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Baynes with his sons (from left): Rusty, Allen, Mark

Ronnie Baynes Day to be proclaimed

By Michael Butler

Ronnie Baynes has excelled at many things, from coaching to officiating. On Saturday, June 6, the city of Tallassee he will be recognized for "Ronnie Baynes Day."

Baynes, who was a multi-sport athlete at Talladega High School and Auburn University, coached several sports.

He was the head football coach at Tallassee from 1974-81. His baseball teams won five state championships; 1986, '87, '89, '90 and '91.

"One of the really good things we had in Tallassee was the opportunity to be involved in all levels," Baynes said. "It's so important to get everybody working on the same page. I got involved. I had kids involved. I was down there coaching. It was not unusual for me to coach high school practice, Little League and Babe Ruth.

Baynes with grandsons Brandon and Casey at his Hall of Fame induction

Baynes, a 2013 Alabama Sports Hall of Fame inductee, still returns to Tallassee regularly to watch his grandkids play sports. His special day will begin at 11:00 a.m during the Tallassee Now! event at City Hall.

Former player Tommy Wisener played on two state title teams under Baynes. As Tallassee Athletic Club president he is assisting with coordinating the ceremony.

"We're going to retire his number 13," Wisener said. "On Friday night, we're having a social for all his former players, no matter what sport, from 7-9 (p.m.) at the Guest House. All he said he wanted out of this was to see as many of his ex-players as he could."

Shane Yankey was a pitcher on the first Tallassee team to reach a state final in Yankey's senior year, 1985. One of Yankey's favorite stories about his former coach came during the '85 season.

"He didn't like the way were practicing," said Yankey. "He told us we were practicing like a bunch of girls. He made us go out to center field and do cheers. John Wilbanks led the cheers."

Baynes also coached at Central Alabama Community College and Mountain Brook High School after Tallassee. He is now fielding a new baseball team in the Birmingham area at Cornerstone Christian High School. The small private school will take to the diamond for the first time in 2016.

He has been a college and NFL official and served as Director of Officiating. He still serves as NFL Director of Recruiting.

All three of Baynes' sons are football officials now. "He's the patriarch," Rusty said of his father. "We certainly listen to what he has to say. He's (officiated) for a long time and knows what to look for. We do talk about it all the time. It's what we do."

Rusty will be with his son Will for baseball games the weekend of his father's recognition. "I'm not going to make it. Y'all hold it down for me," he said.

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