Friday, September 17, 2010

Don Laney publishes “Charley’s Boys – St. Bernard College in the Sixties”

Many stories have circulated about Coach Charles Richard during the many decades when he was the mentor of athletics at St. Bernard. Don Laney, a member of the basketball team who played for Coach Richard in the late 1960s, has recently published a book entitled “Charley’s Boys – St. Bernard College in the Sixties.” In it Laney tells the story of the four years he was enrolled in St. Bernard College with a special emphasis on the basketball program and the guidance provided by Coach Richard for the players under his charge.

“I decided to write this book,” said Laney, “when I told someone that I graduated from St. Bernard College. They had never heard of the place. It was then that I decided to write down my memories of the years I spent there and how important they were to me and others. I wanted to share my experience of this great place and tell others what an inspiration it continues to be for me.”

Laney said, “When writing the book, I was in contact with several of my teammates. Every time we talked, we always came back to particular memories about Coach Charlie. The stories were so good, I felt the need to write them down and publish them for others to read.”

Laney, a 1970 graduate of St. Bernard College, played for Coach Charlie and was a member of the 1968 team that won the ACC basketball championship over Jacksonville State College. “We played high scoring games,” he said. “It was nothing to run a score up in the triple digits. We ran plays designed by Coach Charlie who had a lot of talented players who could play the game and score.”

Along with the basketball narrative, Laney’s book tells the story of St. Bernard in the late 1960s. He speaks of campus activities, the professors and priests who formed the faculty as well as the students who were enrolled in the college. “Coach Richard was a part of it all,” said Laney, “and his influence could be seen not only in the athletic program but across the campus.”

Laney is a retired school teacher from the Marshall County School System where he served as a coach and instructor for more than 30 years.

St. Bernard College closed in 1979. In 1984 St. Bernard reopened its Prep School program and today serves students in grades 7-12. In 2011 St. Bernard will celebrate its 120th year of providing an education for the students who have enrolled in its schools.

“Charley’s Boys: St. Bernard College in the Sixties” can be purchased online at, or from the Ave Maria Grotto bookstore (256-734-4110) or from the author at

A book signing will be held at Ave Maria Grotto on Saturday, November 6 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

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