Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Sanford T. Roach, October 4, 2004

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:00 - Background information / Bate High School

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Partial Transcript: This is an interview with Mr. S.T. Roach of Lexington, Kentucky. And this is for the oral history program at the University of Kentucky.

Segment Synopsis: Sanford T. Roach talks about his early years as a school boy, and his years coaching at segregated Bate High School for Negroes in Danville, Kentucky.

Keywords: Bate High School, 1933; Bates served Garrard County and Lincoln County high school students; Danville High School football field; Grades 1-12 at Bate School; No school buses; School sports

Subjects: Basketball; Coach and athlete; Danville (Ky.); Football; Kentucky State University; School segregation

00:06:59 - Going back home / going to college

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Partial Transcript: At what point did you decide that you would continue with school and go on to K State and go on to university?

Segment Synopsis: Roach talks about his move back to Danville to teach at Bate School, coaching basketball and football, attending Kentucky State College, and the loss of his front teeth.

Keywords: Front teeth knocked out, ran into a wall; Midwestern Athletic Conference (Black); Paul L. Dunbar in Lexington; Segregation and higher education in Kentucky; Sick wife

Subjects: Basketball coaches; Dentistry; Football coaches; Higher education and state--Kentucky; Kentucky State University; Track and field

00:15:55 - African American coaches in Kentucky / Kentucky Athletic League for Black Schools / Colored National Tournament in Tennessee

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Partial Transcript: What I wanted to ask you was, uh, about some of the coaches that you've had.

Segment Synopsis: Roach recalls the names of African American coaches in Kentucky that he remembers. He also talks about the segregated athletic organization, Kentucky Athletic League.

Keywords: Bate High School; Bill Reed, coach in Paris (Ky.); Black high school athletic organizations; Coaches at the segregated Black schools in Kentucky; National Tournament for Colored Schools, Tennessee

Subjects: Coaches (Athletics); Lincoln Institute of Kentucky; Segregation in education--Kentucky

00:25:14 - Playing against Black teams versus playing against white teams / school integration

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Partial Transcript: When did you first get your chance to play an all-white team?

Segment Synopsis: Roach talks about playing against white teams in Pikeville, Paintsville, and Breathitt County, where the team was overfed and played a little sluggish. He also talks about the competition with Black schools in Lexington, and Kentucky overall.

Keywords: Henry Clay High School, Lexington (Ky.); Integration of schools and sports teams; Lafayette High School, Lexington (Ky.); Playing in eastern Kentucky without incident

Subjects: Basketball; Breathitt County (Ky.); Pikeville (Ky.); School integration; Vandalism

00:34:24 - Coming to Dunbar High School / friendship among coaches at Lexington Black schools / white sports officials / lesser quality materials at Dunbar School

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Partial Transcript: I want to ask you--I wanted to get into Dunbar now.

Segment Synopsis: Roach talks about the camaraderie among the sports coaches at Dunbar High School and other Black schools, and white officials. He also talks about the lower quality of materials, books, and equipment at Dunbar compared to white schools.

Keywords: Bad materials for Black schools in Lexington; Coaching basketball; N. L. Passmore; Sports rivalry; White sports officials; William "Bunny" Davis

Subjects: Athletes; Athletic coaches; Discrimination in education; Segregation in education; Sports officials

00:47:06 - Coaching is teaching

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Partial Transcript: Was teaching important to you as a coach as well?

Segment Synopsis: Roach talks about the double mission of coaching and teaching, and the necessity of good behavior at all times on the part of the students.

Keywords: Being good citizens; Good behavior; Influence; Lou Johnson; Parent involvement; Sports trophies

Subjects: Coaching; Discipline; Education; Teaching

00:55:17 - Coverage of games in the local media / team pride in the city / years of coaching at Dunbar

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Partial Transcript: Now I wanted to ask you just a little bit, and I seen some things recently in the paper about this, but I wanted to ask you about the coverage that Dunbar got in the papers...

Segment Synopsis: Roach talks about the incidents that surrounded the amount of media coverage, and helping the basketball players to keep their self-control. He also talks about the team pride in the community and within the school, and his years at Dunbar.

Keywords: Community proud of basketball team; Incident that changed the media coverage; Media coverage of high school basketball games; Paul Laurence Dunbar in Lexington; Pride; Racial and sexual remarks about female family members; Self-control

Subjects: Dunbar High School (Lexington, Ky.); Newspapers--Kentucky.

01:03:18 - Move to Lexington Junior High School after Dunbar, then move to politics

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Partial Transcript: After I left Lexington, uh, Carver, which I stayed there only one year, I had a chance to move to Lexington Junior.

Segment Synopsis: Roach talks about his good life at Carver and in politics after leaving Dunbar School. He was in the Kentucky Transportation Department in Frankfort, and in the Mayor's Office in Lexington.

Keywords: 1,200 students; Accredited by the Southern Association; Blacks in Kentucky state government; Integrated staff; Too many students

Subjects: Education; Frankfort (Ky.); Lexington (Ky.); Opportunity; Politics; School integration

01:10:23 - Other activities beyond everyday work

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Partial Transcript: Now, plus the fact, uh, we've had the privilege of being on the board, athletic board at UK.

Segment Synopsis: Roach talks about all the other things that he was involved in beyond his work day and coaching years. He also talks about the awards and recognition that he has received.

Keywords: Basketball camp; Boy participants in the camp; Getting Tubby Smith to UK; Other things involved in

Subjects: Awards; Basketball; Basketball coaches--Kentucky; Recognition; University of Kentucky

01:15:33 - Review of coaching record and other recognition and achievements / athletics and integration

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Partial Transcript: Six hundred and ten wins, a hundred and sixty-six losses.

Segment Synopsis: Roach talks more about his achievements. He also gives credit to athletics as a major factor in integration among school students.

Keywords: Before integration and after integration; Hall of Fame; Wins and losses

Subjects: Basketball; Integration in sports