By Rubin E. Grant
Jeff Segars has entered uncharted waters, but he’s ready to navigate the unknown.
Segars joined the Alabama High School Athletic Association at the end of June after spending nearly 30 years involved with the athletic program at Vestavia Hills High School. His role with the AHSAA is as an assistant director.
“The new challenge excites me,” Segars said. “It was an unbelievably difficult decision to leave Vestavia, but it was time. Vestavia is all I’ve known, and I wanted to see if I could be OK outside of Vestavia.
“Change is scary sometimes, but this gives me a chance to grow. The AHSAA is such an outstanding organization. I want to contribute in any way I can.”
Segars graduated from Vestavia Hills in 1986 and served as a teacher, coach and administrator at his alma mater for the past 28 years. He had been the Rebels’ athletic director since 2015, when he succeeded legendary head football coach Buddy Anderson in that role. Segars also was as an assistant football and wrestling coach at the school.
Segars said Anderson, who retired as the Rebels’ coach at the end of the 2020 season, was instrumental during his tenure at Vestavia Hills.
“I can’t say enough about my time at Vestavia Hills,” Segars said. “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. Myself 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.”
The relationships he has developed with the coaches and athletes at Vestavia Hills are what Segars said he will miss the most.
“Moving into this position, I won’t get to see the people I am used to seeing every day,” Segars said. “That’s not just the coaches, but the athletes. I could walk the hallways, see them and talk to them.”
Alvin Briggs, the new executive director of the AHSAA, was pleased to add Segars to his staff.
“His leadership as athletic director at Vestavia Hills is well documented,” Briggs said in a news release. “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.”
Segars attended the National Federation of State High School Associations national convention the final week of June in Orlando, Florida, along with the other ASHAA staff members. He is eager to work for and with Briggs.
“I am going to be doing whatever Alvin Briggs tells me do,” Segars said. “If he tells me to clean the bathrooms, I’m going to go clean the bathrooms,” he added with a laugh.
Segars believes the athletic program at Vestavia Hills will continue to thrive.
“It’s exciting to know that the coaches and athletes will continue to be successful no matter what,” he said.