Ronnie Stapler grew up in Huntsville and played three years of varsity basketball for the legendary Cotton Rogers at Butler High School. As a senior, Stapler was a starting guard on a Butler team that went 28-1. After high school, he played at Walker College for two years, was a starter for one year at Centenary College in Shreveport, La., and a starter as a senior transfer at Florence State College, where he graduated in 1970. He later earned a Masters degree at the University of Montevallo. Stapler has been a teacher and coach (golf, wrestling, football, softball and basketball) at Huntsvilles Grissom High School for the past 28 years. He coached Grissoms state golf champions in 1983 and was named the Huntsville City Schools softball coach of the year in 1979-80. But he is best known, of course, as Grissoms longtime head basketball coach. Going into the 1997-98 season, Staplers basketball record at Grissom was 392-238. His 1988 team won the state championship and his 97 team was second. Forty of Staplers players have signed college scholarships.