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Former Dougherty basketball Coach Givens dies at 59

Photo by Carly Farrell

Photo by Carly Farrell

ALBANY, Ga. — Former Dougherty boys basketball coach Charlie Givens, who won two state championships in a 20-year career with the Trojans, died Sunday night at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital.

He was 59 years old.

Givens coached Dougherty from 1982 until 2001, winning GHSA Class AAAA state championships in 1997 and 2001.

During Givens' two decades at Dougherty, basketball in Albany was at its zenith. Westover and Dougherty combined to win eight state championships, and Albany made two finals, losing both times to Westover. Monroe made two semifinals and four quarterfinals.

Carlton Fletcher, who spent eight years as an assistant coach under Westover legend Willie Boston, lined up again Givens' teams many times. When you played Givens teams, Fletcher said, you always knew what you were going to face.

"The thing about Charlie's teams is that they were relentless," Fletcher recalled. "That's the way he coached and that's the way his teams played. They rarely had as much talent as we did, but they always played us close if they didn't win outright."

Givens earned his basketball chops as a player at Monroe, playing under local coaching icon Lewis Smith. His final game as a head basketball coach was the state championship win over Mays at the Macon Coliseum.

Two months after winning that state title, Givens was charged with inappropriate touching and fondling of a 16-year-old student on school grounds. In November of that year, he pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of sexual assault and his teaching certificate was revoked.

"At the time, it never crossed my mind that would be my last game," Givens, who departed with a 396-147 career record, said in a February interview with The Herald. "We were on a roll, and there was nothing but good things in front of us. But I've put all that (the assault charges) behind me. My wife and my family stood with me during those hard times. I don't think about it anymore."

Givens earned his basketball chops as a player at Monroe, playing under local coaching icon Lewis Smith.

In 2005, Givens suffered a debilitating stroke that left him paralyzed on his right side. He spent nearly four weeks in the hospital, and upon release began three days a week of grueling rehab, treatment he was that he was still undergoing at the time of his death.

After his stroke, and unable to work, Givens filled his days with going to as many local basketball games as he could, sitting in the same spot at each gym — midcourt, front row.

Meadows funeral Home is in charge of final arrangements, which are pending.

Comments

deno32 2 years, 5 months ago

Regardless of that (1) incident that many seem to hold against you Coach, I hope you are resting peacefully. I knew you as the Legend that you are. I knew you as a father, a coach, a mentor, a cousin, and a freind. So, no matter what no one says, It will never change how I fell about you or how Great of A man you were. My eyes are full of tears for you, but with joyful tears, knowing that you are in a Better place, and that there is no more pain. It will never be the same without you around here, but I will always hold onto the Memories that I hold so dear to me. I just saw you a couple weeks ago at Street's on Clark Ave, we talked, we laughed, and we reminisced. I was able to give you a Big Hug, and that kiss on the cheek as I always did wen I saw you there, I also told you that I loved you, and you said the same.. I am so happy that I got to spend that last moment with you. I will hold it so dear, and so close to my heart, just as you will always be..Bye For Now, My Cousin, Rest easily...I will be seeing you.......Love You,,,Denotra

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Parent 2 years, 5 months ago

RIP Coach Givens! You will be truly missed, but your memories will live forever.

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whoz53 2 years, 5 months ago

Sad to hear of Coach Givens passing. I have fond memories of our days at ASU. His friendship has always been highly valued. RIP.

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Margie 2 years, 5 months ago

Coach I've known you for many, many, many years. You were a part of our family and you watched over my kids when they were at Dougherty. I know that you had rather your career end on a different note, but you still went out a winner. I know that you didn't put up a fight during those dark days because your wife was going through some medical challenges of her own and you wanted to spare her the additional stress. But, you were a winner in our book, and God is and always has been loving, caring and forgiving. You were a fighter until the end. It will be very fitting that a call goes out to every male that ever played basketball for you at Dougherty come out and honor your life. Those that didn't make it was their choice and not because you didn't try to help them. You were tough, so players that I knew would say and you didn't play around with education. They had to get their classwork. What I am recalling most about you on the basketball court during warm ups is you standing tall on the gym floor with a big pack of gum, and your players going passed you to get a stick of gum and making the circle back to you to give you the wrapper from the gum and they continued doing lay ups. You were an excellent coach, and loving father and husband. May you rest in peace.

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breezy59 2 years, 5 months ago

My deepest condolences is extended to Charlie's family.

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