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AHSAA Appoints First Black Executive Director

August 30, 2021 / Athletic AdministrationFootball
Several Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) Executive Staff members will be taking on new responsibilities, announced Alvin Briggs, who will take over as Executive Director for the Alabama Athletic Association beginning July 1.

Briggs announced that current Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association Director Jamie Lee will be moving into a new role for the AHSAA to include working with all championship sports, corporate partners and managing all contracts. Replacing Lee as the AHSADCA Director is Brandon Dean, who has been serving as assistant director for the past three years.

In addition, he also announced Wednesday that Vestavia Hills High School Athletic Director Jeff Segars will be joining the AHSAA Executive Staff as an Assistant Director. Segars is joining the staff on June 28.

“I am excited to announce these staff adjustments,” said Briggs. “We are fortunate to have such a strong staff in place already. Jamie Lee brings a wealth of experience and expertise into his new position, and Brandon Dean, who has been working closely with the AHSADCA in his current role, will do an outstanding job in leading our coaches’ organization.

“I am also thrilled to announce the addition of Jeff Segars. His leadership as athletic director at Vestavia Hills is well documented. His tremendous knowledge concerning education-based athletics, his leadership skills, and his strong technology background will make him an exceptional addition to our AHSAA Executive Staff.”

Briggs, who was named by the AHSAA Central Board of Control to replace retiring Executive Director Steve Savarese, is just the fifth executive director in the organization’s 100-year history. He officially steps into the executive director role on July 1.

Lee, a graduate of Decatur High School and Auburn University, taught math and was a basketball coach for 22 years, first at his alma mater and later at Grissom before joining the AHSAA Executive Staff in 2017. He said he is looking forward to his new role. He will continue to oversee the sport of basketball.

“I am thankful that Coach (Steve) Savarese believed in me and gave me the opportunity to work here four years ago,” Lee said. “I have been fortunate to serve as the Director of the AHSADCA. I enjoyed that role tremendously. With the change in leadership, comes a change in opportunities.

“I look forward to a new challenge of maintaining and building relationships with our corporate partners and working with all contracts the AHSAA is involved in. I look forward to working with cities and municipalities to continue the great tradition of championships for our student-athletes and member schools. The opportunity is daunting but I hope to be able to continue the tradition of excellence at the AHSAA.”

Dean came to the AHSAA in 2019 from the Montgomery County School System, where he served as the system’s athletic director. He also served as a principal, assistant principal, and teacher/coach for Montgomery Public Schools. Dean and Lee have worked together with the AHSADCA ever since. He also has managed the sport of baseball for the AHSAA.

ahsaa“Since the day I walked into the AHSAA office, Coach Savarese has challenged me to be better than the day before. I am forever grateful to him for his steady hand,” Dean said. “Although I am sad to see him go, I am deeply humbled by the confidence Mr. Briggs has in me as I take on this new role.  I believe you can never disrespect experience. Therefore, having the last two AHSADCA Directors in the same building gives me valuable resources to lean on during this period of transition.

“Jamie Lee and I have worked side by side for the last three years. I am equally excited for him as well as he takes on his new role. I look forward to working with the athletic directors and coaches across this state as we continue to promote education-based athletics.”

Segars, a 1986 graduate of Vestavia Hills High School, has served as a teacher, coach and administrator at his alma mater. His commitment to excellence has shown in every aspect of the VHHS athletic program, which he has managed as athletic director since 2015. He served as assistant athletic director to Vestavia’s legendary head football coach Buddy Anderson prior to his promotion to AD.

“I am now looking forward to this new challenge and the chance to grow,” Segars said. “The AHSAA is such an outstanding organization, and I have much respect for Mr. Briggs, the AHSAA staff, and for Mr. Savarese. I want to contribute in any way I can.”

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Segars says he learned from the best that the students are what is most important.

“I can’t say enough about my time at Vestavia Hills,” said Segars, who also served as an assistant football and wrestling coach during his 28 years on the VHHS staff. “Look at how many of our coaches are now in the Hall of Fame. It was an incredible staff put together many years ago by Coach Anderson and Coach Mutt Reynolds. Buddy Anderson has been very important to me. He raised me. I and a bunch of other men would not be who we are without men such as Buddy Anderson. He taught me to put the kids first.”

Lee and his wife Jennifer have one daughter Anna, who recently completed her master’s at Auburn University.  Dean, who played baseball in high school at Sidney Lanier and collegiately at Alabama State University, is the proud father of nine-year-old daughter Madison. Segars and his wife Ellen have two children, Bryant and Mary Frances.