For Alabama son of major leaguer, coaching baseball seemed inevitable

For Alabama son of major leaguer, coaching baseball seemed inevitable
Mark Mincher's impressive career in high school sports included Huntsville High School's first state championship in baseball. (AHSAA)

The following is the sixth in an 11-part series featuring members of the 2019 class of the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame.

It was almost a given that Mark Mincher would someday be a baseball coach. The pedigree was there as the son of former major leaguer Don Mincher. And quite a baseball coach the son became.

Mincher is being enshrined as a member of the Class of 2019 of the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame. The annual banquet is March 18 at the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center. The AHSAA and AHSADCA founded the Hall of Fame in 1991.

A native of Huntsville, Mincher graduated from Hazel Green High School in 1975 and from Memphis State (now the University of Memphis) in 1980. He also holds a master’s degree in administration from Alabama A&M.

At Hazel Green, he played football, baseball and basketball for four years, earning all-county honors in each sport.

At Memphis, Mincher was a four-year starter on the baseball team, compiling a career batting average of .270. The Tigers had a 131-49 record during his tenure. They won the Metro Conference championship in 1978 and made two NCAA regional tournament appearances.

Mark Mincher was a starter on the Memphis State team that won the 1978 Metro Conference championship. He followed that with a long, impressive career as a high school coach in his native Madison County. (Getty Images)

He began his teaching and coaching career in 1980 at Monrovia Middle School in Madison County. His first duties were coaching football, baseball and both boys’ and girls’ basketball.

In 1982, he moved to Sparkman High School as junior varsity baseball and basketball coach. He also was a football assistant. He was elevated to head baseball coach in 1983. His Senators had one appearance in the state playoffs, and Mincher was named Madison County Baseball Coach of the Year in 1984.

He moved to Huntsville High School as an assistant in varsity football and head coach in freshman football. He was also varsity baseball coach, a position he held until 2012. From 1995 to 2012, he was HHS athletic director.

While compiling a record of 576-353, his baseball teams won 12 city championships, eight area championships and one state championship (2011). They were in the state playoffs 18 times. He was named National Federation of High Schools and Alabama Baseball Coaches Association Coach of the Year in 2011.

He was named Huntsville Coach of the Year eight times and metro Coach of the Year four times. He was named AHSAA/AHSADCA Athletic Director of the Year for 2005-06 and was inducted into the Madison County Sports Hall of Fame in 2011.

Mark Mincher’s 32-year coaching career has included some football and basketball, but baseball is his claim to fame. (Getty Images)

Gregory L. Hicks, director of behavioral learning for Huntsville City Schools, wrote of Mincher, “While at Huntsville High, I learned a great deal from Coach Mincher. Most of all, I learned to be a leader, a gentleman and a winner! He is an outstanding coach, family man and educator. I am proud to have served alongside this great person.”

Huntsville High School principal and freshman academy coordinator Leslie Esneault wrote, “With 32 years of coaching, 27 of those at Huntsville High School, Coach Mark Mincher is one of the most well-respected coaches in Alabama. Having had a remarkable mentor in his father, Don Mincher, and known for his integrity and dedication to his school and his players, Coach Mincher is an outstanding example of an exemplary leader in the athletic community.

“Even with all these awards and accolades, Mark will tell you that his most rewarding coaching experience came in May of 2011, when after 30 years of coaching, he led the Huntsville High School Panther varsity baseball team to the school’s first Alabama 6A state championship, a title that took over a century to claim! Coach Mincher was able to demonstrate that high expectations, commitment, dedication and a ‘can do’ attitude can achieve even the most difficult of accomplishments. Mark’s determination and perseverance should be examples for us all.”

A former player, Kevin J. Wieseman, who later served as Huntsville City Schools’ athletic director and principal at Lee High School, wrote, “As a young man I was honored to play for a young energetic coach at Sparkman High School who showed a true commitment to the players and a commitment to developing them as productive members of society. Since those days I have gone on to serve with him on his baseball staff and work under his leadership as Huntsville High’s athletic director.”

Mincher currently serves as athletic director at Madison Academy.

This story originally appeared on the Alabama High School Athletic Association website.

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