2012 Hall of Fame Inductees
Mr. Alvin J. Copeland Mr. Roy "Buddy" Knapp Mr. Joe Sanfilippo
Mr. Alvin J. Copeland
For almost a half of a century, Alvin Copeland served as a coach, a physical education department chairperson, and as an athletic director. During this time, he worked tirelessly to serve others. His commitment to excellence was constantly displayed in the classroom, on the athletic fields, and in the community. He expected the best from those around him and more often than not, he received it.
Mr. Roy "Buddy" Knapp
As an athletic administrator, Copeland made major contributions to the overall quality of life for the student-athletes in the Bibb County/ Macon area. Some of the career accomplishments included: working with the school district to build new athletic facilities and to upgrade some of the older facilities, working with school district in building a football stadium with an all-weather track, increasing interscholastic activities for boys and girls from eight to sixteen teams, and building a physical fitness/cross country course on the campus of Northeast High School.
During his storied career, Copeland had several defining moments as an athletic administrator. Being named as the National High School Coach of the Year by the Black Athletic Coaches Association in 2004 in Indianapolis was one such moment.
Another defining moment in the career of Copeland was the naming of the gymnasium at Northeast High School in his honor by students, teachers, administrators, and members of the Macon community.
Coach Copeland won an amazing 881 games as a girls’ basketball coach. Also during his coaching career, his teams won 5 girls basketball state championships, 6 girls track and field state championships, and 2 boys track and field state championships.
As an athletic administrator, Alvin was named GADA Athletic Director of the Year for his region in 2002, 2007, 2009, and 2011. He was named State Athletic Director of the Year in 2007.
Copeland has been inducted into the Fort Valley State University Hall of Fame (1981), the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Hall of Fame (1997), and the Macon Hall of Fame (2004).
He was also named Bibb County Physical Education Teacher of the Year in 1993 and the State of Georgia Physical Education Teacher of the Year in 1994..
One of the goals of the GADA from its very beginning was to be “all-inclusive” in representing athletic directors throughout the state of Georgia. Buddy Knapp was instrumental in helping the GADA to fulfill that goal. While representing tiny, Mt. Zion High School in Carroll County, Knapp was a giant among athletic directors.
Knapp was a GADA member for 15 years and served on the GADA Board of Directors from 1989 until his retirement in 2003. During his tenure on the GADA Board of Directors, Buddy played a key role in the organization’s moving its state conference to the campus of Georgia Southern University. Once the conference was being hosted in Statesboro, Knapp worked tirelessly in negotiating with GSU to continue as a hosting partner for the annual conference.
As GADA President, Knapp conducted a statewide survey that was instrumental in helping the Georgia High School Association to make a decision to move from 4 classifications to 5 classifications.
Knapp was recognized for his efforts by being named Region Athletic Director of the Year in 1992, Class A Athletic Director of the Year in 1994, and the All-Classifications Athletic Director of the Year in 2000. He also received the NIAAA Meritorious Service Award for the state of Georgia in 2002.
While at Mt. Zion, Knapp will also be remembered for the fact that he authored and implemented the first drug-testing program at any Georgia High School. This testing program has served as a model for high schools in Alabama, Kansas and Alaska just to mention a few.
In addition to the accomplishments listed above, Knapp was active in the GADA when the organization started offering ten year certificates of merit to qualified athletic directors, began offering dual NIAAA and GADA memberships, and coordinated volunteers for service during the 1996 Olympic Games.
Mrs. Joe Sanfilippo
Joe Sanfilippo, CMAA, has made an impact in many organizations during his successful career in education. Sanfilippo spent the majority of his career at Jenkins High School as a coach for baseball, soccer, basketball, cross country, football, golf, and softball. He became the school’s athletic director in 1984 and remained there until 2006. Currently, he is assisting the administration at White County High School.
During his 18 years as girl’s softball coach Sanfilippo enjoyed tremendous success. He was named Georgia Guardian and Hollis Stacy Softball Coach of the Year in 1997 and Georgia Guardian Softball Coach of the Year in 1999.
Sanfilippo served as Region vice president form 2004 to 2006 and has hosted Region tournaments for basketball, tennis, track, and volleyball multiple times. Sanfilippo also holds the position of committee chairperson on the White County High School Athletic Hall of Fame committee and developed a brochure for parents, athletes and coaches that is currently being used by the Savannah Chatham County School System.
Sanfilippo has served on the Georgia Athletic Directors Association (GADA) Board of Directors for 10 years and has been a member of the organization for 20 years. He was vice president of the organization in 2006 and president in 2007. Currently, he is serving as the GADA membership chairperson, conference golf chairperson, and NIAAA liaison. In addition, Sanfilippo is a member of the GADA’s Retired Athletic Directors Committee and Strategic Planning Committee.
Sanfilippo is a 17-year member of the NIAAA, has participated in 16 National Athletic Directors Conferences. The NIAAA Leadership Training Institute (LTI) instructor for the GADA, Sanfilippo was an LTI facilitator during the 2009 National Athletic Directors Conference in Dallas.
Sanfilippo served on the NIAAA Credentials Committee for 2000 to 2005 and from 2008 to present. He was Georgia’s NIAAA delegate for the conference from 2007 to 2009. Sanfilippo earned his CAA certification in 1994 and his CMAA in 2004.
Sanfilippo earned his bachelor’s degree from Southwestern (Kansas) College and his master’s from Florida State University.