Kent Chambers, a graduate of Brewer High, Calhoun and Athens State College, has been an acclaimed teacher and coach at Bob Jones High since 1986. As the school’s first fast-pitch softball coach, his teams won nearly 900 games and made 12 trips to the state playoffs before his retirement prior to the 2017 season. Almost 60 of his players have signed scholarships. He also coached Bob Jones’ girls teams in volleyball, basketball and swimming for several years, and served as the school’s athletic director from 2005-2010. Chambers has taught Algebra, Geometry, Consumer Math and Pre-Calculus and has been nominated as Teacher of the Year at Bob Jones three times. He organized and maintains the BJHS Athletic Hall of Fame.
Kent Chambers was born in his family’s home in the tiny community of Eva, Alabama, as the youngest of eight children. Today, not much has changed in the way of scenery: He lives a mere 100 yards from his birthplace on Chambers Road. But many of his greatest accomplishments in life have taken place up the road in Madison County. In his 30 years as a high school coach, 28 of those at Bob Jones High of Madison, Chambers has changed lives for virtually thousands of student-athletes. The 52-year old Chambers began teaching at Bob Jones in 1986 when the school was located in its original location, which is now Discovery Middle School, as a small country school consisting of 500 students in grades 9-12. Chambers spoke of not knowing where the school was located when he first applied for his position. He said, “I had to find directions to the school because I didn’t know where Bob Jones was at the time.” Since arriving in Madison, Chambers has coached volleyball, basketball, swimming, and softball while adding the jobs as assistant athletic director and athletic director to his resume. He has led several projects at the school and in the Madison community during his three decades with the Patriots. He retired from coaching after the 2016 school year and posted an overall record with the softball team of 884-616-6, which included 19 winning seasons and 12 trips to the state playoffs. Along the way, 57 of his players signed collegiate athletic scholarships. He achieved all of his success with very little fanfare. In 2016, Chambers received the prestigious Alabama High School Athletic Association’s “Making A Difference” award, given to one coach in each of the seven classifications among high schools across Alabama. He, like the others receiving the award, were honored for their significant contributions to their communities and schools. Among his community endeavors is his organizing “Christmas Angels” for all athletic teams at Bob Jones, arranging his softball teams to partake in the “Field of Dreams,” “Breakfast Buddies” at Columbia Elementary School and numerous donation programs for Thanksgiving and Christmas charities. One of Chambers’ proudest achievements was his efforts to change softball in Alabama from slow-pitch to fast-pitch in 1997. Until then, most colleges ignored student-athletes from Alabama. Since that year there has been an enormous push for local athletes to garner scholarship money for their softball talents. He feels as though his players are like his own children to him and his wife, Pat. Once inspired to coach softball while being the batboy and scorebook/statistician for his two older sisters’ softball teams, numbers have always been Chambers’ hobby – which figures since he earned his college degree and teaching degree in mathematics and continues as a math teacher at Bob Jones. He makes that daily 90-mile roundtrip trek to the bustling community of Madison from the quiet, serene surroundings of his birthplace in Morgan County, population of just over 500. “The most influential persons in my coaching career have been those in my family,” said Chambers. “I always knew I wanted to coach at the high school level. Throughout my career, my family has always been my biggest supporters.” As a classroom teacher, Chambers has taught algebra I and II, geometry, honors geometry, honors algebra, consumer math, and pre-calculus. He has served on numerous school groups in and away from athletics. He has been nominated for Teacher of the Year at Bob Jones three times and has organized and assists maintaining the Bob Jones Athletic Hall of Fame. Among the state athletics through the AHSAA, Chambers has been associated in many capacities with the annual AHSAA All-Star Week in Montgomery since 1997. He’s now able to boast of his place among the select few in the Huntsville-Madison County Athletic Hall of Fame. But in his style of coaching and teaching, Chambers will sidestep any type of notoriety, take his place among the Hall of Fame and keep trying to make a difference in the lives that surround him. He has had a mountain of experiences within his years of coaching and teaching and glided through the hectic world of education in a calm and heartwarming demeanor. He has shown the way to success with few words, but with lots of warmth and enthusiasm. “I look forward to continuing at the school in my role as a teacher, but also sitting back in a lawn chair and enjoying life without the stress of coaching,” said Chambers. “I tried to teach my players the right things in life and a little bit of softball along the way.”