Hall of Fame coach says he’s hopeful about the college football season
PARIS, Texas (KWTX) - Legendary football coach Gene Stallings, who is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and won a national championship as the head coach of Alabama, says he’s hopeful about the prospects for a college football season this year but just doesn’t know what it will look like.
“If it were left up to me I would start them in the middle of October, don’t play a preseason game and then play just regular league games,” Stallings said.
Stallings, who is retired and living in his hometown of Paris, Texas, is still very involved in college football, hosting and appearing weekly on national radio programs.
He also talks frequently to coaches around the country, including those at Clemson where his grandson is a member of the football team.
“I’ve got a grandson who plays for Clemson,” Stallings said.
“I was talking to Woody McCorvey, one of the coaches, yesterday. They think they’re going to get started on time.”
College football experts are throwing out all types of possibilities for a season as universities grapple with the ripple effects of coronavirus; one scenario includes teams forgoing the fall season and instead playing in the spring.
“Hopefully they’ll be able to play in the fall but if they have to play in the spring that’s better than not having a season at all,” Stallings said.
Stallings played football at Texas A&M where he was one of the “Junction Boys.”
He was also the head coach of the Aggies from 1965-1971 and went on to be a part of the board at Texas A&M.
His greatest college accomplishment came as the head coach of Alabama when he won a national championship in 1992 after going 13-0.
Stallings retired at the age of 61.
The legendary coach said he’s talked to current Alabama head Coach Nick Saban, 68, who is excited about some kind of season even though his age puts him in a higher risk category for COVID-19.
Stallings said he, too, would feel comfortable coaching now.
“I’d feel very comfortable. I wasn’t really ready to retire when I did. Coach Saban is still a young man and he’s looking forward to the season. I talk to Nick from time to time. He’s excited about the season getting started. He just doesn’t know when it will be.”
Stalling who is 85 and also considered in a higher risk category because of heart issues says his best words of encouragement for everyone right now to get through this tough time is to simply do your part.
“We’ve got to stay healthy we don’t want to catch the virus. We need to wear the mask. I know it’s a pain to wear it but we need to wear it. We need to wash our hands and keep distance from people. We want to get through and be healthy when it’s all over. We got to take care of ourselves and our friends,” Stallings said.
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