BIRMINGHAM, AL – The Board of Directors of the Birmingham Athletic Partnership (BAP) is proud to announce the creation of a new award to honor longtime Wenonah High School Girls Basketball Coach Emanuel “Tubb” Bell.
The Emanuel “Tubb” Bell Coach of the Year Award will recognize a middle or high school coach from the Birmingham City School system that exhibits the character, courage, and compassion that Coach Bell displayed throughout his life.
“There have been a number of wonderful coaches we have worked with over the years and Coach Bell was surely one of the finest,” said Edgar Welden, Founder of BAP. “We are excited to have the opportunity to honor many great coaches in his name.”
Coach Bell graduated from Wenonah High School in 1973. In the 1990s he returned to his alma mater to coach basketball. He served as the head coach for the Wenonah girls basketball team for the past 20 years. Under Coach Bell, the team won four straight AHSAA Class 5A state championships between 2014-2017. Throughout his career, he made eight trips to the state semifinals and won five state titles. He earned many coaching awards from various organizations such as the Birmingham Tip-Off Club, Birmingham City Schools and Alabama Sports Writers Association. Bell was awarded the Frank “Pig” House Award from the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 2017. In the fall of 2016, Coach Bell was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. On January 31, 2019, he passed away after a hard-fought battle with the disease. Bell lived life to the fullest each and every day and thanked God for his blessings. He is an inspiration to all those who knew him, played for him and simply had a chance to meet him. He lived by the motto, “Faith, Not Fear.”
“On behalf of the Birmingham Athletic Partnership, we are pleased to announce the creation of the Emanuel “Tubb” Bell Award,” said Toney Pugh, Executive Director of BAP. “I had the pleasure of working with Coach Bell and his presence will be missed in the Birmingham community. BAP is proud to honor his legacy through this award.”
The award will be presented annually at the BAP Scholarship Awards Night, held in late May. This year’s program will be held on May 15, 2019 at the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame Museum.