Sanford T. Roach, Dunbar High School

Born in Frankfort, Kentucky, Sanford T. Roach was a noted educator and basketball coach. After graduating from college, Roach returned to his old high school, Danville Bate High School, to teach and coach basketball. Over three years, Roach’s coaching record was 98-24 and in 1941 he gained notoriety for benching his 5 starting players the day of the district tournament for disobeying curfew. Roach’s strict sense of discipline caught the attention of the principal of Lexington’s Paul Laurence Dunbar High School where he was hired to teach and coach. In his 22 years as head coach, Roach led Dunbar High to a 512-142 record. Shortly after the death of his wife in 1965, Roach retired from coaching and became the first black principal of an integrated elementary school and, later, the first Black principal of a Fayette County secondary school. In 1974, Roach became the first African American board member of the University of Kentucky Athletic Association.

Follow this link to a collection focusing on Dunbar High School provided by the Lexington Public Library. It was located at 549 North Upper Street, before it was demolished and relocated.



549 North Upper Street, Lexington, Kentucky