Queen fired at Pelham

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Sammy Queen will not be retained next year as head coach and athletic director at Pelham High School, according to PHS principal Bob Lavett.

Queen, who coached the Panthers to a 5-5 record this season, was 16-25 in four years as head coach at Pelham. He has been at the school for 10 years as head coach or assistant.

&uot;(Queen) is an outstanding young coach and person,&uot; Lavett said. &uot;But we had talked on several occasions about the program, and I felt like a change was necessary.&uot;

Pelham failed to qualify for the playoffs for the second straight season in Class 6A, Region 6 but ended the season with upsets over two playoff-bound teams.

After an off-the-field controversy, Pelham defeated Grissom, 27-20, then knocked off No. 3-ranked Clay-Chalkville, 22-19.

The week of the Grissom game, Queen dealt out one-game suspensions to 18 players when photographs surfaced showing them at a party where alcohol was present, a violation of team rules.

Both Queen and Lavett said the incident did not factor into the decision to relieve the coach of his duties.

&uot;In no way, shape, form or fashion was this related to the disciplinary actions,&uot; Lavett said.

&uot;I hate that the ending was so controversial,&uot; Queen said. &uot;But I am really proud of our football team for the way they finished the year, especially our seniors.&uot;

Queen also said he enjoyed coaching players like Tyler Watts, Lane Bearden and Bill Flowers as an assistant.

&uot;I had a great 10 years here at Pelham,&uot; said Queen, who joined the PHS staff at age 25 after coaching at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Queen was an assistant at UAB for three seasons, where he served as receivers coach and recruiting coordinator.

&uot;I’ve grown up as a man here&uot; he said. &uot;I’ve really enjoyed it.&uot;

Queen said he will likely remain at Pelham as a strength-training teacher until the end of the year