From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Roach, Sanford Thomas

(born: 1916  -  died: 2010) 

Born in Frankfort, KY, Sanford T. Roach played basketball and football as a student and was also the 1933 high school class salutatorian when he graduated from Bate High School in Danville, KY. Roach was a 1937 graduate of Kentucky State University where he taught for one year. He also served as a guard at Kentucky Village with the Kentucky Houses of Reform, schools for delinquent children. He started teaching general science at Bate High School in 1938 and was also the basketball coach; he achieved a record of 98-24 while coaching there. In 1941, Roach became a teacher and basketball coach at Lexington Dunbar High School, where he coached the Dunbar Bearcats to a 512-142 record over a 22-year period. He later became the first African American principal at an integrated elementary school in Lexington, KY, at Carver School in 1965, and was the first African American board member of the University of Kentucky Athletic Association. For more see Transition Game, by B. Reed; Sanford Roach Biography, a HistoryMaker website; and "Legacy knows no bounds," Lexington Herald-Leader, 09/01/2010, pp. 1, A2, and A8 [two articles - M. Fields, M. Davis].

Access Interview Read about the Sanford T. Roach oral history interviews available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item records are in the SPOKE Database.


  Watch the Sanford T. Roach interview online  on "Connections with Renee Shaw," program #219, at the KET (Kentucky Educational Television) website.


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: Bate, John W.
NKAA Source: Transition game
NKAA Source: Lexington herald-leader (newspaper)

Related Entries Citing this Entry

NKAA Entry:  Hamilton, James, Jr. "Joe"
NKAA Entry:  Clark, Elmer S., Jr.
NKAA Entry:  Greene, Harold S., Jr.

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Roach, Sanford Thomas,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 21, 2022,

Last modified: 2018-10-04 19:21:54