For Lymos McDonald, it was always about the players, and his philosophy was pretty simple. “Show them how much you care, not how much you know, and they will fight for you,’ he said. “My job is to out coach the other teams’ coaches and their job is to outplay the other team’s players.” His love for his players also led to great success on the field. It seems like Lymos McDonald spent a lot of time on the winning sideline throughout his career.
Playing high school football at legendary Hazelwood High School, Cpach McDonald never played in a losing regular season game for three seasons. During his sophomore year, the Golden Bears went 13-0 and won the state championship. In three seasons they amassed a record of 34-2 and Lymos McDonald was selected to the All State 1st team as a junior and a senior. He then signed on with Alabama State University where success followed him again. He was a three year starter at Bama State, the team’s leading tackler his junior and senior year and the leading conference tackler in 1988. Lymos was selected 1st team All SWAC linebacker his senior year.
After graduation, he decided to enter coaching. After a brief stint at Selma High School in the early 90s, Coach McDonald returned to his alma mater Hazlewood in 1996. Again it was about the players. He took the lessons he had learned and turned them into more successful sidelines. Working as a football assistant, the Golden Bears were 39-7 in his four seasons. He also coached the girls track team, who were state champions in 1997 and 98 and runner ups in 1999.
In the fall of 1999, he replaced Louis White as head coach of the legendary Courtland Chiefs. His first season was special. On December 2, 1999 at Legion Field in Birmingham, Courtland defeated Brantley 13-10 to win the 1A State Championship game. In 10 years there, the Chiefs of Lymos McDonald won 80 games with many of their regular season games being against larger programs. with three semifinal berths and two state championship game appearances. His 2003 team held its first seven opponents scoreless. When Courtland merged with Hazlewood and Speake in 2009 to form R.A. Hubbard, Coach McDonald made it about the players once again, staying on as defensive coordinator.
In 2015, he took on the challenge of rebuilding the program at Cherokee High School and spent five years there. His 2017 team set a school record for points scored and made it to the 3rd round of the playoffs for the first time in 18 years.
For the past six years, Coach Lymos McDonald has served as pastor of Red Bank Missionary Baptist Church in Town Creek. He has always received great support from his family, His wife Sylvia of 33 years, and his daughters Tiffannie, Jasma and Martia who passed away in February 2019 and grandchild Avery Nieves.
Terrius Ashford, a member of Coach McDonald’s 1999 state championship team, said “Coach always preached to his players about hard work while doing it with class and honor. He believed that you should be a good representative of your family name and community”.
One of his former assistants and friend Melcha Satchel said that one of Coach McDonald’s greatest qualities was bringing people together. “It takes a particular kind of person to reach all of those around him,” he said. “But Coach McDonald can engage others and make them believe in one common goal.”
The Alabama Football Coaches Association is proud to present its Lifetime Achievement Award to Coach Lymos McDonald.