Catching up with Coach Kirk Norris

Published 11:42 pm Friday, June 30, 2023

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Coach Kirk Norris, who has been coaching basketball for over 22 years, is looking forward to his 17 season at Georgiana School. Norris wears many hats at Panther Nation, serving as the school’s athletic director, head boys and girls basketball coach for both junior high and high school teams, physical education and driver’s education teacher, and also a certified bus driver. 

Coach Norris is well known for his consistency and punctuality at Georgiana, and held with the utmost respect by students and staff. 

Coach Derrick Atkins said, “Coach Norris is a really good guy. He’s really funny, but all about business and being prepared. He’s great to work with and for.”

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A native of Opp, 43-year-old Norris graduated from Opp High School in 1997. He went on to play basketball at the collegiate level while attending the University of Montevallo. While on the team, he helped to lead the Division II Falcons to their first ever appearance in the Gulf South Conference (GSC) Tournament and was also selected to the GSC Winter All-Academic Basketball Team. Upon graduation, he received his Masters degree in Education.

Before leaving Montevallo, Norris spent two years serving as an assistant men’s basketball coach. While there he helped lead the team to its first ever GSC championship and a Sweet 16 finish in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Tournament.

Prior to settling in at Georgiana, Norris served as head basketball coach at Slocomb High School, producing the school’s first winning season in 10 years. Since then, Norris has led the Georgiana Panthers to five final four berths, two state championship game appearances, five South Regional Championships, and 13 area championships.

In 2012, he was named the Alabama High School Association (AHSAA) All-Star coach for the South Boys high school all-stars team. Norris was also named Alabama High School Basketball Coach of the year in 2012 and 2016. He was awarded as Athletic Director of the Year in 2016.

During his tenure at Georgiana, 16 student-athletes have signed basketball scholarships. He also leads a successful skills and fundamentals camp, each summer for all school age children, from the surrounding areas. Norris said he tries to model to his students what being a good human being looks like, while leading by example. He said he always tells them to treat others, the way they want to be treated. 

“I try to take them places to experience things they wouldn’t normally get to see. Whether we are visiting a college campus, or enjoying some down time at the beach, our bonding time is very important to me,” he said.

Coach Norris enjoys spending time with his family, and an occasional game of golf when he is not coaching, “but that is rare,” he said. He has been married to wife Leslie for 18 years, and together they have two boys, Brady, 10, and Tyler, 6.