Cullman High School was founded in 1908 with 45 students. Four years later, the first basketball team came into existence.
It was not until 1932 that the Bearcats started to make history. With more than 250 students, the Bearcats made it to the Class A District 8 Championship, where they faced off against Fairview and won 37-15. Nevertheless, before facing off against Fairview, they faced Huntsville, Joe Bradley (Huntsville), and Hartselle.
After defeating Fairview in the District Championships, the Bearcats faced Straughn (Andulasia), Vina (Franklin Co.), and Walker. However, in the finals, the Cats could not pull it off against the Geraldine Bulldogs 23-18.
It was only 90 years later that the Cullman Bearcats would make it back to the State Finals, but under a brand new coach, Stu Studeman. Before Stu, the Cats had been under the direction of Bobby Meyer for eleven years. Stuedeman served as an assistant for Mountain Brook, Hewitt-Trussville, Vestavia Hills, Chipola College, Spring Hill College, and the University of Alabama before getting his chance to shine. Moreover, when he did get his chance, he took it and ran with it, going 29-3 and being the school’s first-ever state champions.
The Bearcat Basketball team has had sixteen different coaches that have coached the Bearcats.
In 1960, Oliver Woodard took over the Bearcats and led them to their last District Championship in the 1961/62 season, before it was reformatted to the current day area system. Woodard, who coaches for nine years at Cullman, had a record of 127 wins and 78 losses.
After Woodard was no longer coaching Cullman, Gerald Johnson became the head coach in 1969 as the Bearcats became a 3A school after being a 4A school for several years. Under Johnson’s leadership, the Cats did not have the best years for the first few seasons, but in his last two years of being a head coach, the Cats went 16-7 and 22-6.
Following Johnson, Ray Cook took over the reins, but that did not last long, as he went 21-32 and only spent two seasons as the coach at Cullman.
Jim Hutchison was the coach at Cullman High School from 1978 until 1982, as he took the Bearcats on a nearly even record 64-61.
Not much is known about the following two Cullman coaches, Rudy Hampton and Johnny Tekulve. Nevertheless, they took over as Cullman became a 5A school.
In 1990, Don Watts took over the Bearcats as he coached for six seasons and only won 54 games out of a known 129 games. Andy Bradshaw took over after Watts, only staying for one season and winning five games.
In 1997, Mike Dean began his coaching era at Cullman High School, winning three area championships. Dean, who came from Sulligent High School, had a 36-16 record before taking over the Bearcats and coached them for 13 years, winning 193 games.
Following Dean, Bobby Meyer took over the Bearcats, where he took them to multiple area championships and the Elite 8 but could not advance any further than the regional championship. Meyer, who began his head coaching career in 2002 at Vinemont High School, has a career record of 283 wins and 230 losses. In 2010, he left the Eagles to go to Cullman High School, where in his first year they were 4-23, but he quickly turned that around and made the Cats a 20-10 team in 2011. In 2015, he, Lawson Schaffer, and Bronte Harris took the team on a 24-9 season, ending at Wallace State. Meyers, who coached at Cullman for eleven years, had 186 wins and 139 losses.
Now it is time to see what Stu Stuedeman will write into the history books for the Cullman Bearcats.