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Tanner native makes history as Calhoun Community College's first African American female basketball coach

After a 21-year hiatus, Calhoun announced the return of men's and women’s basketball. The Lady Warhawks coach makes history as first Black female basketball coach.

DECATUR, Ala. — Calhoun Community College head women's basketball coach Candace Byrd - Vinson is a Limestone County native. The Tanner, AL native was also a 4-time All-State player and 2A State Player of the Year at Tanner High School in Limestone County. She played college hoops at Birmingham Southern and had coaching stints at East Lawrence High School and R.A. Hubbard High School, where she led Hubbard to a Class 1A State Championship in 2017. In 2018, Coach Byrd-Vinson was inducted into the Limestone County Sports Hall of Fame. "Well, I began playing basketball at an early age, and once I saw that I was decent in the sport, I decided to try out for the basketball team at Tanner High School. I just have a passion for basketball, you know. I love the sport. I love everything about the sport," said Byrd - Vinson.

After Calhoun's 21-year hiatus, the Lady Warhawk's coach said her experience coaching the team, for the first year back has been an honor. "And then to be the first African American female to lead such a program that has such a rich tradition, winning tradition, it's just been humbling."

But that's not all. "But now the team has made it to the State Tournament, it's magical. I mean, it's a real I can't really explain it. But I've learned a lot." she stated. The Alabama Community College Conference (ACCC) named Byrd- Vinson "Coach of the Year" for the northern division, and Anna Jones is one of the who views Byrd- Vinson as a mother figure.

"She's taught me a lot of anything. She's kind of been like my mom away from home, which I really love, and I respect her for. I think that's a hard job to do. And she does it great," said iterated. Coach Byrd-Vinson leaves all women with a final message. "My final message to women, whether it's here or all across the country or wherever, is to make sure that you believe in yourself. Even if others don't believe in you, you believe in yourself, and you can do anything. You put your mind to. But you know you must work at it, you know? And as a woman, just holding your head high, having, you know, high self-esteem and confidence and surrounding yourself around people who are going to be your cheerleaders and who's going to encourage you," she explained.


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