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High school basketball: Legendary former coach Seth Vining earns his spot among the state's best in GACA Hall of Fame
Seth Vining
Seth Vining and his wife Cathy at the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame banquet Saturday in Dalton. Photo courtesy Seth Vining.

The greatest of all high school basketball coaches in Hall County history finally has his spot among the best in the state. 

On Saturday, legendary four-time state champion Seth Vining was enshrined into the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame, during a ceremony in front of a packed auditorium in Dalton. 

All of the state championships during Vining’s career came at East Hall (two boys titles, two girls), but he also had a great run of success at Lakeview Academy from 2005-2013.

A North Carolina native, all of his 749 coaching victories came in Hall County (709 in high school, 40 at the former Gainesville College). 

With roots so deep in the area, Vining’s support for his induction was large, numbering nearly 60 former players, administrators and coaching colleagues from his four-decade career. 

“It was just a tremendous honor to be recognized,” said Vining, who guided programs to 15 Lanierland titles and 26 state playoff appearances during his career. “I’m blessed to have been in Gainesville the entire time. I’m looking forward to hopefully being around for a few more years.”

Just as meaningful, to Vining, has been the outpouring of support for the man who molded so many men and women, who became productive members of society. 

“The response that I’ve received has been overwhelming,” Vining added. 

Vining said the most important person in his success has been his wife Cathy. 

“I’m very fortunate to have the best coaches wife for all 40 years,” Vining said. 

When it came time to decide on who would give Vining’s induction speech, it didn’t take long to give that honor to Joe Dix. 

Dix was promoted from assistant coach after Vining retired at East Hall in 2005, and would spend 14 years in charge of the program before leaving for a four-year stint at Collins Hill (2019-2022). 

On April 12, Dix was reintroduced as East Hall’s basketball coach. 

“Joe and I had so many great years coaching together,” Vining said. “We’re the best of friends and always have supported each other.”

Now retired from coaching, Vining is still ingrained in the culture around the high school game in Hall County. 

If you show up to games at either East Hall or Lakeview Academy, there’s a good chance you’ll see the Vinings in the stands and watching the action on the floor. 

However, his coaching these days is centered around the next generation in his own family: the Vinings grandchildren. 

With Vining’s induction, there’s now six former coaches from Hall County in the GACA Hall of Fame. 

That list includes former Gainesville High coaches Manson Hill (girls basketball, girls golf), Wayne Vickery (baseball), Bobby Gruhn (football) and Graham Hixon (football), and East Hall’s Glenn Cassell (basketball). 

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