TALLADEGA — The Alabama School for the Deaf (ASD) inducted six individuals at the 16th Hall of Fame ceremonies Saturday including five alumni, Tommy Daugherty, Dale Dennis, Peggy Crocker Estes, Nathaniel Riley and Jimmy Tidwell, and one former coach, Kay Hill Gurley.
• Tommy Daugherty
Daugherty was born in Oklahoma, lived in Texas and later moved to Alabama with his family where he enrolled in ASD in 1961. He quickly emerged as a starter on the basketball team and was named to two Mason Dixon all-tournament teams; was named to the All-American team after his senior year and was the first ASD athlete to win the Mason Dixon Most Valuable Player award.
Daugherty graduated from ASD in 1968 and retired from Stockham Valve and Fitting Company. He and his wife, Martha, have a daughter and currently live in Mount Olive, Ala.
• Dale Dennis
Dennis was born in Clanton, Ala., and enrolled at ASD in the fall of 1971 as a teenager. He participated in all sports and was touted as one of the greatest offensive and defensive tackles in school history. During his athletic career he was named to a Deaf All-American, Talladega County All-County, and Alabama Class A All-State First Team as an offensive tackle. He was also named to Deaf All-American and Mason Dixon All Tournament teams in basketball.
Dennis graduated from ASD in 1979 and worked at Vulcan Materials as a drill helper. He later worked with Shae Morris Bridge in Childersburg until his untimely death in an automobile accident at the age of 34.
• Peggy Crocker Estes
Peggy Crocker Estes was born in Lawley, Ala., the youngest of eight children and enrolled at ASD at the age of 10 in 1949. At ASD she participated in various organizations and athletic activities as an honor student and captain of the varsity cheerleading squad for two years. Just after her graduation in 1960 she married classmate Charles Estes in a campus ceremony. The couple had two children who also eventually attended ASD.
Estes was the first deaf woman appointed to serve on the AIDB Board of Trustees. She was a founder and first president of the Alabama School for the Deaf Alumni Association in 1982. She currently resides in Westerville, Ohio.
• Nathaniel Riley
Nathaniel Riley was born in Georgiana, Ala., and enrolled at ASD in 1970. His potential as an athlete became evident at a young age and Riley participated in football, basketball and track but he excelled in track and won several events in state track and field competition throughout his four-year career at ASD including the 100-yard dash, 220-yard dash, 4x100-yard relay, high jump and long jump events. He held the state record in the 220-yard dash and high jump until the state meet converted to metric measurements. He was a member of the United States Deaf Olympic team and traveled to Cologne, West Germany where he won the silver medal in the long jump with 23 feet and one-half inches.
He graduated from ASD in 1983 and currently lives in Valley with his wife and two children and is employed at Big Lots distribution center.
• Jimmy Earl Tidwell
Jimmy Tidwell was born in Tarrant and enrolled at ASD in the fall of 1952 where he participated in football, basketball and track and was the senior class president. He received the most valuable running back award in football; was named to the Mason-Dixon Basketball All-Tournament team three times and to the Talladega All-County basketball team.
At ASD, he was trained in printing and after his graduation in 1964, he was employed at Dewberry Engraving Company and later worked at Stockham Valves and Fitting Company. He and his wife, Jane, have three children; four grandsons and two great-granddaughters.
• Kay Hill Gurley
Gurley is a graduate of Talladega High School and Jacksonville State University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education, a master’s degree and an Education Specialist Degree. Her teaching career began at the Alabama School for the Deaf in 1969 and spanned 35 years as an instructor and coach. She was recruited in 1979 to coach a young and struggling girls’ basketball team who she quickly named the Lady Warriors. In the 20 years that followed, the Lady Warriors established a winning tradition and became champions, winning 337 games, seven Mason-Dixon championships, six deaf prep national championships, four consecutive area championships and advanced to play in the Northeast Regional Tournament at JSU.
Gurley was selected as Deaf Prep National Coach of the Year twice, named Anniston Star Coach of the Year in 1997 and 1999, and The Daily Home Coach of the Year in 1997. She was selected to coach the North squad in the AHSAA All-Star Game in Montgomery in 1999. She also served as assistant track coach for 15 years, assistant volleyball coach and head volleyball coach. Gurley concluded her career as ASD athletic director from 2002 until she retired in 2004.
She has one son, three grandchildren, and currently resides in Talladega with her husband, Mike Gurley.
Contact Elsie Hodnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.