Mike Dubose retires

Tenntiderman

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Only with the benefit of 25 years of hindsight, I think the Dubose era was sad for everyone involved.

He was a really good DL coach, somewhat overmatched as a DC, and thrust into an historically Top 5 HC position for which he would never be ready….largely on the wave of a fan-initiated fax campaign.

Again, with the benefit of 25 years of hindsight, it’s clear that Dubose would never have been ready for such a job. He simply didn’t have either the organizational skills or the comfort in his own skin.

I’ll never forget Gene Stallings’ comments on radio about the 1997 team, during that season. Talk about damning with faint praise.

So Mike Dubose, the country boy from Opp, under-sized and over-achieving DE during Bryant’s second heyday, was making more money in a more prestigious job than he ever dreamed he would have. Sexual perks were easy to obtain, and he took advantage.

Previously-recruited talent obscured his own weaknesses, and things were looking up. The 1999 season included beating a Spurrier-coached Florida team twice, and winning the SEC Championship.

Then Chris Samuels, and most critically Shaun Alexander, went to the NFL. Dubose’s myriad personal flaws and professional shortcomings were laid bare in 2000.

It’s easy to see now, but wasn’t so easy in December of 1996. Mike Dubose was asked to fill a position he would never be capable of handling. He compounded his own limitations with a healthy dose of well-founded insecurity. A lot of it was because fans wanted, “one of Bear’s boys” and they made a lot of noise in that direction.

Sad for Dubose because we all have limitations, but most of us don’t have them exposed to the world on a public stage.

Sad for the fanbase because the 1997 - 2006 walk in the wilderness was no fun. And the nagging knowledge that if the fax campaign hadn’t happened, we’d probably have been better off.

Sad for the players because they deserved better from their coaches, their athletic and University administration, and yes, their fans.

What a train wreck.
Yep....there were high points for sure..but the way it ended was as you say. A trainwreck.
 

Tenntiderman

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Curry, Dubose, and Shula were all 3 miserably unsuited to be HC at Bama. Dubose and Shula had ZERO experience. While Curry had HC experience, what on earth possessed Joab Thomas and Steve Sloan to hire that fool? For one thing, what had he ever done at Georgia Tech that was so impressive? Oh, and he was WINLESS against auburn. Now, I've heard the argument made that had he stayed at Bama, he would have eventually beaten them. I could see that. But, he would have NEVER had the upper hand against them. I will say this. He gets unfairly credited with agreeing to play the Iron Bowl at Jordan Hare every other season. But, that was set in place before his time. That was on Perkins. The problem with that whole scenario was, it took WAY too long to work out our end of the home and home. We had to go to the barn's campus every other season, but when we "hosted" them, it was in Birmingham, up until 2000. It just felt like that gave them an edge, getting us on their campus, but they didn't have to come to ours for a LONG time. We should have been hosting them in Tuscaloosa as soon as they made us go to opelika.

All the coaches (post Bryant) outside of Stallings and Saban were duds. Fran was not a good fit, obviously Price wasn't. Perkins actually said that Bama fans would need to get used to 9-3 kind of seasons. He should have been fired on the spot for that. Mike Shula could not recruit. He was weak on discipline. He was weak on conditioning. Off season work outs were optional.If he had coached at Alabama 100 years he would not have won an NC. He turned the success of 2005 into the mediocrity of 2006 and 2007. It is truly a wonder that Saban got a 7-6 season out of that 2007 squad. Shula got more time than he should have because he is one of our own, but he was miserbly unsuited to be a head coach.
I remember when Bama lost to Memphis State in '87....on Monday I was with another Bama fan who is a Grad of UA. We ran into a friend of his who is a Georgia Tech grad. He looked at us and said.."Well boys...how do ya like Georgia Tech Football?" From then on...I was never sure which team would come out to play.
 

selmaborntidefan

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Since what I'm about to say will no doubt be misunderstood, let me preface it with this: Curry was a terrible football coach. But his hiring was not nearly as crazy AT THE TIME as folks want to pretend now it was, mostly because we still smart over "we could have had Bobby Bowden."

REMINDER - coaching records when hired at Alabama

Ray Perkins 23-34 (NFL)
Bill Curry 31-43-4 (Ga Tech)
Gene Stallings 27-45-1 (aTm)

(It always stuns people when I point out Stallings's record was worse at an easier school to win at than Curry's was, but hey, most folks are only interested in the conclusion anyway).

Curry, Dubose, and Shula were all 3 miserably unsuited to be HC at Bama. Dubose and Shula had ZERO experience. While Curry had HC experience, what on earth possessed Joab Thomas and Steve Sloan to hire that fool? For one thing, what had he ever done at Georgia Tech that was so impressive?
Note: Sloan was NOT the AD when Curry was hired, he was hired at the same time to assuage the "Old Guard" big mouths whining "bu' Curra nevah play-eed fuh Co-atch Bryant!" Perkins was both AD and head coach when he quit.

- he took over a program severely limited by academic constraints
- he tied Notre Dame and beat Alabama twice in four years
- he took a program that went 17-16-1 in the 3 years before he got there, had two disastrous years that coincided with Herschel Walker turning UGA into a powerhouse, and was back up to 6 wins and beating Clemson, who had won the 1981 title
- he had played for 3 legendary coaches - Bobby Dodd, Lombardi, and Don Shula
- he had been an assistant in the NFL
- most importantly, he had suspended his best player in the 1985 HOF Bowl in Bham by sticking to his expectation and line drawn in the sand - and won the bowl game with a backup who was terrible
- that was the end of a NINE-WIN season...at Georgia Tech
- he was 13 years younger than Bobby Bowden, who was 57

I'm not arguing he was great, I'm saying you have to look at it in the context of the time.

Let's turn the argument around. While I will be the first to grant the upside of Bowden over Curry was known even in January 1987, WHAT HAD BOWDEN REALLY DONE that says "this guy should coach at Alabama?" He followed up his 11-0 regular season in 1979 (with a respectable bowl loss to OU) with a 10-2 season then dropped to 6-5 and was sorta "above average" the next few years. He'd win 8, win 7, win 9, win 7. Yes, he had built FSU into something more than they were before - but what did even mean in the context of being an INDEPENDENT? In 1986, Bowden went 7-4-1, beating all the cupcakes and losing to all the good teams (Nebraska, Michigan, Miami, Florida), so when you look at it that way, what did Bowden really bring? (You can't use the 1987-2002 time frame that was still in the future to argue for him in Jan 1987).

Btw....have y'all seen the list of who else was being considered in 1987?
- Bowden (let's face it, we screwed up on this one)
- Schnellenberger (who would have left about the time Curry did because he couldn't sit still)
- Jackie Sherrill (would this REALLY have been any better? aTm was under investigation at the time)
- Danny Ford ("he won a national title at CLEM-son!" And....got them put on probation.....)
- Jim Fuller (he actually had the interim title for about as long as Jacko and Lisa Presley were married)

Oh, and he was WINLESS against auburn.
When he was hired this was hardly a fair criticism as he was at Tech.


Now, I've heard the argument made that had he stayed at Bama, he would have eventually beaten them. I could see that. But, he would have NEVER had the upper hand against them. I will say this. He gets unfairly credited with agreeing to play the Iron Bowl at Jordan Hare every other season.
But, that was set in place before his time. That was on Perkins.
That was actually on Bryant but whatever.

And puh-leeze - what's Alabama going to do? Say, "Well, we're not goingn to play Auburn over there?"

This is the kind of thing that convinces other fanbases we're not connected with Mother Earth mentally. Auburn had a stadium that met standards to host the game and the contract was coming to an end. Auburn was a good team in the 80s. What were we going to do? Go ask the rest of the SEC to play Auburn AT JHS when it's our year? Not a good look.


The problem with that whole scenario was, it took WAY too long to work out our end of the home and home. We had to go to the barn's campus every other season, but when we "hosted" them, it was in Birmingham, up until 2000. It just felt like that gave them an edge, getting us on their campus, but they didn't have to come to ours for a LONG time. We should have been hosting them in Tuscaloosa as soon as they made us go to opelika.
1988-1997 SEATING CAPACTIY
Bryant-Denny Stadium 70,123
Legion Field 75,000-plus

Hmm.....there must be SOME reason why we played Auburn in Birmingham, can't really put my finger on it...



All the coaches (post Bryant) outside of Stallings and Saban were duds. Fran was not a good fit, obviously Price wasn't. Perkins actually said that Bama fans would need to get used to 9-3 kind of seasons. He should have been fired on the spot for that.
Fran was an Auburn "we got turned down by A/B/C/D/E" hire that was the best we could have made at that particular point among those under consideration, especially given the Means scandal broke just days after our 2000 season ended and made things even worse.

As for Perkins, well, I always wanted to ask if he had a hole in his head when he said that.
Turns out, yes, he did.



Mike Shula could not recruit.
Pretty hard to recruit when any player he's pursuing knows "you can't go to a bowl game my first two years there," not that you're wrong because you're not.


He was weak on discipline. He was weak on conditioning. Off season work outs were optional.If he had coached at Alabama 100 years he would not have won an NC. He turned the success of 2005 into the mediocrity of 2006 and 2007.
The success of 2005 was an obvious illusion at the time. Yeah, we had a good defense, but you'll see more scoring in a convent.

It is truly a wonder that Saban got a 7-6 season out of that 2007 squad. Shula got more time than he should have because he is one of our own, but he was miserbly unsuited to be a head coach.
I think Shula was given a fair shake. He got to stay through what would be one recruiting class of his own players.

We knew 2003 was lost before the season began.
You can't really fire a 10-win coach who just took you through the teeth of a probation, either.

Think about this: Shula was 6-6. If Leigh Tiffin makes a kick vs Arky and we score just one TD each against TN and Auburn, he's 9-3 with a good bowl game. Win that and he's 10-3, and guess what?

He comes back in 2007 while Saban goes to aTm to replace Franchione and turns THEM into what we are now.
 

selmaborntidefan

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I remember when Bama lost to Memphis State in '87....on Monday I was with another Bama fan who is a Grad of UA. We ran into a friend of his who is a Georgia Tech grad. He looked at us and said.."Well boys...how do ya like Georgia Tech Football?" From then on...I was never sure which team would come out to play.
This reminds me of something.

I had a friend in the music department who was a Vols fan from Savannah, TN. As I'm sure you recall, we rolled the Vols the following week. I saw him the Monday after the game (he had mocked me over the Memphis loss a week earlier) and said, "So how 'bout them Vols?" And he was like, "Well, yeah, because they got so mad at losing to MEMPHIS!!"

One year of school together he was a calm guy and that was the only time I ever saw him get upset.
He couldn't believe it.
 
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Tenntiderman

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This reminds me of something.

I had a friend in the music department who was a Vols fan from Savannah, TN. As I'm sure you recall, we rolled the Vols the following week. I saw him the Monday after the game (he had mocked me over the Memphis loss a week earlier) and said, "So how 'bout them Vols?" And he was like, "Well, yeah, because they got so mad at losing to MEMPHIS!!"

One year of school together he was a calm guy and that was the only time I ever saw him get upset.
He couldn't believe it.
Yeah I remember that but I could not recall if the Tenn game at Legion Field was the following week or not. I watched that ballgame and Bama overwhelmed UT in the 1st half as I recall. We had a UT grad in the office who was sullen the entire next week. Nobody even gave him H***. One of those vols whom couldn't be talked to. I refuse to counsel people that act in such ways over something so small. Don't know where he is today..but I sure hope he has learned that UT' failure or success is not a reflection upon his manhood. I have seen quite a few UT fans like him...but I have friends who are vols, and they are respectful. The ones who aren't remind me of the hardcore LSU fans. Even BEFORE the Bama fan peed on the LSU fan who had passed out on top of his grease sammich.
 

deliveryman35

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When you break it down to its most simple form, Curry got the job because he won the “interview process” that was set up by Joab Thomas instead of by a competent AD which we did not have at the time.
 
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selmaborntidefan

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That's a good history lesson, but I never claimed he did (just for reference).
I was joshing with you though because of the focus part.

Folks reading this - NO, NT did not say this. It is a commonly cited “fact” by others (that Sloan hired Curry) but NT never said this. I was just kidding around about the focus issue.

My bad if anyone else was misled on this.
 
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Revrph79

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Didn't Joab Thomas say something about changing Alabama's reputation as a "football school?". Bill Curry was supposed to put more emphasis on academics.
 

Tidelines

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If I remember correctly, Curry supposedly had a great plan. The problem was that plan didn’t include beating Auburn.Thomas had a man crush on Curry.
 

Al A Bama

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Didn't Joab Thomas say something about changing Alabama's reputation as a "football school?". Bill Curry was supposed to put more emphasis on academics.
Did anyone on Tidefans purchase a Bama sweater so they could be like Bill Curry?
 

deliveryman35

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Bowden told them he wouldn’t interview. He would’ve taken it…and who knows?
It's been well-established that he would have taken it. From what I recall being in Tuscaloosa myself at the time, feelers were definitely sent out from the Bowden camp through back channels to gauge interest and when none was shown by Joab and his little 'committee' of interviewers then Bowden went back to Tallahassee and the rest as they say is history.
 

selmaborntidefan

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It's been well-established that he would have taken it. From what I recall being in Tuscaloosa myself at the time, feelers were definitely sent out from the Bowden camp through back channels to gauge interest and when none was shown by Joab and his little 'committee' of interviewers then Bowden went back to Tallahassee and the rest as they say is history.
The story above says Bowden took his name out of consideration.

What I've heard for years is that Bowden had told Joab that he'd take it but he didn't want to interview for it, went up for what he thought was a formality, and opened the door to a room full of folks there to interview him. He apparently muddled his way through it, unhappy to say the least, and wasn't going to take the job because he felt they'd misled him.

I'm not going to argue that's the canonical version of what actually happened, but I've heard that from several folks who were at least around the program at the time. In other words, YES, Bowden would have taken it and Joab took the liberty of ticking him off.

My high school guidance counselor at the time was an Alabama grad, and she and I often used our counseling sessions to talk Alabama football (ha ha). The day after this all unfolded (us hiring Curry), I saw her in the hallway and was shaking my head a bit and she said, "When I see Joab, I'm gonna have to ask him what in the world he's thinking." Never knew her connection with him but she said she knew him.

As far as DuBose (back to the thread), I'm so young I don't even remember him playing. I'd barely heard his name when he was hired.
 

Padreruf

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The story above says Bowden took his name out of consideration.

What I've heard for years is that Bowden had told Joab that he'd take it but he didn't want to interview for it, went up for what he thought was a formality, and opened the door to a room full of folks there to interview him. He apparently muddled his way through it, unhappy to say the least, and wasn't going to take the job because he felt they'd misled him.

I'm not going to argue that's the canonical version of what actually happened, but I've heard that from several folks who were at least around the program at the time. In other words, YES, Bowden would have taken it and Joab took the liberty of ticking him off.

My high school guidance counselor at the time was an Alabama grad, and she and I often used our counseling sessions to talk Alabama football (ha ha). The day after this all unfolded (us hiring Curry), I saw her in the hallway and was shaking my head a bit and she said, "When I see Joab, I'm gonna have to ask him what in the world he's thinking." Never knew her connection with him but she said she knew him.

As far as DuBose (back to the thread), I'm so young I don't even remember him playing. I'd barely heard his name when he was hired.
That is the canonical version -- I heard it from a member of that committee...and also from one of BB's sons. He did not want to anger the president of FSU by interviewing...he immediately flew back to Tallahassee and made up with the president. As far as the committee, Curry was the smoothest talker they had ever met...he had them in the palm of his hand before they knew it.

Less documented is that his failure was not due to not being a. "Bama" man, but to his lack of in-depth knowledge of football. He was known as a good figure head who had to hire people to do the more complicated football planning.

I supported him until he left -- as I have done with all our coaches...including CMD. That position will either make or break you...
 

bvandegraff

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That is the canonical version -- I heard it from a member of that committee...and also from one of BB's sons. He did not want to anger the president of FSU by interviewing...he immediately flew back to Tallahassee and made up with the president. As far as the committee, Curry was the smoothest talker they had ever met...he had them in the palm of his hand before they knew it.

Less documented is that his failure was not due to not being a. "Bama" man, but to his lack of in-depth knowledge of football. He was known as a good figure head who had to hire people to do the more complicated football planning.

I supported him until he left -- as I have done with all our coaches...including CMD. That position will either make or break you...
Curry's tenure was during my last 3 years of undergrad at Bama. The controversy around his hire left him little to no margin for error. He made a lot of the right noises (Bryant tower, John Forney, etc) but needed to beat Auburn to gain any sort of traction.
 
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rtr90

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The story above says Bowden took his name out of consideration.

What I've heard for years is that Bowden had told Joab that he'd take it but he didn't want to interview for it, went up for what he thought was a formality, and opened the door to a room full of folks there to interview him. He apparently muddled his way through it, unhappy to say the least, and wasn't going to take the job because he felt they'd misled him.

I'm not going to argue that's the canonical version of what actually happened, but I've heard that from several folks who were at least around the program at the time. In other words, YES, Bowden would have taken it and Joab took the liberty of ticking him off.

My high school guidance counselor at the time was an Alabama grad, and she and I often used our counseling sessions to talk Alabama football (ha ha). The day after this all unfolded (us hiring Curry), I saw her in the hallway and was shaking my head a bit and she said, "When I see Joab, I'm gonna have to ask him what in the world he's thinking." Never knew her connection with him but she said she knew him.

As far as DuBose (back to the thread), I'm so young I don't even remember him playing. I'd barely heard his name when he was hired.
barely heard? ... there was campaign by fanbase to hire Dubose
 

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