Troy Hinton, who died Jan. 17, 2010 at age 90, was one of Huntsvilles most widely recognized and respected sports figures for much of his adult life. Born April 19, 1919 in Fayette County, Ala., he had been a resident of Madison County since 1961. He was a graduate of Curry High School and later earned an undergraduate degree at Jacksonville State (1950) and a masters degree from Alabama A&M. Prior to college, he served in the U.S. Army during World II in North Africa, Italy and various other battle fronts. Hinton coached basketball, baseball and softball at Monrovia High School from 1951-55. After working at the P. R. Mallory Company from 1955-67, he returned to the school system as football coach at Chapman Middle School from 1967-69. He coached football at Davis Hills from 1969-71 and at Stone Middle School from 1971-74. From 1974-85, Hinton coached football, basketball and track at Whitesburg Middle School. He turned down several chances to coach at the high school level, preferring the younger age group. For all his accomplishments as a teacher and coach, Hinton is equally remembered as a high school official. For more than 30 years, he was a referee for local high school and middle school football and basketball and also umpired baseball and softball. Along with Jimmy Walker, W. E. McBride and Bill Biggers, Hinton organized the North Alabama Officials Association in response to a blatant foul at a Monrovia basketball game. He helped organize the areas first youth baseball league in 1955, was instrumental in obtaining a Little League franchise for Huntsville, and coached mens softball and basketball for years. He and his late wife Eva were the parents of two sons, Wayne Hinton of Huntsville and Jerry Hinton of Smithville, Tenn. What Ill remember most about my dad is that he was always there for us, said Wayne Hinton, who, like his brother, played basketball and baseball at Huntsville High. My wife summed it up best when she met him, Wayne said. She told me that she found out what having a dad was really like. He influenced a lot of young people in a positive way. Theyd call him Coach or Mr. Hinton but we knew we were lucky to call him Dad. He thought it was pretty cool when he learned in December that he had been chosen for the Huntsville-Madison County Athletic Hall of Fame, but he didnt say much, said Wayne. He didnt live his life for accolades. All he ever wanted was to do the right thing.