Candace Byrd
Class of 2018

Candace Byrd

There are a lot of things about Candace Byrd that stand out to her former coach, Larry Greene. Her athleticism, leadership and ability to play multiple positions on the basketball floor come to mind. But the former Tanner coach’s favorite memories of Byrd are of her putting the team before anything else, including individual accolades.

“She was a very, very unselfish player,” Greene said. “She could have scored a lot more points than she did, but her unselfishness and involving other players was something that I will never forget as far as her playing days.”

Byrd played for Tanner’s varsity team from 1994-2000, starting in the seventh grade, and played her final three years under Greene. The pair of them led Tanner from a program that won 23 total games from 1990-1997 to back-to-back Northwest Regional tournament appearances in 1999 and 2000.

Byrd was named All-County five times and named to the All-State team three times. She averaged 21.3 points per game and 14.2 rebounds per game during her high school career. At the time of her graduation, she was the leading rebounder in Alabama high school history. She went on to play college basketball at Birmingham-Southern College.

Those accolades led to her being selected for induction into the Limestone County Sports Hall of Fame.

“It’s a great honor,” Byrd said. “I was really shocked that I was selected, because I know there are so many others in Limestone County who have played before me and have done great things. You dream of being considered one of the best, and for that to come to reality is just a blessing.” Byrd ostensibly played in the post, but Greene said her versatility allowed her to play just about anywhere on the court.

“She was a post player, but Candace had such ability that she could have been a guard,” Greene said. “A lot of times we would have to have Candace bring the ball up the court like a guard, then pass the ball to a guard and go post up. Also, when we had to break the press, we would utilize Candace and her passing ability to do that. She was a really well- rounded player.”

Greene remembered Byrd’s excellent leadership ability, which helped the Tanner program make great improvements during her final three seasons. “When me and my wife — who was also my assistant coach — got there, people told us the players wouldn’t come to summer workouts and wouldn’t go to camps,” Greene said. “We talked with Candace about that. The first year we were there, they all came to summer workouts everyday, because they were following Candace’s leadership. From then on, it was like they had been doing it forever. They would work out in the summer, go to team camps and individual camps. The Tanner program took off from that point.”

After her career at Birmingham-Southern came to a close, Byrd got into coaching. She is currently the head girls basketball coach at R.A. Hubbard High School in North Courtland, where she led the team to a Class 1A state championship in 2017. Greene is not surprised to see the success she has enjoyed on the sidelines.

“We still talk quite often, and she talked to me about the fact that she would like to get into coaching,” Greene said. “I thought she would make an excellent role model and excellent coach, and she has done that.”

Byrd said coaching wasn’t in her plans initially, but she felt led to be a role model and teacher for the next generation of athletes.

“In my spiritual walk with the Lord, I believe there is a time and place for everything,” Byrd said. “I believe it was his plan for me to be in coaching. I love what I do. The lives I feel I’ve touched and the relationships I’ve had over the year with students are special. I just want to make an impact on someone. Someone made a way for me, and that’s what I feel I’m supposed to do. Share what I know with others.