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In Memory Of Our Poets

Bill Allen Joiner (1931-2015) - Class Of 1949

Billy Allen Joiner, born June 7, 1931 in Montgomery, Alabama, went to be with the Lord on February 1, 2015. He was preceded in death by his parents: George and Ruth Hill Joiner.

Mr. Joiner graduated from Sidney Lanier in 1949. He was MVP of AHSAA Basketball State Tournament for the State Champion Poets. He attended Troy State where he played football, basketball and baseball; was a coach at Walton County High School from 1953 to 1960; coached at Sidney Lanier High School from 1961 to 1973; coached four basketball State Championships and two runner-ups. He was head football coach and athletic director from 1969 to 1973.

He started Olympia Sporting Goods in 1973 and built it into a successful family business which eventually became a successful team sales business. Mr. Joiner was a faithful supporter of Children's Harbor and Church in the Pines at Lake Martin, Alabama.

He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Joyce J. Joiner, of Pike Road, Alabama and Lake Martin, Alabama; his son: Allen Joiner and wife, Jill, Pike Road, Alabama; his daughter: Leslie Joiner Bishop, and husband, Mark, Pike Road, Alabama; two grandchildren: Alan Bishop, and wife, Brooke, Montgomery, Alabama; Brandt Bishop, Pike Road, Alabama; one great-grandchild: Kate Bishop.

Visitation will be at Leak Memory Chapel on Wednesday, February 4, 2015 from 5:00 until 7:00opm. A chapel service will be held at Leak Memory Chapel on Thursday, February 5, 2015 at 2:00 PM with Jim Ray officiating. Burial will be in Greenwood Cemetery.

Pallbearers will be John Shaw, Johnny Robinson, Charles Jinwright, William Roland, George “Snoozie” Jones, Phillip Young, Slade Rhodes and Ricky Jones.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to:
Children's Harbor
1 Our Children's Highway
Alexander City AL 35010-8620

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Former Players Remember Lanier Legend Coach Bill Joiner

Published in the Montgomery Advertiser from February 3-4, 2015

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02/03/15 10:08 AM #1    

Robert "Robbie" M. Howe, III (1946-2018) (1965)

I, as many others, was fortunate to have been under the tutelage of Coach Joiner and his then assistant coach,  George “Snoozy” Jones.  It was a time of great uncertainty in all our lives.  The Civil Rights movement was ablaze all across the South with Montgomery, and Dr. Martin Luther King at its epicenter.  The Vietnam war buildup and its attendant draft was escalating rapidly.  All of the guys with whom I trained and played varsity and intramural sports at Lanier during the Joiner era knew we were living in the shadow of history.  Coach Joiner, also a student and teacher of history, stood firm, stood for the eternal verities of discipline, self-control, sacrifice, and, above all, hard work applied both on the court and in the classroom.  His teams were forged in the crucible of his practices.  “Okay, boys, on the green line” meant we had not lived up to his expectation of effort and concentration that he unrelentingly required.  He was also an ardent student of the game, employing, long before others in Alabama High School basketball, the UCLA full and half-court zone press, the 3-2 zone and the half-court zone trap.  Our teams knew the subtleties of the team game at a level seldom seen in amateur or professional athletics.  It paid off—we won, and we won with class.  Coach Joiner’s discipline, his hard-nosed-but-fair decisions, his unrelenting commitment to winning by being better, playing harder and, if nothing else, just plain outworking the other guy have proved themselves for all of us who played under him again and again.  More than anything else, though, his exhortation in prayer at every game, “God, thank you for the courage, desire and effort displayed here tonight by these boys . . .”  was what he strove to instill in all of us—courage, desire and effort that he knew would be sorely needed by boys who quickly became men in the jungles of Southeast Asia, who were battered in the cultural struggles of the wild and wooly sixties, who raised families, built businesses, and who, today, I suspect, would hail Bill Joiner as one of the most influential men in their lives. 


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