Jayne Clem
Class of 2017

Jayne Clem
It didn’t take long for the hall of fame invitations to roll in for Jayne Clem, following her retirement from Wallace State in 2016.

A year after being inducted into the Cullman County Sports Hall of Fame, Clem will enter the Limestone County Sports Hall of Fame as part of the 2017 class. The banquet will be at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, June 24, at the Limestone County Event Center. Clem is one eight new inductees in the Limestone County Sports Hall of Fame.

Born and raised in Limestone County, Clem took her first job with the Arab City Schools system, where she started junior school volleyball and basketball programs and later became the high school’s softball coach. Over the next seven years at Arab, she won two state championships and compiled a 395-104 record.

In 1996, she returned home to her native Athens to begin the Athens Middle School softball program as well as head the volleyball team. It was growing up in Athens where Clem said she was inspired to become a coach by Myra King and Harold Murrell.

“She was and still is my role model,” Clem said of King, whom she first met as a seventh-grader while King was student teaching. King later went on to coach women’s basketball at Calhoun and coached Clem, who joined the basketball team on scholarship.

Murrell coached baseball and basketball at Athens State. Clem began keeping the scorebook for him at basket- ball games in 1979, and continued to do that for the next 25 years.

Clem left Athens to be the head softball coach at Wallace State in 1999 and went on to win nine ACCC Division 1 Softball Conference Championships and two NJCAA Division I National Championships (2008, 2013). Those champi- onships came during a six-year run that included two runner-up finishes (2009, 2010) and one third place finish (2012). During her tenure at Wallace State, Clem amassed a remarkable record of 823-217, a .791 winning percentage. She was named Alabama Community College Coach of the Year 11 times (2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013).

“I’ve coached bunches and bunches of kids and you can have all the talent in the world, but success happens when you have kids who want to play ball and do what you ask them to do,” said Clem. “So I look for good athletes who can play multiple positions, and who have heart and desire. We’ve not necessarily had the most talented ath- letes, but we worked together as a team and we had great heart.”

She was presented the Karen L. Sykes Outstanding National Coach of the Year Award in 2008 and 2013 by the NJCAA. And she and her staff were named Coaching Staff of the Year by the National Fastpitch Coaching Associa- tion in 2008, 2010 and 2013, and the NFCA’s South Region Coaching Staff of the Year in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2013. As icing on the cake and an ultimate honor, in 2014 and 2015 Clem was selected to coach NJCAA All-Stars at the Canadian Open, representing the U.S. abroad.

Looking back on an illustrious career, Clem says there aren’t many goals she set out to accomplish that she hasn’t achieved.

“Of course there are never enough national championships,” said Clem. “But I promised Dr. (James) Bailey when I came we would win a state championship for him and we were able to do that the first time in 2003, the year he retired. When we won the national championship in 2008, he called and he said he knew he’d hired the right person.”

Since retiring, Clem has been able to watch her grandson and granddaughter play for West Limestone’s athletic teams. Her grandson, Brayden Clem, recently graduated from West Limestone while her granddaughter is an eighth- grader who plays basketball, softball and volleyball at West.