With 15 national championships and a tradition of national achievement that dates back to the 1920s, the University of Alabama has secured its spot as one of the most successful athletic institutions in the history of American sports. Dating back to the days when university president Dr. George H. “Mike” Denny decided football would be the university’s ticket to national prominence, Alabama has produced some of the most legendary teams and players in the history of the game. Many of those legends have long since passed, but standouts such as Johnny Mack Brown, Dixie Howell, Don Huston, Pat Trammell, and Derrick Thomas remain alive and well in the hearts and minds of loyal Crimson Tide fans. The legends of Tide stars such as Joe Namath, Ken Stabler, Harry Gilmer, Johnny Musso, John Hannah, and Ozzie Newsome continue to grow with time. None of those legends stands taller than Paul “Bear” Bryant, the former Crimson Tide player who returned to Alabama as head coach in 1958 and built a dynasty that rivaled any in sports, pro, or college football. From Wallace Wade to Heisman Trophy–winner Mark Ingram, current coach Nick Saban, and all points in between, Legends of Alabama Football chronicles the coaches, players, and events that placed Crimson Tide football on the national sports landscape.
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