Sept. 20, 2006
WACO, TEX. – Former Georgia Tech, Alabama and Kentucky Head Coach Bill Curry has been selected as the 2007 recipient of the AFCA’s Amos Alonzo Stagg Award.
The award, which honors those “whose services have been outstanding in the advancement of the best interests of football,” will be presented to Curry at the AFCA Awards Luncheon on January 10 during the 2007 AFCA Convention in San Antonio.
“I’m overwhelmed by this,” Curry said. “It’s such an incredible honor that I can’t express how I feel. I’m very appreciative of the AFCA Board of Trustees and grateful to Grant Teaff for what he’s done for our organization and the difference he made in my career. I’m naturally grateful to all my players, my assistant coaches and, most of all, Carolyn and our family for all of their support through the years. This is the highest honor I’ve ever been accorded.”
Curry spent 17 years as a head coach in the college ranks: seven years at his alma mater, Georgia Tech; three years at Alabama and seven years at Kentucky.
Currently, Curry is serving as the Executive Director of Leadership Baylor at The Baylor School in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Leadership Baylor is an inclusive leadership curriculum that reaches out to all students at The Baylor School to help them discover and develop their emerging leadership skills.
Curry was named Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year in 1985 and Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year in 1987 and 1989.
In 1989, he received AFCA Division I-A Regional Coach of the Year honors and was selected as the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year.
Curry began his coaching career in 1976 as an assistant at Georgia Tech. A year later he joined the staff of former NFL teammate Bart Starr in Green Bay and served as the Packers’ offensive line coach for three seasons. In 1980 he returned to Georgia Tech as its head coach.
During his tenure at Georgia Tech, Curry led his team to a 9-2-1 record in 1985 and a win in the All-American Bowl. The final mark was Tech’s most successful season in nearly 20 years and its first Top 20 finish since 1970. For his efforts, he was named the ACC Coach of the Year in 1985. Curry’s 1984 squad snapped Clemson’s 20-game ACC winning streak and became the first Tech team in 22 years to defeat Alabama, Georgia and Clemson in the same season.
Following the 1986 season Curry moved on to Alabama. Curry led the Crimson Tide to three bowl appearances in his three seasons in Tuscaloosa. In his final season at the school the Tide finished 10-2 and won the SEC championship to earn a berth in the Sugar Bowl. The league title was Alabama’s first in a decade.
In 1990 Curry replaced former AFCA President Jerry Claiborne as the head coach at the University of Kentucky, a position Curry held through 1996. Curry’s 1993 Wildcat squad posted a 6-6 record and earned a berth in the Peach Bowl. That season Kentucky recorded its first three-game SEC winning streak in 16 seasons and won two SEC road games for the first time in nine seasons.
A 1965 graduate of Georgia Tech, Curry was a three-year letterman at center for the Yellow Jackets and served as a team captain as a senior. He was drafted by Green Bay in 1965 and was a member of Vince Lombardi’s NFL championship team in 1965 and Super Bowl I-winning team a year later. From 1967 to 1972 Curry played for Don Shula and Don McCafferty in Baltimore. The 1968 team played in Super Bowl III and the 1970 squad won Super Bowl V. Curry went on to play one season each for the Houston Oilers and Los Angeles Rams. He was a two-time All-Pro (1971-72) and played in the 1971 and 1972 Pro Bowls.
During his playing days Curry served as president of the NFL Players Association, a position given by his NFL peers for his leadership qualities and high regard among players around the league.
Since 1997 Curry has worked as a college football analyst for ESPN and has been a contributing writer to ESPN.com, covering topics ranging from ethics in sports to Title IX.
From 1998-1999 Curry served as the Chief Operating Officer for the National Consortium for Academics & Sports in Orlando, Florida.
Curry and his wife, Dr. Carolyn Curry, have two children – Kristin Hunter (Bob) and Bill Jr. (Kelly) – and four grandchildren.
The Award The Amos Alonzo Stagg Award is given to the “individual, group or institution whose services have been outstanding in the advancement of the best interests of football.” Its purpose is “to perpetuate the example and influence of Amos Alonzo Stagg.”
The award is named in honor of a man who was instrumental in founding the AFCA in the 1920s. He is considered one of the great innovators and motivating forces in the early development of the game of football. The plaque given to each recipient is a replica of the one given to Stagg at the 1939 AFCA Convention in tribute to his 50 years of service to football.
Amos Alonzo Stagg Amos Alonzo Stagg began his coaching career at the School of Christian Workers, now Springfield (Mass.) College, after graduating from Yale University in 1888.
Stagg also served as head coach at Chicago (1892-1932) and College of the Pacific (1933-1946). His 41 seasons at Chicago is one of the longest head coaching tenures in the history of the college game.
Among the innovations credited to Stagg are the tackling dummy, the huddle, the reverse play, man in motion, knit pants, numbering plays and players, and the awarding of letters.
A long-time AFCA member, Stagg was the Association’s 1943 Coach of the Year.
According to NCAA records, Stagg’s 57-year record as a college head coach is 314-199-35. He was 84 years old when he ended his coaching career at Pacific in 1946. He died in 1965 at the age of 103.
Past Amos Alonzo Stagg Award Winners
1940 Donald Herring, Jr., (Princeton player) and family 1941 William H. Cowell (posthumously), New Hampshire 1946 Grantland Rice, sportswriter 1947 William A. Alexander, Georgia Tech 1948 Gilmour Dobie, North Dakota State, Washington, Navy, Cornell, Boston College; Glenn S. “Pop” Warner, Georgia, Cornell, Carlisle, Pittsburgh, Stanford, Temple; Robert C. Zuppke, Illinois 1949 Richard C. Harlow, Penn State, Colgate, Western Maryland, Harvard 1950 No award given 1951 DeOrmond “Tuss” McLaughry, Westminster, Amherst, Brown, Dartmouth 1952 A.N. “Bo” McMillin, Indiana 1953 Lou Little, Georgetown, Columbia 1954 Dana X. Bible, Mississippi College, LSU, Texas A&M, Nebraska, Texas 1955 Joseph J. Tomlin, founder, Pop Warner Football 1956 No award given 1957 Gen. Robert R. Neyland, Tennessee 1958 Bernie Bierman, Mississippi A&M, Tulane, Minnesota 1959 Dr. John W. Wilce, Ohio State 1960 Harvey J. Harman, Haverford, University of the South, Pennsylvania, Rutgers 1961 Ray Eliot, Illinois 1962 E.E. “Tad” Wieman, Michigan, Princeton, Maine 1963 Andrew Kerr, Stanford, Washington & Jefferson, Colgate, Lebanon Valley 1964 Don Faurot, Missouri 1965 Harry Stuhldreher, Wisconsin 1966 Bernie H. Moore, LSU 1967 Jess Neely, Southwestern, Clemson, Rice 1968 Abe Martin, TCU 1969 Charles A. “Rip” Engle, Brown, Penn State 1970 Lynn “Pappy” Waldorf, Syracuse, Oklahoma City, Kansas, Oklahoma A&M, Kansas State, Northwestern, California 1971 Bill Murray, Delaware, Duke 1972 Jack Curtice, Stanford 1973 Lloyd Jordan, Amherst, Harvard 1974 Alonzo S. “Jake” Gaither, Florida A&M 1975 Gerald B. Zornow, business executive 1976 No award given 1977 Floyd “Ben” Schwartzwalder, Muhlenberg, Syracuse 1978 Tom Hamilton, Navy, Pittsburgh 1979 H.O. “Fritz” Crisler, Minnesota, Princeton, Michigan 1980 No award given 1981 Fred Russell, sportswriter 1982 Eddie Robinson, Grambling 1983 Paul W. “Bear” Bryant, Maryland, Kentucky, Texas A&M, Alabama 1984 Charles B. “Bud” Wilkinson, Oklahoma 1985 Duffy Daugherty, Michigan State 1986 Woody Hayes, Denison, Miami (Ohio), Ohio State 1987 Field Scovell, Cotton Bowl 1988 G. Herbert McCracken, Allegheny, Lafayette 1989 David Nelson, Delaware 1990 Len Casanova, Oregon 1991 Bob Blackman, Denver, Dartmouth, Illinois, Cornell 1992 Charles McClendon, LSU 1993 Keith Jackson, ABC-TV 1994 Bob Devaney, Nebraska, Wyoming 1995 John Merritt, Jackson State, Tennessee State 1996 Chuck Neinas, College Football Association 1997 Ara Parseghian, Miami (Ohio), Northwestern, Notre Dame 1998 Bob Reade, Augustana (Ill.) 1999 Bo Schembechler, Miami (Ohio), Michigan 2000 Tom Osborne, Nebraska 2001 Vince Dooley, Georgia 2002 Joe Paterno, Penn State 2003 LaVell Edwards, Brigham Young 2004 Ron Schipper, Central (Iowa) 2005 Hayden Fry, North Texas, SMU, Iowa 2006 Grant Teaff, McMurry, Angelo State, Baylor