Why Did Ray Perkins Replace Bear Bryant? - Page 5
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  1. #53
    BamaNation All-American Padreruf's Avatar
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    Re: Why Did Ray Perkins Replace Bear Bryant?

    Quote Originally Posted by bama61 View Post
    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.
    You are pretty much on target...Perkins had a prickly cactus personality that was awkward to be around...he also alienated a lot of people when he did not need or have to do so. Still, he got such an offer that he had to take it. His recruiting put us back on the map when it had slid in CPB's last years...I do think Mal Moore would have been a good choice.

    Coach Bowden was coming...but he wanted to tell his Pres and AD himself. When word leaked before he could do that (on a flight home that day), he became angry and pulled his acceptance. Probably best for all concerned...

    Curry overwhelmed the interviewers -- said all the right things the right way. A member of that committee told a close family member that he was the single best interview he had ever heard. Sad that he couldn't really coach...

    Lots of water over the dam since then...
    "The greatest evil in the world is not 'not knowing;' it is not knowing that you do not know." Alfred North Whitehead

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  3. #54
    BamaNation Hall of Fame deliveryman35's Avatar
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    Re: Why Did Ray Perkins Replace Bear Bryant?

    Quote Originally Posted by 4Q Basket Case View Post
    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.
    talk to Oklahoma fans and they will tell you some similar stories about Schnelly while he was at OU in 1995( yes he only lasted one season there).
    "Football is a hard game. These spread coaches forget that. Until good defenses remind them." Gene Stallings

  4. #55
    BamaNation Hall of Fame bamanut_aj's Avatar
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    Why Did Ray Perkins Replace Bear Bryant?

    If true, who supposedly decided that Alabama should get away from being a 'football school', thus the hiring of Curry?


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    Last edited by bamanut_aj; June 20th, 2017 at 09:37 AM.

  5. #56

    Re: Why Did Ray Perkins Replace Bear Bryant?

    Quote Originally Posted by GrayTide View Post
    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.
    He is the guy that is credited with recruiting Joe Namath. Sounds like they could relate to each other.


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  6. #57
    BamaNation Hall of Fame selmaborntidefan's Avatar
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    Re: Why Did Ray Perkins Replace Bear Bryant?

    Quote Originally Posted by bamanut_aj View Post
    If true, who supposedly decided that Alabama should get away from being a 'football school', this the hiring of Curry?


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    Joab Thomas gets the credit

  7. #58
    BamaNation First Team CrimsonPaul's Avatar
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    Re: Why Did Ray Perkins Replace Bear Bryant?

    Correct me if I'm wrong but if Coach Bryant had retired a few years earlier I'm under the impression that Steve Sloan was his pick. Sloan took another head coach job and was never offered by Alabama.
    " If you stick your head above the crowd, you're going to have people trying to knock it off." -Coach Paul Bryant

  8. #59
    BamaNation Hall of Fame GrayTide's Avatar
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    Re: Why Did Ray Perkins Replace Bear Bryant?

    There were a lot of alums, including me, that thought Steve Sloan would be the ideal heir apparent to Coach Bryant. This was based on the fact that he was one of CPB's favorite players and a former Bama QB, and a really good guy. He had some success at Vanderbilt and parlayed that into the HC job at Texas Tech where he also had some success. In 1978 he left Lubbock, TX for the HC job at Ole Miss. I think he had a 20-34 record there and was let go.

    The Ole Miss failure may have been a factor in him not getting the Alabama job. There may have been other reasons, but he had the pedigree, but life doesn't always go as planned. He was hired as AD when Curry was hired as HC. I believe his tenure as AD will be remembered for agreeing to go to auburn in 1989.
    Last edited by GrayTide; June 18th, 2017 at 04:10 PM.
    "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

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  9. #60

    Re: Why Did Ray Perkins Replace Bear Bryant?

    "Only a Giant Coach could fill the Bear's shoes"

  10. #61
    BamaNation First Team The Ols's Avatar
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    Re: Why Did Ray Perkins Replace Bear Bryant?

    That was on a billboard coming into town my Freshman year!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by GP for Bama View Post
    "Only a Giant Coach could fill the Bear's shoes"

  11. #62
    BamaNation All-American Snuffy Smith's Avatar
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    Why Did Ray Perkins Replace Bear Bryant?

    Quote Originally Posted by bamanut_aj View Post
    If true, who supposedly decided that Alabama should get away from being a 'football school', this the hiring of Curry?


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    My memory of all that is fuzzy. I was not living in Alabama at the time & that was before the internet, but IIRC UA had a president (Joab Thomas) that was flexing some muscle by bringing in Sloan & Curry. At least that is the slant some of my old T-town contacts had on the situation.


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    Last edited by Snuffy Smith; June 19th, 2017 at 07:44 AM.

  12. #63
    BamaNation All-American mikeua69's Avatar
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    Re: Why Did Ray Perkins Replace Bear Bryant?

    Didn't Pat Dye say that Bryant wanted him to take the Bama job when he retired? If I recall Dye once said that Bryant told him not to take the Auburn job because he wanted him to replace him at Bama. Could have just been Pat Dye drunk talk....
    RTR

  13. #64
    BamaNation All-American Padreruf's Avatar
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    Re: Why Did Ray Perkins Replace Bear Bryant?

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeua69 View Post
    Didn't Pat Dye say that Bryant wanted him to take the Bama job when he retired? If I recall Dye once said that Bryant told him not to take the Auburn job because he wanted him to replace him at Bama. Could have just been Pat Dye drunk talk....
    That's what Pat Dye has said for years...trust but verify...
    "The greatest evil in the world is not 'not knowing;' it is not knowing that you do not know." Alfred North Whitehead

  14. #65
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    Re: Why Did Ray Perkins Replace Bear Bryant?

    My recollection about the hiring of Perkins is pretty much the same as the rest of the comments on here. I thought Stallings was the 1st choice, but the PTB thought Perkins was a bigger name. He was turning the Giants around at the time and was thought to be a coach on the rise. It was reported that the NY Giants weren't worried about Perkins leaving because who would leave the NY giants for Alabama. He was lambasted by the NY media at the time as I remember when he chose to leave NYC.

    I thought Perkins was abrasive and not the right pick once I witnessed his surly demeanor on the coach's show. He would criticize fans and attack without the slightest provocation. In his defense, I'm sure it was no picnic following CPB who was universally loved by the fan base. I thought he was a good, but not great coach. He did beat Auburn in the game that made Van Tiffin and household name and a made the Tiffin Motorhome company millions of dollars. That was probably the greatest, most improbably win ever against Auburn.

    I never thought much of the choice of Curry as a coach after Perkins. Joab Thomas(the president of the University at the time) thought he was going to make Alabama the Harvard of the south. Curry was part and parcel of his desire for the University to shed its football factory image and become a respected academic institution. He did not understand that he could use the football program as a springboard to better the university as a whole including academics. Many people don't realize Bowden was a player at Alabama as a freshman, but he transferred to what was Howard then(now Samford) If I remember the story Coach Bowden told a my church, he was encouraged to transfer because Bryant thought he couldn't play at Alabama. He dearly wanted to be the coach at Alabama, but Dr. Thomas essentially told him thanks, but no thanks and hired Curry. I think Dr. Thomas wanted to win, but that was secondary to him to having scholar athletes which he though Curry would deliver.

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