Don Creasy loved football. He came from Spring Valley School as a ninth grader to Colbert County High School in 1957 so he could play football. That fall he played in the first football game he ever saw. Don played there for the Hall of Fame coach C.T. Manley. He became an outstanding player and was selected to play in the North South All Star game. At the All Star game he became friends with several players that were planning to try out for the Florence State football team. They convinced him to try out as well. He impressed the coaches there and earned a full scholarship. Don played there from 1961-1965, earning three letters and the Most Valuable Lineman award in 1964. At Florence, he married his wife of 59 years, Nancy and they raised two children, Allen and Donna. Allen would go on to become a highly successful coach himself.
Don Creasy loved coaching football. After graduating from Florence, he took an assistant football and wrestling position at Sheffield in 1966. He spent three years there before he returned to Colbert County in 1969 as an assistant to his former coach, C.T. Manley. At Colbert County he served as an assistant football and freshman basketball coach. In his last season as an assistant at Colbert County, he was the defensive coordinator for the 1972 State Championship Football team that some still rank as one of the greatest teams in state history. That team included Alabama and Cleveland Browns great Ozzie Newsome, Auburn quarterback Phil Gargis and Alabama captain Thad Flannagan. In 1973 he took his first head coaching job at Central High School in Florence. He was able to lead them to their first playoff appearance in school history.
Don Creasy loved Colbert County High School. In 1978 he returned to his alma mater as the head football coach replacing the great Coach Manley where he would remain until 1989. During this time he compiled an incredible record of 126-26-1, state championships in 1979 and 1985 and multiple playoff appearances. After leaving Colbert County in 1989, he spent two seasons at Coffee High School and then ended his career at Mountain Brook in 1995 with 185 career wins.
Don Creasy loved his players. He believed they were capable of great things and refused to accept anything but their best. “Do it again,” he would growl on the practice field. He believed in motivating them. “It’s not hard to convince someone that is not very good that he isn’t very good. You have to make him believe he can play,” he would say. He taught his players to play by the rules and to treat every opponent with respect and dignity. He also expected a great effort from his staff and certainly from himself. “It doesn’t matter what the obstacles are,” he would tell them. “The job doesn’t change. You have to find a way!”
Don Creasy was loved by his players. Former player and Hall of Fame coach himself Steve Mask said Coach Creasy taught him so much about dealing and caring for people. “He was always very aware about what was going on around his players,” Coach Mask said. “He was a man’s man. I wouldn’t be anywhere in this business without his help.” Many of those former players can still see him today, bending down to snatch up a handful of grass to chew during the game.
Don Creasy was twice selected as state coach of the year as well as being a member of the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame and the Colbert County Hall of Fame. When he passed away in October of 2022, his love of the game and the people that played it had already made him a North Alabama coaching legend. The Alabama Football Coaches Association is proud to bestow its Lifetime Achievement Award upon Coach Don Creasy.