Former Pelham football coach retires from coaching

Published 3:55 pm Thursday, June 17, 2010

Former Pelham High School football coach Ronnie Gilliland has announced his retirement following a 38-year coaching career that included a five-year stint with the Panthers.

Gilliland, who has served as the head football coach at West Florida High School in Pensacola, Fla., for the past four seasons, led the Panthers from 1991-1995.

Gilliland finished his coaching career at Pelham with a 25-26 record and led the Panthers to their first ever playoff appearance. Following a 3-8 record in 1994 — Gilliland’s lowest win total at the school — the Panthers fell 35-17 to Shades Valley in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs.

Gilliland’s best record at Pelham was a 6-4 mark in 1991 and 1992.

Gilliland left Pelham to become the head coach at Escambia High School in Pensacola, Fla., in 1996.

Gilliland also served as the school’s athletic director and boys’ golf coach during his time at Pelham. He led the Pelham boys’ golf team to a region title and state tournament appearance in 1992.

Gilliland, who won a national championship during his collegiate playing career at Livingston University, also coached at Foley, Banks, Oak Grove, Charles Henderson and Jess Lanier high schools in Alabama during his coaching career.