Snead State Alumni Honor Athletic Program
The Snead State Alumni Association welcomed former athletics, coaches and alumni associated with the College’s athletic program as special guests for the 2017 Alumni Homecoming.
The Game Day theme for the annual event, which was held Friday, April 28, spotlighted the tradition of excellence in the athletic program. About 80 alumni, students, employees and guests gathered in the Plunkett Wallace Gymnasium to reminisce, to enjoy entertainment provided by Comedian David Ferrell and to honor the recipients of the 2017 Alumnus of the Year and Distinguished Service Awards.
Local businessman Craig Wilks of Albertville was named the 2017 Alumnus of the Year, and Snead State Head Baseball Coach Gerry Ledbetter of Boaz received the 2017 Distinguished Service Award.
“This year’s Alumnus of the Year is someone I’ve known a long time and someone I think very highly of. Over the years as we have presented this award, there is always one characteristic the recipients share – they give of their time and resources not because they want recognition, but because they want to give back to the community where they grew up. Craig Wilks is no different,” said Alumni Director Shelley Smith as she presented the Alumnus of the Year.
Wilks serves as president of Wilks Treading Inc. and as co-owner and vice president of Wilks Tire & Battery Service Inc., which has locations in Albertville, Decatur and Florence. The Wilks also operate B&C Tire in Gadsden. He has been on the Snead State Foundation Board for more than 10 years and currently acts as secretary for the board.
“In working with Craig through the Foundation Board, I can tell you that he has a heart for our students,” said Smith. “Craig would be the first to tell you about the impact Snead State had on not only his life but the lives of his sons, who both attended here as well. Craig is a firm believer in the mission of Snead State and is one of the College’s greatest advocates.”
In addition to volunteering at Snead, Wilks has years of community service including his involvement on the Goodyear Commercial Tire Advisory Board and Crossville First United Methodist Church Financial Committee. He served four years as vice president and president of the Albertville High School Tip-Off Club and the AHS Building and Planning Committee, and he has served on the Albertville Chamber of Commerce Board and was a 6 year board member for the Alabama Tire Dealer Association. He and his wife, Marilyn, were also President of the Albertville Elementary School PTO for two years.
Over the years, Craig has also coached youth soccer, basketball, baseball and T-Ball and was a past member of the Albertville Jaycees. In 2004, Craig also received Albertville’s Citizen of the Year award for his commitment and dedication to the community.
The Alumni Association presents the Distinguished Service Award to a person who has made a significant impact on Snead State Community College or on their community. Coach Gerry Ledbetter has contributed to both during his career.
Ledbetter was a multi-sport athlete at Boaz High School before signing a baseball scholarship to Jacksonville State University. As an All-American centerfielder, he hit a record .320 or better each of the four years he played at JSU.
After graduating from college, he taught and coached multiple sports at Sardis, Cleburne County and Douglas. In 1992, he became the head baseball coach at Snead State. In his 25 seasons, he has had 11 players sign professional contracts, and over 200 players sign four-year scholarships. His record includes over 500 wins at Snead State.
Ledbetter was inducted into the Marshall County Sports Hall of Fame in 2010 and was a 2016 inductee to the Alabama Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame and the Alabama Community College Conference Hall of Fame.
“He is a family man, a friend and outstanding contributor to our college and the community,” said Smith. “Coach Ledbetter is a great leader to both his players and assistant coaches. He is an outstanding role model and mentor.”
As part of the Alumni Homecoming festivities, a new slate of officers was approved for the 2017-2018 year. The officers are President Cherri Barnard of Geraldine, Vice President Malarie Allen of Sardis, Secretary Matt Hubbard of Sardis and Treasurer Regina Sanders of Boaz.
Alumni Homecoming is one of several events hosted by the Alumni Association each year. Anyone who joins the Alumni Association can receive information about the events as well as a membership card that may be redeemed for discounts provided by local businesses. To join the Alumni Association or to learn more about the Alumni Walk scholarship fundraiser, contact the Alumni Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or (256) 840-4128, or visit snead.edu/alumni.
Snead State Alumni Director Shelley Smith, right, congratulates Craig Wilks for receiving the 2017 Alumnus of the Year award.
Snead State Alumni Director Shelley Smith, left, presented the 2017 Distinguished Service Award to Coach Gerry Ledbetter.