs, who has served as associate executive director of the Alabama High School Athletic Association since 2018, was selected by the AHSAA’s Central Board on Monday to replace outgoing executive director Steve Savarese. The announcement came in a Monday morning press conference in Montgomery.
Briggs, who served as director of the AHSAA’s Athletic Directors and Coaches Association from 2011 until taking the associate executive director’s post, was selected over two other finalists for the position.
“When I got to know this gentleman right here to my left (Saverese), and I’ve had other men in my life that I would say have been father figures, but this man has been more than a father figure, he has been a dad,” Briggs said in addressing the media at Monday’s press conference. “So it’s never been an embarrassment when other men said, ‘There’s your daddy’ (or) ‘I see you standing beside your daddy.’ I took it as a great honor, because that’s what he’s been, a father and a great mentor.
“My prayer is that I can lead this organization to new heights as he’s done. More importantly, I don’t want any of us to forget the mission of the Alabama High School Athletic Association. This association is to serve our member schools through sportsmanship, competition and enhanced student learning. With integrity as its foundation, this association consistently governs the rules created by member schools. We’re here to serve our member schools and we will continue to serve our member schools, I promise you that.”
A four-year starter at Greenville High School, Briggs went on to a standout career at Auburn as a defensive back. He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys but spent just one season in the NFL. He then spent 10 seasons as an assistant coach at North Alabama before being named head coach at his alma mater, Greenville High School, where remained for four seasons. He then was head coach for five seasons at Florence High School before accepting the AHSAA position in 2011.
“I will continue to strive to lead this organization to be the best in the nation, and I will be able to do that with the great staff that’s assembled here at the Alabama High School Athletic Association. There’s no doubt we have the best in the nation. Lastly, to each of the executive directors before me and to Mr. Saverese, my goal and my plan and my prayer is to leave this association better than it was handed to me. That will be a daunting task, but I look forward to the challenge.”
Saverese said he is pleased with Briggs’ selection as his successor.
“When he started talking about me as a father figure I started crying again,” he said. “… I was honored to travel around the state with Mr. Briggs and to attend so many of our athletic contests. To have someone to call you like a father and I noticed so many times he treated me like a father as we traveled around, and I was honored and privileged because he is such a good man.
“Alvin will be just like I was when I started this job — he’ll be a sponge. And when I came into this job I had to replace Dan Washburn, which was a daunting task. I had all these grandiose ideas. And as I faced those challenges I learned how much I didn’t know, and you rely on the staff of your organization, and that’s what Alvin’s going to do. Alvin has the leadership ability to work with this staff and he’ll rely on this staff to help them go into the 2021-22 school year and move us forward. But I am confident under his leadership along with this entire staff, they will do an outstanding job.
“Alvin loves people, he loves being around our folks at schools. So as long as you care, and he definitely cares about our student-athletes, as long as you care and love them you’ll always have an opportunity to be successful.”
Briggs said he has long dreamed of holding the position of AHSAA executive director.
“Ten years ago when I interviewed for the position with the coaches association, (Savarese) asked me where I wanted to be in 10 years, and I pointed and I said, ‘In your seat.’ It’s always been a dream to be the executive director here at the Alabama High School Athletic Association. So it was bittersweet; you didn’t want to see him leave but you knew that time was coming. I guess with us traveling so much, he had talked about it some years earlier, probably about three or four years ago. He had started talking about it and we had numerous conversations about it.”
Briggs becomes the fifth AHSAA executive director, following Cliff Harper, Bubba Scott, Dan Washburn and Saverese, who held the position from 2006 until now.
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