Marshall County Sports Hall of Fame

The Marshall County Sports Hall of Fame inducted eight members in its class of 2019 during Saturday night’s banquet at Lake Guntersville State Park Lodge. From left, front: Jean Beasley, widow of inductee G.B. Beasley of Albertville; and Elizabeth Cooley, widow of inductee Paul Cooley of Arab; back: Kenneth Adams of Douglas, Simone May of Guntersville, Brian Privett of Arab, Joe Teal of Douglas/DAR, Kimberly Nedeau Driscoll of DAR and Christi Martin of Boaz.

More than 250 persons attended Saturday’s banquet for the 18th induction for the Marshall County Sports Hall of Fame at Lake Guntersville State Park Lodge.

Two Arab natives – Brian Privett and Paul Cooley – were among the eight inducted.

There are now 168 members in the hall. Visit the Marshall County Sports Hall of Fame’s YouTube channel (MarshallCountySports HOF) to watch inductee videos and acceptance speeches for the class of 2019.

Below and to the right are the bios of Privett and Cooley, as compiled by the MCSHOF



Brian Privett was born on Sept. 22, 1976, in Huntsville, Ala., to Bill and Joy Privett of Arab.

Brian came from a tall, athletic family. Brian’s grandmother was the leading scorer on the Austell High School girls basketball team in 1940. Joy lettered in basketball at South Cobb High School in Austell, Ga.

Bill lettered in football, basketball and track at Tanner High School. He was Team Captain for both football and basketball, All-Limestone County and All-Conference in football, a record-setting high jumper in track, a three-time All-County basketball player, and earned a scholarship to Livingston State University, now the University of West Alabama.

Brian’s sister, Shelly, was the first female to play soccer in the Arab Recreation League, even though her true love was ballet.

Brian’s athletic career stated at age 5, with his dad as coach in the Arab Rec League. He was an all-around athlete and All-Star player on many Recreation League baseball, basketball and soccer teams. In Little League baseball, he pitched a no-hitter and also hit the first home run in the State Little League Tournament.

At Arab High School, Brian played football, basketball and baseball. In football, he was the quarterback, punter and kicker for 2013 MCSHOF inductee Larry “Pod” Patterson from 1993-95.

He was selected All-Marshall County in 1994 and 1995. The Knights were 6A Area 14 champions in 1994 and went to the state playoffs in 1994 and 1995. Brian played basketball for coach Greg Tidmore and was an All-Area 14 selection in 1993, 1994 and 1995. He was also selected Honorable Mention on the 1995 All-State Team as a senior.

Brian also played shortstop in baseball for coach Chris Leak from 1992-95.

Following his high school career, Brian signed an athletic scholarship to play basketball at Faulkner University in Montgomery for coach Jim Sanderson. The Eagles made an Elite 8 appearance in the 2000 NAIA National Tournament.

Brian graduated from Faulkner University in 2000 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education and Health. He was named Mr. Faulkner University and received the Presidential Award for the graduation class of 2000.

Brian went on to an outstanding career as a basketball coach. In his first job at Mount Dora Bible School in Florida, coach Privett’s teams went 37-8 from 2000-2002.

He then went to Madison Academy in Madison, Ala., where he coached the girls teams from 2005-2017. During that time, the Mustangs had a record of 297-99, won the 3A State Championship in 2011, and the 4A State Championship in 2017. The Mustangs finished second in the state in 2009 and 2010.

Brian was selected as the 2011 SportsMed Coach of the Year and finished his coaching career with a record of 334 wins and 107 loses.

In 2006, Brian earned a Master’s Degree in Administration in Education. Following the State Championship in the 2017 season, he became the Principal of the Upper School at Madison Academy.

Brian is married to Melinda Privett. They have four children: Jatona, a senior at MA; Libby, a freshman; Sydney, a sixth-grader; and Kenzie, a fourth-grader.

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