Saturday, March 7, 2009

It was 30 years ago today ...

I was doing some archival research for the local golf scene – actually, the beginnings of the Sunny King Charity Classic – when I came across an interesting item in the paper that relates to present day Jacksonville State football.

On March 8, 1979, The Anniston Star reported that North Alabama had just hired a new offensive line coach. His name: Jack Crowe.

If the date wasn’t so significant, I probably would’ve given the item only a brief look to settle my curiosity and moved on. But it's 30 years ago today.

The story mentioned that Crowe was a former assistant to Bill Burgess at Oxford High School. It also said his UNA duties would include recruiting the Birmingham area.

“It was a new beginning for me, because I had been at Livingston long enough to know,” Crowe said earlier in the week when I mentioned the story to him. “And it was a beginning because in ’79 we (UNA) had a winning season and in ’80 was the first championship they'd ever won and the first time they’d ever been in the NCAA playoffs. That was a turning point.”

And he moved along the career path quickly.

“I coached the offensive line about two weeks,” he recalled. “The offensive coordinator left and I became the offensive coordinator.”

And from there he went to Wyoming, Auburn, Clemson, Arkansas, Baylor and, eventually, JSU.

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