Why Did Ray Perkins Replace Bear Bryant? - Page 4
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  1. #40
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    Re: Why Did Ray Perkins Replace Bear Bryant?

    I do remember that Bryant stayed on as AD, and there could be a bunch of different reasons for that.

    He died so soon afterward, though, that it's kind of a moot point.

    I did think that was a terribly unfortunate thing for Perkins. Perkins wasn't the most personable guy, and that hurt him in the transition. Seemed like every move he made, the fans and media were comparing it to something Bryant did or to their own speculation of what he would have done in similar circumstances.

    Anyone would have chafed at that, but the combination of Perkins' ego and porcupine personality made it one PR disaster after another.

    I always thought that if Bryant had lived for even a year or so, he could have smoothed over the rough spots, and Perkins' tenure would have been far less contentious.
    You can't reason a man out of a position he didn't reason himself into.

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  3. #41
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    Re: Why Did Ray Perkins Replace Bear Bryant?

    I was in school at the time. Hiring Perkins did not seem like a terribly peculiar choice. Alabama guy, tough, coaching experience, etc.
    Lots of the media guys were saying they thought it would be Stallings but almost all of them also mentioned Perkins as being on the list. I don't think there was any secret story to Perkins leaving -- he was not a big fan of recruiting, his wife didn't like Tuscaloosa much, and Culverhouse made him a deal that most anyone of us would have found very hard to refuse. Cash is one thing and there was lots of it; part ownership of the team itself was something else again. And let's be honest, following Paul Bryant on the sidelines at Alabama was going to be very difficult for anyone. It was not inexplicable, just raised a few eyebrows. Curry was, and remains, inexplicable.

    I don't know what the truth is on Bowden. He was definitely a candidate. Definitely wanted the job. Whether he officially "interviewed", just talked to people informally, had his agent make substantive contacts, etc., I don't know. I heard after the fact from a university employee who was on the committee that it was made clear that in addition to head coach he wanted to be AD and the president was foursquare opposed to that (and I did not like the president and he made lots of mistakes, but he was right on that particular point).
    Roll Tide

  4. #42
    BamaNation Hall of Fame GrayTide's Avatar
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    Re: Why Did Ray Perkins Replace Bear Bryant?

    IIRC, the single biggest criteria to replace CPB was that he must be "one of Bear's Boys" which obviously included Perkins, Stallings, Sherrill, Ford, Pell and others at the time. With the exception of Stallings, the others mentioned all had their fair share of coaching successes. Having known Perkins when I was in school, he was not the most personable individual (trying to be PC). I do give him credit though for taking on the unenviable task of following CPB.

    Looking back, it appears that Joab Thomas was making a statement that under his watch Alabama was going to be more than a football factory, enter Bill Curry. Curry had the playing experience at the NFL level, although his playing and coaching experience at the collegiate level was at a hated rival back in the day, Georgia Tech. This sounds foolish in today's world, but then it came with negative connotations. History says Bowden's pomposity doomed him.
    "My momma always said you got to put the past behind you before you can move on." Forrest Gump

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  5. #43
    BamaNation First Team bama61's Avatar
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    Re: Why Did Ray Perkins Replace Bear Bryant?

    Gee, like the other old guys I also have memories of what happened when Coach Bryant retired. Here’s what I remember from back then:

    Coach Bryant retired as the head football coach but remained as the AD. His death less than a month after retiring was probably a near disaster in that had he survived, he could have really stilled the troubled waters for Perkins.

    Regarding his successor as head coach, Coach Bryant never to my knowledge made his preferences known publically. He did comment that he had made his recommendation to President Thomas and the search committee. Several others commented over the years including Bill Curry, claiming that he was Coach Bryant’s choice, and later Paul Bryant Jr indicated after Gene Stallings was hired that he, Stallings, “was papa’s choice”.

    In the end, Bill Curry was Joab Thomas’s choice and was personally offered by Thomas. Joab had a pretty high opinion of his own abilities in this area having, when President at North Carolina State, hired an unknown basketball coach named Jimmy Valvano from little Iona College that turned out to have a pretty successful run at State. From what I was told back in that era, Curry wasn’t on the search committee’s list of candidates.

    Ray Perkins left Alabama to go to Tampa Bay for an offer that few sane coaches would have refused. The story back then was that offer included a base salary was half a million per year, a staggering sum back then, plus rights to purchase up to a 5% interest in the franchise. Whether he ever bought into the franchise or not I never heard.

    It is pure opinion on my part but I thought Perkins, abrasive personality and all, was the perfect choice from following Coach Bryant simply because he was not intimidated by the task. Remember that he never blinked over the public furor that followed is having Coach Bryant’s tower removed from the practice field and believe me, as others in my age group probably remember, that really set some teeth on edge.

    I believe I’ll end this here; like Earle and others I could go on for pages but I’ll spare everyone that agony. Anyhow, many of my memories are pretty much the same as those Earle has already provided, so no need to repeat them.

  6. #44

    Re: Why Did Ray Perkins Replace Bear Bryant?

    Quote Originally Posted by TIDE-HSV View Post
    ... his first choice was, in fact, Perkins.
    This is what I remember, too.

  7. #45

    Re: Why Did Ray Perkins Replace Bear Bryant?

    I firmly believe had Ray Perkins stayed Alabama would have won a national championship with him

  8. #46

    Re: Why Did Ray Perkins Replace Bear Bryant?

    Quote Originally Posted by PitMaster View Post
    I firmly believe had Ray Perkins stayed Alabama would have won a national championship with him
    Possibly. But we might not have Saban today.


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  9. #47
    BamaNation Hall of Fame selmaborntidefan's Avatar
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    Re: Why Did Ray Perkins Replace Bear Bryant?

    Quote Originally Posted by PitMaster View Post
    I firmly believe had Ray Perkins stayed Alabama would have won a national championship with him
    I don't but it's just am opinion. He couldn't win the SEC with the best team in the conference in 1986. He played for a tie with LSU and nearly lost in 1985.

    I just don't see it. But none of us knows so

  10. #48
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    Re: Why Did Ray Perkins Replace Bear Bryant?

    One name I didn't see mentioned in this thread is Howard Schnellenberger. If I remember correctly he was one of the names being floated around by the media at the time of Coach Bryant's retirement. Was he ever seriously considered or was he just one of a number of 2nd-tier candidates?

  11. #49
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    Re: Why Did Ray Perkins Replace Bear Bryant?

    Quote Originally Posted by PA Tide Fan View Post
    One name I didn't see mentioned in this thread is Howard Schnellenberger. If I remember correctly he was one of the names being floated around by the media at the time of Coach Bryant's retirement. Was he ever seriously considered or was he just one of a number of 2nd-tier candidates?
    There was some talk among media types and a portion of the fanbase that was impressed with his building of the Miami program and didn't know about Schnellenberger's time in Tuscaloosa.

    To put it mildly, when Schnellenberger left Bryant's staff in the mid 60s, there were no tears shed by the populace.

    An incredible sense of entitlement, especially for the day. Unpaid restaurant bills. Unpaid clothing bills. Drinking prodigiously, then walking out on bar tabs. Propositioning local women in crude terms, never mind that their husbands were within earshot. Loud. Boozy in the extreme. Truly obnoxious...an all around jerk of the highest order.

    Source is my parents, who were in Tuscaloosa at the time, and would have first-hand knowledge of all that.

    Purely from a coaching perspective, he would have been a viable candidate, especially at the time. But nobody who knew of his behavior would have supported it, and in the early 80s, memories were still fresh.
    You can't reason a man out of a position he didn't reason himself into.

  12. #50
    BamaNation Hall of Fame selmaborntidefan's Avatar
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    Re: Why Did Ray Perkins Replace Bear Bryant?

    Quote Originally Posted by PA Tide Fan View Post
    One name I didn't see mentioned in this thread is Howard Schnellenberger. If I remember correctly he was one of the names being floated around by the media at the time of Coach Bryant's retirement. Was he ever seriously considered or was he just one of a number of 2nd-tier candidates?
    I'm guessing this was locally - I never heard his name in the coaching search through my admittedly limited exposure to it whilst Ich lebte im Westen Deutschland.
    The first rule of Tidefans interactions - Selma does not use Google; Google uses Selma

  13. #51
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    Re: Why Did Ray Perkins Replace Bear Bryant?

    Quote Originally Posted by 4Q Basket Case View Post
    To put it mildly, when Schnellenberger left Bryant's staff in the mid 60s, there were no tears shed by the populace.

    An incredible sense of entitlement, especially for the day. Unpaid restaurant bills. Unpaid clothing bills. Drinking prodigiously, then walking out on bar tabs. Propositioning local women in crude terms, never mind that their husbands were within earshot. Loud. Boozy in the extreme. Truly obnoxious...an all around jerk of the highest order.
    I didn't know about any of that. Knowing what the university went through with another OC we all know I understand why they would want to pass on someone like that.

  14. #52
    BamaNation Hall of Fame GrayTide's Avatar
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    Re: Why Did Ray Perkins Replace Bear Bryant?

    This is the type behavior that got Schnellenberger relieved of his HC duties at Oklahoma. I do seem to remember his name being mentioned but nothing more.
    "My momma always said you got to put the past behind you before you can move on." Forrest Gump

    "The past is never dead. It's not even past." William Faulkner

    "A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but never preserved except in memory LLAP" Leonard Nimoy

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