Messer is new all-time leader

Posted January 13, 2021 at 2:10 pm


Clinton County High School boys’ basketball head coach Todd Messer was called to center court after he coached his Bulldogs to a victory Friday night against 16th District rival Russell County.

As the crowd watched and listened to the announcement being made 0ver the public address system, Messer was presented the game basketball by CCHS Principal Ken Dearborn and District Athletic Director Brandon Pharis.

The presentation represented the accomplishment that Messer had just earned, becoming the all-time winningest basketball coach in school history by having just coached a team to the 274th victory of his CCHS career.

The win Friday night put Messer in front of long-time CCHS boys’ basketball coach, the late Lindle Castle, who finished his career with 273 victories after 19 years at the helm of the boys’ basketball program.

Messer’s 274 victories came just two games into his 15th season as the program’s head coach.

Coaching at Clinton County since the 2006-07 season, Messer has compiled a career record, as of Friday night’s victory, of 274 victories and 152 losses.

Castle’s career at Clinton County began with the 1957-58 season, and played out in two separate coaching tenures, the first ending after the 1970-71 season.

Castle was tagged to return to the head coaching position again for the 1975-76 season and put in five more seasons, eventually ending his head coaching career after the 1979-80 season, with an overall record of 273 wins and 216 losses.

His record of 273 victories with Clinton County had stood for 41 years, prior to Messer passing him last Friday night.

Coach Lindle Castle passed away in 2016 at the age of 86.

Since records have been available beginning with the 1939-40 season, there have been 18 head basketball coaches for the boys’ basketball program.

Those coaches, their tenure years, and overall records prior to Messer’s time at the helm included: Pryse Haddix, 1939-1942, 15-14; L.H. Robinson, 1942-1945, 21-9; Raymond Reneau, 1942-1950, 40-43; Richard Murphy, 1950–1953, 38-37; Don Bales, 1953-1954, 12-12; W.A. “Bill” Kidd, 1954-1957, 37-40; Lindle Castle, 1957-1971 and 1975-1980, 273-216; Jim DeForest, 1971-1975 and 1984-1986, 53-107; Gary Dunlap, 1980-1984 and 1996-1997, 72-68; Allen Feldhaus, Jr., 1986-1988, 21-29; David Warinner, 1988-1989, 4-23; Ron Harmon, 1989-1990, 4-22; David McFarland, 1990-1992, 11-43; Bobby Storie, 1992-1996, 26-78; Ronnie Guffey, 1997-2001, 69-44; Mike Beard, 2001-2003, 30-29; Darrell Thompson, 2003-2006, 44-46.