Wallace Wade: Championship Years at Alabama and Duke

When we think about Alabama national championship  football coaches we think of Nick Saban, Gene Stallings, and of course Bear Bryant. However, we often forget about the first national championship winning coach Wallace Wade. Wallace Wade was the head football coach at Alabama from 1923-1930.  During that time he won three national championships and four Southern Conference championships.  This book, written by Lewis Bowling, provides an inside look at Wade’s life and career as a football coach at the University of Alabama and Duke University.  Wade came to Alabama during a time of poverty and political turmoil.  As Alabama started to win national championships, the Crimson Tide became not only became a source of Alabama pride but to the South.  Wade brought a very clear vision of football to the University of Alabama. His time at Alabama would provide a foundation for the Crimson Tide’s winning tradition. Wade would leave UA to coach at Duke from 1931-1950.  He temporally left Duke to fight in WWII from 1942-1945.  At Duke, Wade would win six Southern Conference championships. The football stadium at Duke is named after him.  If you are interested in learning more about Wallace Wade and early UA football history, then this book is for you.  We have a copy of this book at McLure Library.

Education Library: GV 939 .W2 B68 2006

Review written by Robert Burgess, Education Library Graduate Assistant

Bama After Bear

This book by Donald Staffo, professor of Health and Physical Education at Stillman College, gives a detailed account of Alabama football coaches after the death of Paul “Bear” Bryant. The filling of Coach Bryant shoes would prove to be a daunting task. No ordinary coach would suffice. Alabama expects their football coaches to win national championships.  The first man that they choose was Ray Perkins.  He seemed a logical choice since he played for Bryant in 1960s along with Joe Namath and Kenny Stabler. Perkins coached the Tide from 1983-1986.  Overall, Perkins did very well with his team.  He improved his team with each year. Perkins is the only head coach at Alabama to lead his team to victory over Notre Dame. He also coached Mike Shula, who would become the head coach at Alabama from 2003-2006. The next coach that the book focuses on is Bill Curry who coached from 1987-1989.   Even though he was hand picked by Ray Perkins, Curry was not a part of the “Alabama Family”.  Many Bama fans were outraged by the selection of Curry, because they viewed him as an outsider.  He also had a losing record with his previous team at Georgia Tech. Curry’s first two years at Alabama were winning seasons, but they were mediocre. In his last season at Alabama, the team went 10-2.  Alabama shared the SEC title for that year with Auburn and Tennessee.  He was even awarded the SEC coach of the year for 1989. However, he lost to Auburn (a team he was never able to beat at any school) and to Miami in the Sugar Bowl.  Under Curry the Crimson Tide was okay, but Bama fans were not satisfied with okay. They wanted championships.   Curry left Alabama for Kentucky because his vision and the vision of fans and boosters did not line up.  The book then goes on to discuss the career that Gene Stallings had at Alabama. This book was published in 1992, so it did not discuss most of Stallings’ time at Alabama including his national championship win.   However, praise is given to Gene Stallings for the things that he brought to Alabama.  There is certainly  a lot of optimism about what Stallings would accomplish at Alabama.  This book is full of interesting facts about the coaches such as Ray Perkins endorsing Frito Lays on the coaches television show instead of Golden Flake, which was Bryant endorsed for twenty five years.  If you are interested in modern Alabama football history and would like to learn more about the coaches at Alabama, then you should check out this book. We have multiple copies of this book at McLure Library.

Education Library:  GV 939.A1 S73 1992x

Review written by Robert Burgess, Education Library Graduate Assistant.

Twelve and Counting: The National Championships of Alabama Football

This book was published by UA Press and the Paul W. Bryant Museum in 2009. It was written by a variety of different authors who are closely associated with the Crimson Tide such as Mal Moore(current Athletic Director), Gene Stallings (head coach 1990-1996),  Winston Groom (author of the Illustrated History of the Crimson Tide) , and Alan Barra (author of The Last Coach) .  Each author brings their own unique perspective to Alabama football history. This chronicles Alabama  twelve of Alabama’s thirteen national championships.  Each chapter concentrates on a national championship year.  One chapter even concentrates on national championships that the Tide should have won.  Pictures of the team through out the years are included in this book.  One thing that makes this book touching is the dedication to John Mark Stallings who passed away the year that this book was published.   The title of the book is prophetic because in 2009 Alabama won its thirteenth national championship.  If you are looking for a very concise and informative history of the national championship seasons, then you should check this book out at McLure library.

Education Library:  GV 958.A4 T94 2009

Review written by Robert Burgess, Education Library Graduate Assistant.

The Crimson Tide: The Official Illustrated History of Alabama Football

Winston Groom, UA alumni and author of Forest Gump, does a wonderful job of recording the history of Alabama football from 1892 to present.   This book, originally published in 2000, chronicles the triumphs and tribulations of the Crimson Tide football team.  Each page in this book contains wonderful pictures of the players, posters, cheering crowds, and Big Al.   It also contains stories by players and prominent alumni, schedules, and scores from every season. Many die hard fans will appreciate the statistics that this book offers.  Groom concentrates a lot of his book explaining crucial detail of some of the most significant games in Alabama football team history.    He places emphasis in the coaches and assistant coaches that made this program great.  This book is full of interesting facts such as from 1896-1897 the football team did not play any away games since UA deemed it unprofessional and that the Quad once served as the football practice field.    In 2010, Groom expanded his book to include the “dark days” of Alabama football history to the National Championship of 2009. McLure Library has both the original and the National Championship edition in its collection. Why don’t you come check them out.  This book is the ultimate reference book for Alabama fans!!!

Education Library  GV 958.A4 G76 2010       

Review written by Robert Burgess, Education Library Graduate Assistant.