DuBose’s glory days were short-lived

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 2, 2000

Sports Editor

Mike DuBose’s ousting as head football coach of the University of Alabama comes as no real surprise to anyone in the state.

The real surprise is that he’s going to stay on until the end of the year.

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In a way, it reminds me of the the Terry Bowden situation at Auburn. Bowden takes his team to the SEC title game in Atlanta, beats Clemson in the Peach Bowl and finishes with a 10-3 record in 1997. Six games into the 1998 season, he’s gone leaving his team to limp the rest of the way to a 3-8 finish.

Dubose takes his team to the SEC title game (and wins), beats Florida twice, knocks Auburn around in Jordan-Hare and 3-5 into the year 2000, Alabama athletic director Mal Moore announces that Mike DuBose will not be the head coach of Alabama next season.

So now Bama’s looking for a new coach. Let’s take a look at some of the previous coaches who attempted to follow a legend.

After Bear, there was Ray Perkins who went 2-2 against Auburn, but also had a 5-6 season in ’84. Perkins jetted for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Bill Curry came next and from the start he wasn’t wanted. He was able to beat Tennessee, but he couldn’t win any against that "cow college" on the other side of the state, to quote Paul Bryant. He wasn’t fired but he became paranoid of

rock throwers using his house for target practice, so he left for Kentucky. Now Curry’s on ESPN2 and God only knows why, because listening to him offer color commentary on a game is like having your teeth plucked out with a pair of pliers.

Then came Gene Stallings and he didn’t win anyone over until he won a national title in 1992. The knock on Gene was he didn’t like to throw the football and Alabama people were tired of a pound-it-out ground game which offered about as much excitement as watching a radiator leak antifreeze.

Plus there was that little deal about Antonio Langham and probation, which forced Gene into an early retirement in Texas.

And finally Dubose, whose greatest contribution to Alabama football, probably was in his playing days. That and a famous quotation you can hear regularly on AM 740 between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. John Longshore and Barry McKnight play it like a top 40 hit.

"We’ve got to figure out where we’re at, where we want to be and how we’re going to get there."

Alabama football is sort of like the Bill Goldberg of professional wrestling. Who’s next? Can anyone take on the tradition of Alabama as set down by Bear Bryant and win? Can somebody finally outlast a legend?

‘Bama folks are tossing around names like Frank Beamer, Tommy Bowden and Butch Davis of Miami.

But would those men leave the programs that they’ve already built from the ground up into national powerhouses?

I don’t think so.

It’s been 18 years since Bear Bryant’s death and four coaches later, I think the Alabama head coaching job has lost some of its luster.