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Sanford T. Roach

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Information about Sanford T. Roach

Profile image of Sanford T. Roach

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
SportsMakers
Occupation(s):
Elementary School Principal
High School Basketball Coach
High School Principal

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Chicken
Favorite Time of Year:
Football, Basketball Season
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Hawaii
Favorite Quote:
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Birthplace

Born:
2/26/1916
Birth Location:
Frankfort, Kentucky

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
SportsMakers
Occupation(s):
Elementary School Principal
High School Basketball Coach
High School Principal

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Chicken
Favorite Time of Year:
Football, Basketball Season
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Hawaii
Favorite Quote:
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Birthplace

Born:
2/26/1916
Birth Location:
Frankfort
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Biography

Educator and basketball coach, Sanford T. Roach, was born in Frankfort, Kentucky. Roach graduated from Danville Bate High School in 1933 in Danville, Kentucky, where he was a basketball and football star and salutatorian of his class. In 1937, Roach earned his B.S. degree in natural sciences from Kentucky State University, where he was the captain of the basketball team, a track and field star, editor of the student newspaper, and a student council member. In 1955, Roach earned his M.A. degree in education from the University of Kentucky.

After graduating from college, Roach returned to his old high school to teach and coach basketball. Over the course of three years, Roach's coaching record was 98-24; in 1941 he gained notoriety for benching his five starting players the day of the district tournament for disobeying his curfew rule. Roach's strict sense of discipline on the court caught the attention of the principal of Lexington's Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, and he was soon hired as teacher and coach. Roach taught biology, physiology, and anatomy classes; by 1943 he had become head basketball coach. In his twenty-two years as head coach, Roach led Dunbar High to a 512-142 record.

In 1965, Roach's first wife, Mary, herself a basketball enthusiast, died unexpectedly. Shortly after, Roach retired from coaching. Between 1965 and 1966, Roach served as principal of George W. Carver Elementary School, becoming the first black principal of an integrated elementary school in Lexington. Between 1966 and 1975, Roach worked as an administrator at Lexington Junior High, and became the first black principal of a Fayette County secondary school. From 1975 to 1988, Roach worked as a minority recruiter and principal assistant for the state secretary of transportation, and from 1989 to 1995 he worked for Mayors Scotty Baseler and Pam Miller.

Roach received numerous awards and honors for his educational and coaching career. In 1974, Roach became the first African American board member of the University of Kentucky Athletic Association; in 1991, the new Paul Laurence Dunbar High School dedicated its S.T. Roach Sports Center in his honor. Roach was featured in the National High School Sports Hall of Fame; the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame; and the Kentucky State University Athletic Hall of Fame.

Roach passed away on September 2, 2010 at the age of 94.

Roach married Lettie in 1967, and had two children: Sandra Cole and Tom Roach.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Sanford Roach interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Sanford Roach's favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Sanford Roach discusses his family history
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Sanford Roach remembers his parents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Sanford Roach recalls his childhood home, Danville, Kentucky
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Sanford Roach recalls his childhood activities
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Sanford Roach recalls his high school years
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Sanford Roach remembers his days playing high school basketball
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Sanford Roach recounts an injury suffered while playing basketball
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Sanford Roach discusses the successes of his high school basketball team
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Sanford Roach remembers his father's death
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Sanford Roach shares stories about his parents
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Sanford Roach recalls a humorous story from his college years at Kentucky State College
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Sanford Roach discusses his sports career at Kentucky State College
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Sanford Roach remembers his first teaching position after college
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Sanford Roach describes a rewarding professional experience
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Sanford Roach remembers his mentors
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Sanford Roach talks about his high school basketball coaching career during the 1940s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Sanford Roach describes working for the Merchant Marines in the Great Lakes
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Sanford Roach recalls episodes in courtship
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Sanford Roach reviews his career at Bate High School, Danville, Kentucky
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Sanford Roach discusses basketball strategy
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Sanford Roach describes the concerns of a high school basketball coach
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Sanford Roach discusses the discipline of his basketball players at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Sanford Roach recalls the travels of his Paul Laurence Dunbar High School basketball team
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Sanford Roach remembers basketball stars he coached at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Sanford Roach discusses issues in mentoring youth
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Sanford Roach discusses the successes of his teams at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Sanford Roach explains why he retired from coaching basketball
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Sanford Roach discusses segregation in the University of Kentucky's basketball program
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Sanford Roach describes an instance of racism at a University of Kentucky basketball game
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Sanford Roach explains how he helped Tubby Smith become head basketball coach at the University of Kentucky
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Sanford Roach discusses race relations in the University of Kentucky's athletic department
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Sanford Roach considers his legacy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Sanford Roach describes his mother's response to his career in basketball
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Sanford Roach describes how he'd like to be remembered
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Photo - Sanford Roach and wife with P. G. Peeples at a Magic Johnson reception
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Photo - Sanford Roach with Earvin 'Magic' Johnson and Jacques Wigginton
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Photo - 'Transition Game' by Billy Reed
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Photo - Sanford Roach receiving a hall of fame award in Tampa, Florida