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Alabama Community College System, Snead State Community College Honor Former Head Coach John Kitchens

four individuals standing for a photo in suits and dress clothes
Former Snead State Head Coach John Kitchens was honored by the Alabama Community College System Board of Trustees and Chancellor Jimmy Baker during the Board meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 9.

A coaching legacy was recognized on Wednesday, Oct. 9, for a career that spanned over 40 years.

The Alabama Community College System Board of Trustees unanimously passed a resolution honoring former Snead State Community College Head Coach John Thomas Kitchens for his years of services and his coaching accomplishments. 

Snead State Community College will also formally recognize Coach Kitchens with a dedication ceremony in January, officially naming the court in the Plunkett-Wallace Gymnasium the Coach John Kitchens Court.

"Today was a very special day for our family. Thank you to (Snead State President) Dr. Robert Exley for your leadership and making this possible," said Alabama Representative Wes Kitchens, the grandson of Coach Kitchens.

"John Kitchens' impact on Snead College lives on today. It's not unusual to see Coach Kitchens in the stands at the gym, supporting our basketball teams," said Dr. Exley. "We are proud to have this opportunity to honor his success and the legacy he has left within our community."

A native of Marshall County, Coach Kitchens was a graduate of Trinity High School in Morgan County and of Florida State College. His coaching career started in 1959 at Carlisle Park in Guntersville, where his Cubcats went 9-10.

Coach Kitchens' first job as a high school coach was at Eva High School, and his team was named county runner-up in 1961. During his tenure at Eva, his record was 30-24. 

The unforgettable years of his career came during his tenure at DAR, where he won a state championship and placed second and third at the state championship. His Patriots won four consecutive county championships – 1965, 1966, 1967 and 1968. When Coach Kitchens left D.A.R. for Northwest Junior College, his record was 159-36. After a 19-26 record at Northwest, he headed to Snead State Junior College. 

As a head coach at Snead, Coach Kitchens' men's team were Northern Division champs in 1970. From 1970-1988, the men went 201-161. He was awarded Coach of the Year in 1980. Coach Kitchens coached women's basketball at Snead State from 1986-2000, winning three state championships, including 7th and 12th place finishes in the nation. 

He was named conference Coach of the Year three times in women's basketball. The Alabama Junior College Athletic Hall of Fame Coach won a total of 640 games and lost 415. He is also a member of the Marshall County Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2002. 

Coach Kitchens' legacy lives on today. Some of his former players have moved on to have notable careers as coaches. His children and grandchildren also followed in his footsteps as athletes, coaches and educators. His son, Brad currently works in the Central Office with Arab City Schools and coaches Junior Varsity boys basketball for Arab. Like his dad, Brad has coached basketball for many years.

Coach Kitchens' daughter, Nan, and her husband, Jimmy Gardner, have a son and daughter. Their daughter is a college student, and their son, who goes by J, was a successful high school football and baseball player at Deshler. 

Coach Kitchens other son, Lance, is also a career educator who's been in the Albertville School System most of his career. Between stints with Albertville, he was in Boaz Schools for five years and was head boys basketball coach at Boaz from 2004-2008. He is currently the principal of Albertville Middle School. Lance has four sons who play various sports at Albertville.