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Displaying items by tag: prep sports - Druid City Living, Tuscaloosa's premier community newspaper. - Druid City Living, Tuscaloosa's premier community newspaper. http://druidcityliving.com Sun, 19 Aug 2018 22:35:09 -0500 MYOB en-gb Nick Saban asks Alabama football coaches to provide help to West Virginia flood victims (via Crimson Magazine) http://druidcityliving.com/index.php/sports-n-outdoor/item/1187-nick-saban-asks-alabama-football-coaches-to-provide-help-to-west-virginia-flood-victims-via-crimson-magazine http://druidcityliving.com/index.php/sports-n-outdoor/item/1187-nick-saban-asks-alabama-football-coaches-to-provide-help-to-west-virginia-flood-victims-via-crimson-magazine Nick Saban asks Alabama football coaches to provide help to West Virginia flood victims (via Crimson Magazine)

By Stan J. Griffin: July 7, 2016

There is no doubt that most of the focus for University of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban is devoted to the upcoming 2016 Crimson Tide season, which is less than two months away.
But Saban knows as well as anyone, however, that helping those in need is a life priority that is way more important than wins and losses on a football field, especially when it involves those who are struggling in his own home state.
Saban, a native of Fairmont, West Virginia, is asking that football coaches from across Alabama come together to help the football teams in the communities of that state devastated by recent flooding.
Saban, along with the Alabama High School Athletics Directors and Coaches Association, is asking high schools from across the state of Alabama to do their small part to help so many high school football programs affected by this tragedy by donating a full uniform. Many of these high schools will not be able to field football teams this fall without help.


"Football was such an important part of my childhood in West Virginia, and to see the devastation the flooding has caused, and how it has threatened so many high school football teams, we wanted to find a way to help,” Saban said. “We are asking each high school from across the state to donate a full uniform to help these schools get their kids back on the football field this season.”
Many of the West Virginia high schools affected by this flooding are in need of all types of football pads and uniforms. High schools making donations are being asked to provide one uniform, including helmet, a pair of shoulder pads, two knee pads, two thigh pads, a girdle, practice pants, practice jersey and one pair of cleats. Small and medium sizes are in the most need, but large will also be accepted.
The Alabama football program will collect all of these uniforms by July 25 so they can be transported to West Virginia. Those wishing to help can send their donations to: Mal Moore Athletic Complex, Attn: Jeff Springer, 323 Bryant Dr., Tuscaloosa, AL 35487.
Former Alabama assistant coach and the Tide’s current NFL Liaison Joe Pendry is also a West Virginia native.

Special thanks: Alabama Athletics Communications

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stangrif67@yahoo.com (Stan J Griffin) Sports n Outdoor Thu, 07 Jul 2016 16:59:50 -0500
Crimson Tide Football Positional Analysis: Quarterbacks (via Crimson Magazine) http://druidcityliving.com/index.php/sports-n-outdoor/item/1185-crimson-tide-football-positional-analysis-quarterbacks-via-crimson-magazine http://druidcityliving.com/index.php/sports-n-outdoor/item/1185-crimson-tide-football-positional-analysis-quarterbacks-via-crimson-magazine Crimson Tide Football Positional Analysis: Quarterbacks (via Crimson Magazine)

By Stan J. Griffin: July 5, 2016

Author's Note:  This is the first installment of a multi-part series, detailing the position groups for the 2016 Alabama football team. The first part will discuss the still-ongoing Crimson Tide quarterback battle.

As has been the case entering the last two years, Nick Saban's University of Alabama team will enter the 2016 season with a largely unproven individual behind center at the always-critical quarterback position.
And while that has caused sheer pandemonium and myriad conniption fits with Alabama fans in the past, I really am not sensing much of that with the Crimson Tide Nation as we inch closer to SEC Media Days and the start of fall practice.
Part of that is due to the wizardry of Tide offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin and the amazing work he did with first-year starters Blake Sims and Jake Coker the last two seasons. The success of those two signal callers is a big reason why Alabama won 26 games the last two years, including back-to back SEC titles, made two trips to the College Football Playoffs and captured its 16th national championship last season.
Another reason for the absence of teeth gnashing is the fact that the 2016 Alabama team will most likely have another very strong defense, as well as a solid ground game at the very least, once again, meaning that whoever earns the starting quarterback position will not have to be especially prolific in terms of his stats. As Saban has stated numerous time over the past three seasons in regards to his starter, that individual simply needs to "win the team," be an efficient game manager and he needs to avoid making the pivotal mistakes.

 

With that being said, here is a look at the challengers who will likely emerge as the main candidates for the 2016 Tide quarterback job.

COOPER BATEMAN, 6-foot-3, 224 lbs, junior:  Will enter fall practice as the early favorite to land the starting nod by virtue of his being the only quarterback on the Alabama roster with any significant game experience.  Of course he started the Tide's game against Ole Miss last season, completing 11 of 14 passes for 87 yards and an interception before being pulled in favor of Coker in the Tide's only loss of the 2015 season. Overall in his seven appearances last season he completed 37 of 52 aerial attempts for 291 yards with two picks and a touchdown.

BLAKE BARNETT, 6-foot-5, 200 lbs, freshman: Much like sophomore tailback Bo Scarbrough, Barnett has already captured the imagination of many Tide fans, and has been the subject of much hype even though he has yet to make any significant contribution to the fortunes of Saban's team. Unlike Scarbrough, however, Barnett has yet to contribute at all in an official game as he was redshirted last season and had mixed results during this spring's A Day Game. No one has ever questioned his arm, and he was a consensus five-star prep prospect, but he may still need to get a bit bigger and he has also been turnover-prone on occasion.

DAVID CORNWELL, 6-foot-5, 234 lbs, sophomore: Was redshirted during his freshman year and did not see any action last year although he appeared to be a prominent candidate for last year's starting role during a strong spring. Was one of the top pro-style quarterbacks in the country as a prep standout in Norman, Oklahoma, and had a fairly impressive A Day game performance this spring.

OUR VIEW: Saban has traditionally given the nod to the quarterback with the most experience, much like he did with Sims in 2014 and with Coker last season, although even he may still be second-guessing his decision to start Bateman against the Rebels in 2015. Freshman Jalen Hurts is a wild card who has already contributed to the Crimson Tide by helping Alabama prepare for Clemson in January's national championship game, and he showed a good arm and nifty legs in the spring game. My guess, however, is that he will be redshirted this season. So the feeling here for myself and most of the other media types is that Bateman begins the season in the starting role, but if it is indicative early that he cannot get the job done and move the offense consistently, I doubt Saban will hesitate to give a shot to Cornwell or possibly even Barnett considering his array of talents and the potential he brings.

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stangrif67@yahoo.com (Stan J Griffin) Sports n Outdoor Tue, 05 Jul 2016 19:43:49 -0500
Tide baseball coach Greg Goff named South Central Region Coach of the Year (via Crimson Magazine) http://druidcityliving.com/index.php/sports-n-outdoor/item/1174-tide-baseball-coach-greg-goff-named-south-central-region-coach-of-the-year-via-crimson-magazine http://druidcityliving.com/index.php/sports-n-outdoor/item/1174-tide-baseball-coach-greg-goff-named-south-central-region-coach-of-the-year-via-crimson-magazine Tide baseball coach Greg Goff named South Central Region Coach of the Year (via Crimson Magazine)

By Stan J. Griffin: July 1, 2016

Photo by Stan J. Griffin

New University of Alabama baseball coach Greg Goff is quite busy these days, as he seeks to put together his first Crimson Tide coaching staff, recruit new players, solidify and study the UA roster and put his own unique stamp on the tradition-rich Alabama program.
But on Friday, the 31st Crimson Tide baseball coach was honored for the good work that he did at his last coaching stop, prior to arriving in Tuscaloosa.
Goff was selected as the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA)/Diamond 2016 South Central Region Coach of the Year, the organization announced on Friday morning.


Prior to being named head coach at Alabama on June 17, Goff built Louisiana Tech from a team that won 15 games before to his arrival in 2015, into a 42-20 team a season ago. The Bulldogs received an at-large berth in the 2016 NCAA Starkville Regional, the program’s first NCAA Regional appearance since 1987.
The 2016 Bulldogs reached the 40-win plateau for just the sixth time in program history and the first time since 1988. Goff’s squad set program records with seven series wins and 19 victories in Conference USA, the fifth-best league based on RPI.
Individually, Goff coached two All-Conference USA selections in Casey Sutton (first team) and Jonathan Washam (second team). Sutton finished 6-1 with all six victories coming during conference play, while leading all C-USA pitchers with a lowly 1.43 ERA. Washam batted .318 across 47 games (34 starts) and finished with 42 hits, including nine doubles, a triple and two home runs. He drove in 25 RBI and posted a .368 on-base percentage during his all-conference season.
Goff also tutored three pitchers who were selected during the 2016 MLB First-Year Player Draft, marking just the eighth time in program history that Louisiana Tech had at least three players taken in the draft. Adam Akins, a senior closer, was taken in the 18th round by the New York Mets, while juniors Braden Bristo (23rd) and Philip Diehl (27th) were each taken by the New York Yankees.
The Regional and National Coaches of the Year will be honored at the ABCA/Diamond Hall of Fame/Coach of the Year Banquet on Jan. 6, 2017, in Anaheim, Calif., as part of the 73rd annual convention.

Special thanks: Alabama Athletics Communications

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stangrif67@yahoo.com (Stan J Griffin) Sports n Outdoor Fri, 01 Jul 2016 16:07:19 -0500
Alabama has 83 athletes included on SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll (via Crimson Magazine) http://druidcityliving.com/index.php/sports-n-outdoor/item/1173-alabama-has-83-athletes-included-on-sec-first-year-academic-honor-roll-via-crimson-magazine http://druidcityliving.com/index.php/sports-n-outdoor/item/1173-alabama-has-83-athletes-included-on-sec-first-year-academic-honor-roll-via-crimson-magazine Alabama has 83 athletes included on SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll (via Crimson Magazine)

By Stan J. Griffin: July 1, 2016

University of Alabama student-athletes continue to show out, not only on the athletic fields and courts, but also very much in the classroom as well.
There were 83 UA students on the 2016 Southeastern Conference First-Year Academic Honor Roll, the conference office announced Thursday.
Alabama, South Carolina, Kentucky and Auburn were the only schools with more than 65 honorees.
The women’s swimming and diving, rowing and football programs led Alabama with 13, 12 and 10 honorees, respectively. The Crimson Tide's football (10), gymnastics (6), rowing (12) and women’s swimming and diving (13) teams led their respective sports.
The 2015 SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll is based on grades from the 2015-16 academic calendar year. To earn a place on the honor roll a student must have a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or above at the nominating institution, be on scholarship or a letter winner, have completed 24 semester hours of non-remedial credit at the nominating institution and have been a member of the varsity team for the sport's entire NCAA championship segment.
The Tide had 82, 59 and 126 students named to the SEC Fall, Winter and Spring Academic Honor Rolls, respectively, giving Alabama a total of 350 students on the honor roll for the 2015-16 academic year, a jump of 50 honorees from the year before.



Alabama’s 2016 SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll:

Cheyenne Adams, Rowing, Environmental Science
Keaton Anderson, Football, Management
Abby Armbrecht, Gymnastics, Lower Div. Accounting
Christian Arseneau Men’s Swimming & Diving, Human Performance Exercise Science
Knox Auerbach, Men’s Swimming & Diving, Finance
Clay Austell, Men’s Track & Field/Cross Country, Computer Science
Jacob Beene, Men’s Track & Field, Electrical Engineering
Caroline Beene, Women’s Swimming & Diving, Accounting
Randi Blackmon, Women’s Track & Field/Cross Country, Exercise Science
Jenna Bresette, Gymnastics, Pre-Major Studies
Calli Coggins, Women’s Track & Field/Cross Country, Nutrition
Lester Cotton, Football, Physical Education
Kathleen Coughlin, Women’s Swimming & Diving, Economics
Mari Cranek, Softball, Secondary Education- History
Andie Daniell, Women’s Tennis, Pre-Physical Therapy
Chatham DeProspo, Women’s Soccer, Advertising
Stacey Destin, Women’s Track & Field/Cross Country, nPublic Relations
Virginia Dodenhoff, Rowing, Public Relations
Ebie Douglas, Women’s Track & Field/Cross Country, Elementary Education
Reagan Dykes, Softball, Finance
Laura Egeland, Rowing, Marketing
Lauren Fehr, Rowing, International Studies
Minkah Fitzpatrick, Football, Exercise Science
Morgan Fleming, Women’s Swimming & Diving, Public Health
Tori Gann, Women’s Soccer, General Business
Nicole Gardner, Women’s Track & Field/Cross Country, Biology
Quincey Gary, Volleyball, Public Relations
Angelina Giancroce, Gymnastics, Telecommunication & Film
Alex Green, Men’s Golf, Lower Division Finance
Zoe Guckien, Rowing, Chemistry
Ariana Guerra, Gymnastics, Psychology
Donta Hall, Men’s Basketball, Communication Studies
Caroline Hardy, Softball, Secondary Education- History
Ronnie Harrison, Football, Finance
Cecily Hartman, Women’s Soccer, Elementary Education
Evan Heldman, Men’s Swimming & Diving, Biology
Sarah Helm, Women’s Swimming & Diving, Nursing
Hale Hentges, Football, Marketing
Robert Howard, Men’s Swimming & Diving, Finance
Amanda Huang, Gymnastics, Lower Div. Accounting
Dazon Ingram, Men’s Basketball, Marketing
Jada Jackson, Women’s Track & Field/Cross Country, Pre-Business
Samantha James, Rowing, Communication Studies
Holly Julifs, Women’s Track & Field/Cross Country, Communicative Disorders
Victoria Kacsits, Rowing, Communication Studies
Brandon Kennedy, Football, Psychology
Cheyenne Knight, Women’s Golf, Undesignated Communications
Brianna Koshy, Women’s Track & Field/Cross Country, Exercise Science
Sara Kourtesis, Rowing, Pre-Law Studies
Christina Lu, Women’s Swimming & Diving, International Studies
Justine Macfarlane, Women’s Swimming & Diving, Chemical Engineering
Trista Magee, Women’s Basketball, Marketing
Christiana Martensson, Women’s Soccer, Civil Engineering
Margaret McCarthy, Women’s Swimming & Diving, Accounting
Monica McGraw, Rowing, Human Performance Exercise Science
Josh McMillon, Football, Aerospace Engineering
Shannon Mikesky, Volleyball, Lower Div. Accounting
Sarah Mohan, Women’s Track & Field/Cross Country, Nutrition
Madi Moore, Softball, Biology
Kayla Mouton, Women’s Soccer, Mechanical Engineering
Emma Murray, Women’s Swimming & Diving, Marketing
Hannah Musser, Women’s Swimming & Diving, Marketing
Erika Nist, Women’s Swimming & Diving, Political Science
Richie Petitbon, Football, Communication Studies
Nicole Raicik, Women’s Swimming & Diving, Human Performance Exercise Science
Spencer Richey, Men’s Tennis, Lower Div. Finance
Avery Rickett, Gymnastics, Lower Div. Marketing
Davis Riley, Men’s Golf, Lower Division General Business
Merris Schroder, Softball, Elementary Education
Rachel Sowell, Rowing, Advertising
Adonis Thomas, Football, Management
Davis Vainer, Baseball, Public Relations
Shaquera Wade, Women’s Basketball, Human Development and Family Studies
Emelia Watts, Rowing, Pre-Medical
Alex Webb, Baseball, Human Performance Exercise Science
Kiara Williams, Women’s Track & Field/Cross Country, Physical Education
Abigail Wohler, Rowing, Mechanical Engineering
Matt Womack, Football, Undecided
Gene Wood, Baseball, Economics
Ayanna Woods, Women’s Swimming & Diving, Mechanical Engineering
Kaitlin York, Women’s Track & Field/Cross Country, Psychology
Marian Yurchishin, Women’s Swimming & Diving, Biology
Elena Zang, Women’s Soccer, General Business

Special thanks: Alabama Athletics Communications

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stangrif67@yahoo.com (Stan J Griffin) Sports n Outdoor Fri, 01 Jul 2016 14:41:54 -0500
New UA baseball coach Greg Goff hires Jake Wells as assistant coach (via Crimson Magazine) http://druidcityliving.com/index.php/sports-n-outdoor/item/1171-new-ua-baseball-coach-greg-goff-hires-jake-wells-as-assistant-coach-via-crimson-magazine http://druidcityliving.com/index.php/sports-n-outdoor/item/1171-new-ua-baseball-coach-greg-goff-hires-jake-wells-as-assistant-coach-via-crimson-magazine New UA baseball coach Greg Goff hires Jake Wells as assistant coach (via Crimson Magazine)

By Stan J. Griffin: June 28, 2016

New University of Alabama baseball coach Greg Goff has officially filled in the first piece of the puzzle that will be his very first Crimson Tide coaching staff.
Alabama's 31st coach announced the addition of Jake Wells to his staff on Tuesday afternoon. Wells, a former player under Goff at Montevallo, will serve as the Crimson Tide’s recruiting coordinator while also working closely with the team’s catchers.
He is the first to join Goff’s Alabama staff, bringing a total of nine years of coaching experience to Tuscaloosa.
“I’m really excited that Jake has decided to come be a part of our staff here at Alabama,” said Goff of his first hire. “He has played for me and coached under me, and he is one of the bright young coaches in the country. We are honored to get him on our staff. He is a tireless worker that will put forth a maximum effort each day.”
Wells has previous experience working with catchers, dating back to his two seasons at Mississippi State from 2013-14 where his primary responsibility was to work with the team’s catchers. While in Starkville, Wells tutored two catchers who went on to sign professional contracts and followed up in 2014 by coaching Gavin Collins to All-SEC Freshman Team honors, the program’s first All-SEC freshman catcher in the program’s 124-year history.
He was an integral part of the Mississippi State staff that led the Bulldogs to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances, including a finalist finish in the 2013 College World Series.
Most recently, Wells spent the past two seasons at Louisiana Tech as the hitting coach and recruiting coordinator for Goff. Under his tutelage, the Bulldogs were able to improve in nearly every hitting statistic from his arrival in 2015 through last season.


The 2016 offense tied the program record for triples with 19, while accumulating 112 doubles and 2,052 at-bats (both third-most all-time), and swiped 90 bases, a total that ranks fourth all-time in program history.
In 2015, his first season in Ruston, the Bulldog hitters batted .261, an 11-point improvement from the previous year. Louisiana Tech also scored 100 more runs that season than the year prior and drove in 99 more RBI as a team. The Tech on-base percentage also increased by .40 points from 2015 to 2016 under Wells.
While guiding the offense at La Tech, Wells helped junior Jonathan Washam earn All-Conference USA second-team honors in 2016. Washam finished with a .309 (51-165) average, 12 doubles, a triple, two home runs, 26 RBI and 28 runs scored. He was one of four Bulldog hitters to bat over .300 on the season and one of seven bats to collect 50-plus hits on the year.
In addition, catcher Brent Diaz was named to the 2015 C-USA All-Freshman Team. Diaz accumulated 24 RBI and 21 runs scored to go along with his four doubles, two triples and four home runs.
“Jake is a player’s coach,” Goff added. “He’s a high-energy guy with a lot of passion for the game of baseball, and he will always be available to help our players. He sets a high standard and expects the players to bring a positive energy and their best effort to the field every day.”
Prior to his time at Tech, Wells spent his two seasons as the volunteer assistant coach at Mississippi State while also serving as the camps coordinator for the Bulldogs.
He worked with the catchers and also served as the first base coach during his two seasons. In the offseason, he was in charge of coordinating the team’s winter and summer baseball camps.
Before his time in Starkville, Wells spent two years as the head coach at Marion Military Institute in Marion, Ala., beginning in 2008 as an assistant and ending with him in the head coaching role for the 2011 and 2012 seasons. Over his five seasons in Marion, Wells coached 11 players who earned all-conference and all-region accolades.
The 33-year old has served as camp manager for youth baseball camps in Montevallo, Ala., and Devine, Texas, while also managing the Alabama Special Olympics State Tournament.
As a player, Wells was an all-state catcher at Devine (Texas) High School. After his prep days, he continued his career at Blinn (Texas) College, Lurleen B. Wallace (Ala.) Community College and eventually at the University of Montevallo.
Wells earned his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and health promotions from UM in 2005. He went on to play professional baseball in the United League with the Laredo Broncos in 2009 and 2010. Wells is married to the former Melissa Sherrod of Longview, Texas.

Special thanks: Alabama Athletics Communications
Photo courtesy: Lousiana Tech Athletics Photography

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stangrif67@yahoo.com (Stan J Griffin) Sports n Outdoor Tue, 28 Jun 2016 15:09:33 -0500
Former Tide hoop standouts Obasohan, Randolph sign to participate in NBA Summer League (via Crimson Magazine) http://druidcityliving.com/index.php/sports-n-outdoor/item/1170-former-tide-hoop-standouts-obasohan-randolph-sign-to-participate-in-nba-summer-league-via-crimson-magazine http://druidcityliving.com/index.php/sports-n-outdoor/item/1170-former-tide-hoop-standouts-obasohan-randolph-sign-to-participate-in-nba-summer-league-via-crimson-magazine Former Tide hoop standouts Obasohan, Randolph sign to participate in NBA Summer League (via Crimson Magazine)

By Stan J. Griffin: June 28, 2016

Although former University of Alabama basketball standout Retin Obasohan did not hear his name called in last Thursday's National Basketball Association Draft, the Belgium native and former All-Southeastern Conference guard will still have the opportunity to land on an NBA roster.
And another former Crimson Tide teammate of his will have that same golden opportunity.
Obasohan and Levi Randolph have each signed to compete in the 2016 Las Vegas NBA Summer League.
Obasohan will play for the Sacramento Kings, while Randolph, who excelled on the court and in the classroom while at Alabama like Obasohan, will compete for the Memphis Grizzlies in the event that will feature a total of 24 teams and 67 games.
The 11-day showcase of top young NBA talent will run from Friday, July 8 through Monday, July 18 at the Thomas & Mack Center and Cox Pavilion on the campus of the University of Nevada Las Vegas.
Randolph and the Grizzlies will begin play on July 8 when they square off against the NBA Developmental League Select Team at 5:30p.m. CT (3:30 p.m. PT). Meanwhile, Obasohan’s first action will come that same day when the Kings take on the Toronto Raptors at 9 p.m. CT (7 p.m. PT) on NBA TV.


The complete schedule for the Las Vegas Summer League can be found by logging on to NBA.com/summerleague.                                                                  
The 24-team field is composed of 11 playoff teams from the 2015-16 NBA season, 12 teams with lottery picks in the 2016 NBA Draft and an NBA D-League squad. Teams will compete in three preliminary round games from July 8-12 before being seeded in a tournament that starts on July 13 and concludes with the Championship Game on July 18. Each team is guaranteed to play at least five games.
ESPN and NBA TV will provide non-stop coverage starting on opening day for all 67 games from Las Vegas. The full broadcast schedule will be announced at a future date.
In addition to his appointment with the Grizzlies, Randolph will also compete for the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA Summer League in Salt Lake City, which will be held July 4-7. Along with the 76ers, the six-game, four-team event will feature the Utah Jazz, Boston Celtics and San Antonio Spurs.

Special thanks: Alabama Athletics Communications

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stangrif67@yahoo.com (Stan J Griffin) Sports n Outdoor Tue, 28 Jun 2016 14:20:58 -0500
Five biggest Crimson Tide football wins during the Nick Saban era (via Crimson Magazine) http://druidcityliving.com/index.php/sports-n-outdoor/item/1169-five-biggest-crimson-tide-football-wins-during-the-nick-saban-era-via-crimson-magazine http://druidcityliving.com/index.php/sports-n-outdoor/item/1169-five-biggest-crimson-tide-football-wins-during-the-nick-saban-era-via-crimson-magazine Five biggest  Crimson Tide football wins during the Nick Saban era (via Crimson Magazine)

By Stan J. Griffin: June 28, 2016

Four national championships and four Southeastern Conference titles.

A record of 98-12.

Two Heisman Trophy winners.

Six consecutive recruiting titles.

A 50-6 overall record over the last four years.

37 first-team All-Americans

48 players drafted into the National Football League, with 17 of those being first-round selections.

Utilizing any type of measuring standard, those are certainly dazzling numbers for any college football coach, and many of those figures would cement an impressive career legacy for an individual in the coaching profession, even if he elected to never lead another game from the sidelines.
University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban, of course, has achieved those gaudy numbers and many more phenomenal ones in his first nine years of leading the tradition-rich Crimson Tide program, and he, and his legendary “process,” show no signs of slowing down anytime soon, with many analysts forecasting Alabama to win another national title in 2016.
That remains to be seen, but whether you like Saban or despise him, you have to respect the record, and he has unquestionably secured his place in the annals of college football as one of the greatest coaches ever, along with legends such as Paul “Bear” Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Eddie Robinson.
Saban’s Alabama teams have certainly won their share of huge games since his arrival to Tuscaloosa in 2007, and I thought I would take a shot at narrowing down the five greatest Crimson Tide victories during his remarkable UA tenure:



   1.  DEC. 5, 2009: SEC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: ALABAMA 32, FLORIDA 13 (Atlanta): Greg McElroy, Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson and Marquiz Maze were just a few of the Crimson Tide standouts that spurred a thorough shellacking of Urban Meyer’s powerful Florida team led by legendary quarterback Tim Tebow. The convincing win not only allowed Saban’s team to gain a huge measure of payback for a 31-20 loss to the Gators in the 2008 conference title game, but the contest also proved that there was a new sheriff in town in terms of SEC and national supremacy and it set the stage for the first of four national title game appearances thus far for Alabama under Saban. Of course Alabama went on to win the 2009 BCS title by defeating Texas in Pasadena, but many consider the win over the Gators to be one of the pivotal victories in the history of the Crimson Tide program.
    2. JAN. 11, 2016: COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: ALABAMA 45, CLEMSON 40 (Phoenix, Arizona): Although all of Alabama’s national title-winning triumphs are obviously sweet for Crimson Tide fans in their own unique way, the one that resulted in UA’s 16th and most recent crown may have been the sweetest under Saban, simply because it was a tougher test than the rest of them and it was also against arguably the strongest foe that Alabama has encountered in a national championship game under the Tide's current coach. With a 13-1 and No. 2 ranked Crimson Tide pitted against Dabo Swinney’s 14-0 and No. 1 ranked Clemson team, forecasters expected this to be a very competitive tilt at the very least. What resulted, however, was a game for the ages and surely one of the greatest college football games of all times. A Tide team known for its resiliency, however, survived a mammoth test against Deshaun Watson and company to cement Alabama’s dynasty under Saban, with its fourth national title in seven years. The efforts of Tide standouts such as Jake Coker, Derrick Henry, Kenyan Drake and Marlon Humphrey will not soon be forgotten by the Crimson Nation.
    3. DEC. 1, 2012: SEC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: ALABAMA 32, GEORGIA 28 (Atlanta): Alabama entered this conference title game showdown against Mark Richt’s Bulldogs looking to cement a place in the BCS title game against Notre Dame, with an opportunity to win its second consecutive national championship. It would not be easy for Alabama, however, as it had to survive an epic back-and-forth struggle against quarterback Aaron Murray and a Georgia team also talented enough to win a BCS title in its own right. Georgia kept the Tide on its heels the entire way behind the play of Murray, Todd Gurley, Tavarres King and others, but Alabama used the heroic efforts of tailbacks Eddie Lacy and T.J Yeldon and freshman receiver Amari Cooper, plus a fortunate tip on a late Georgia pass as the Bulldogs were trying to pull the game out late, to seal another conference crown and a BCS title matchup against the Fighting Irish.  
    4. OCT. 24, 2009: ALABAMA 12, TENNESSEE 10 (Tuscaloosa): Saban’s 2009 Crimson Tide team appeared to be a team on a mission, rolling through its first seven games with the closest victory being a 34-24 triumph over Virginia Tech in the season-opener. All of that changed in this traditional rivalry game as Alabama hosted Lane Kiffin’s Volunteers at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Tennessee entered the game with an unimpressive 3-3 record, but it gave Alabama all it wanted and more on this day. Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram rambled for 99 yards for Alabama in the game, but Alabama’s offense struggled by and large most of the day, and had to rely on its defense, and two blocked field goals by mammoth defensive lineman Terrence Cody to get past Kiffin’s squad. While it was an ugly win for sure, it allowed the No. 2 Crimson Tide to remain undefeated at 8-0 and keep its SEC and national title hopes very much alive.
    5. SEPT. 27, 2008: ALABAMA 41, GEORGIA 30 (Athens): Another important victory by the Crimson Tide over Richt’s Bulldogs, but this one came between the hedges at a packed Sanford Stadium, with ESPN on hand to broadcast the contest to a national TV audience. The game was billed as a “blackout” for the Bulldogs, with the Georgia team dressed in black jerseys and many of its 92,000-plus fans also wearing black for the game. However, an Alabama team just beginning to emerge as a national and SEC power under Saban took the fun out of the game early for the Bulldog Nation, jumping to a 10-0 lead after the first quarter and swelling that advantage to 31-0 by the intermission. Georgia did its best to rally in the second half, outscoring the Crimson Tide 30-10 after halftime, but it was ultimately too big of a hole for the Bulldogs to dig out of. Quarterback John Parker Wilson, tailback Glen Coffee and receiver Julio Jones led the way for the Crimson Tide in the huge signature road triumph for Saban’s up and coming Tide program.

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stangrif67@yahoo.com (Stan J Griffin) Sports n Outdoor Tue, 28 Jun 2016 14:07:40 -0500
Greg Goff says he is excited to begin dream job as new Alabama baseball coach (via Crimson Magazine) http://druidcityliving.com/index.php/sports-n-outdoor/item/1143-greg-goff-says-he-is-excited-to-begin-dream-job-as-new-alabama-baseball-coach-via-crimson-magazine http://druidcityliving.com/index.php/sports-n-outdoor/item/1143-greg-goff-says-he-is-excited-to-begin-dream-job-as-new-alabama-baseball-coach-via-crimson-magazine Greg Goff says he is excited to begin dream job as new Alabama baseball coach (via Crimson Magazine)

By Stan J. Griffin: June 18, 2016

Photo by Stan J. Griffin

Calling it his "dream job," Greg Goff was introduced as the 31st coach of the University of Alabama baseball program on Friday.
At a .525 Club room at Sewell-Thomas Stadium packed with family members, various UA boosters and officials and fellow Crimson Tide coaches Patrick Murphy, Kristy Curry and Avery Johnson among others, Goff officially replaced the departed Mitch Gaspard as the new UA coach after spending the last two seasons at Louisiana Tech University.
“I am thankful to Athletics Director Bill Battle and The University of Alabama for the opportunity to be the head coach of the Crimson Tide,” said an emotional Goff, a native of Jackson, Tenn. “This is a great University and a great baseball program in the nation’s top baseball conference, and I am truly blessed to be here today. I have continued to work hard my entire career so that I could one day coach at one of the nation’s elite programs, and I could not be happier than to be a part of such a storied program."
Before introducing Goff, UA Athletics Director Bill Battle called it a "great day in Alabama baseball history," and noted that during the search to replace Gaspard, he was looking for a candidate that understood the Southeastern Conference and had experience in it, someone who had a passion to coach the tradition-rich Crimson Tide program and also "someone who had a drive to go to Omaha (for the College World Series)."
"Our new coach has head coaching experience at every level, and everywhere he's been he has won," he said.
Upon being introduced, Goff proclaimed that "God is good," and said that it was an unbelievable day for he and his family.
"I am so blessed to be able to be a part of this family and tradition here at the University of Alabama," he said.  "Today culminates a lot of moving, a lot of tears, a lot of relationships, a lot of goodness in people, and it's an honor for me to be a part of this, and to be standing in front of you today. When Coach Battle called and we talked about the Alabama job, I thought I was dreaming. I wouldn't have left Ruston, Louisiana if it wasn't my dream job."
He also took time during his remarks to praise the efforts of his Tide predecessor in Gaspard.
"I want to thank Coach Gaspard and what he's done for this program, and his dedication  and hard work and what he's done for this program, I have the utmost respect for," said Goff. "He's leaving this program in really good shape, and I'm coming into a great place. I feel great about the players that have been here, that are here, and the facilities, I know how hard he worked to make this commitment to this University, and I'm forever indebted to Coach Gaspard and what he's done with that."


He said his immediate goal upon taking over the Crimson Tide baseball job is recruiting.
"My number one goal is to win this state," said Goff. "The University of Alabama is a tremendous opportunity for kids in this state, and if kids haven't heard from Greg Goff in the next 24 to 48 hours, they will. We're going to recruit this state, and we're going to own this state, and we're not going to lose in this state.  I know when we were playing in Starkville a few weeks ago, there were some roster spots from Alabama and that can't happen and we've got to keep these guys in the state of Alabama. We've got to grow and continue to build those relationships. It's great high school baseball here in the state of Alabama and great coaches and great summer league programs. That makes my job so much easier whenever I can be fed great players."
He said he was immediately impressed with the Crimson Tide's home stadium.
"The biggest thing when I came to campus was to walk into this facility, this is amazing," said Goff. "Coach Battle, thank you, and thank Coach Gaspard and all you guys that have made this one of the best facilities in the country. I was overwhelmed to see the investment and the commitment that's here. You bring a young man into this facility, he won't leave here uncommitted and I can tell you that. It's an awesome opportunity, and the chance to play in the SEC and to play for championships are vital to what we're doing. Really, really excited about that."
Goff led an incredible resurgence in Ruston in only two seasons at the helm of the Louisiana Tech program. Inheriting a team that won only 15 games in 2014, Goff’s Bulldogs improved to 25-27 in 2015 before a breakthrough 42-20 record in 2016, which included an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament’s Starkville Regional.
It was the Bulldogs’ first NCAA Regional appearance in 29 years, dating back to 1987.
Battle, who said he interviewed three candidates in person and at least five more by phone, said there were several things that impressed him about Goff.
"(It was the coach's) energy and passion, and the first two things (that Battle prioritized) was character, and will he try to accomplish our mission, and our mission is recruit and develop student-athletes to compete at the highest level in every sport, and to educate and prepare those student-athletes to compete in the highest levels of life after graduation, and to do both with honor and integrity," he said. "I believe that was his philosophy as well. I wanted someone who was strong in managing the game, and I was very impressed by how much he knew about our players, and about our recruits. And what he did at the levels that he's done it, was impressive to me."
He played his college ball at Jackson State Community College, where he earned his associate’s degree in 1991. He then spent time on the mound at Delta State, where he eventually earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in 1994 and 1996, respectively. Goff is married to the former Tina Newbill of Jackson, Tenn., and Friday marked the couple's 21st wedding anniversary.
The couple has four daughters: Kara, Kiley, Kolby and Kenzie.

GOFF’S HEAD COACHING CAREER

2004     Montevallo        26-27 (.491)
2005     Montevallo        36-22 (.621)
2006     Montevallo        43-18 (.705)
2007     Montevallo        47-17 (.734)
2008     Campbell           21-37 (.362)
2009     Campbell           27-24 (.529)
2010     Campbell           28-27 (.509)
2011     Campbell           17-37 (.315)
2012     Campbell           41-18 (.695)
2013     Campbell           49-10 (.831)
2014     Campbell           41-21 (.661)
2015     La. Tech           25-27 (.481)
2016     La. Tech           42-20 (.677)

Special thanks: Alabama Athletics Communications

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stangrif67@yahoo.com (Stan J Griffin) Sports n Outdoor Sat, 18 Jun 2016 16:42:29 -0500
Four star Texas receiver Tyrell Shavers commits to Tide's 2017 class (via Crimson Magazine) http://druidcityliving.com/index.php/sports-n-outdoor/item/1135-four-star-texas-receiver-tyrell-shavers-commits-to-tide-s-2017-class-via-crimson-magazine http://druidcityliving.com/index.php/sports-n-outdoor/item/1135-four-star-texas-receiver-tyrell-shavers-commits-to-tide-s-2017-class-via-crimson-magazine Four star Texas receiver Tyrell Shavers commits to Tide's 2017 class (via Crimson Magazine)

By Stan J. Griffin: June 14, 2016

Nick Saban's University of Alabama football team is hardly lacking in talented receivers heading into the 2016 season.
Calvin Ridley, ArDarius Stewart, O.J. Howard, Robert Foster and Cam Sims are just a few of the pass-catching weapons at the disposal of whoever earns the Crimson Tide starting quarterback position.
And now the Tide has secured another deep threat for the near future as well.
On Monday, the Crimson Tide received the commitment of heralded receiver Tyrell Shavers.


The 6-foot-6, 202-pound Lewisville, Texas native announced on his Twitter account that he will continue his academic pursuits and football career at the Capstone.
Shavers recently took an unofficial visit to Tuscaloosa, saying he enjoyed the visit to the UA campus.
Shavers, a four-star prospect who caught 36 passes for 800 yards and 13 touchdowns, had offers from a host of elite programs, but ultimately chose the Crimson Tide over schools such as Auburn, Michigan, Texas and Florida State.
According to 247Sports, he is ranked as the No. 23 wide receiver in the country, as well as being the No. 25 recruit in the Lone Star State.
He is the 14th commit to the Tide's furiously-growing Class of 2017.

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stangrif67@yahoo.com (Stan J Griffin) Sports n Outdoor Tue, 14 Jun 2016 15:03:17 -0500
Crimson Tide softball staff named Coaching Staff of the Year by NFCA (via Crimson Magazine) http://druidcityliving.com/index.php/sports-n-outdoor/item/1134-crimson-tide-softball-staff-named-coaching-staff-of-the-year-by-nfca-via-crimson-magazine http://druidcityliving.com/index.php/sports-n-outdoor/item/1134-crimson-tide-softball-staff-named-coaching-staff-of-the-year-by-nfca-via-crimson-magazine Crimson Tide softball staff named Coaching Staff of the Year  by NFCA (via Crimson Magazine)

By Stan J. Griffin: June 14, 2016

The University of Alabama softball program's 2016 season, the 20th season in the tradition-rich history of Crimson Tide softball, was yet another hugely successful one.
It was another season that included 50 wins, and the Crimson gained NCAA regional and super regional titles, and also made another trip to the Women's College World Series among other significant accomplishments.
And for those feats, UA coach Patrick Murphy and his Alabama brain trust have received a big honor.
Alabama softball’s coaching staff was named the 2016 South Region Coaching Staff of the Year, announced Monday by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA).
The 2016 Crimson Tide coaching staff includes Murphy (18th season), Associate Head Coach Alyson Habetz (18th season), Assistant Coach Stephanie VanBrakle (4th season), Volunteer Assistant Coach Adam Arbour (4th season) and Director of Operations Kate Harris (6th season).


This is the third time this specific staff has won the award and the 10th overall for Alabama.
Alabama previously earned NFCA South Region Coaching Staff of the Year honors in 2000, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014.
This season, Alabama finished with a 51-14 record, posting its 12th 50-win season including 10 in the past 12 seasons. The Tide made its 11th Women’s College World Series appearance, including a streak of three straight, and its 18th-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance.
Alabama surpassed the 1,000 wins mark with a win on April 5, becoming the fourth SEC team to do so and the first among the league programs that began playing softball in 1997.

Special thanks: Alabama Athletics Communications

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stangrif67@yahoo.com (Stan J Griffin) Sports n Outdoor Tue, 14 Jun 2016 14:54:45 -0500