Bill Curry and his move to Bama

GSOJacket

Jolly Good Fellow
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242
Rumor then was that AD Bobby Dodd encouraged Curry to take the Alabama job offer.
I think this is true. If I recall correctly, the other side of the coin is that the new Alabama President had the radical idea that Alabama could excel both academically and athletically, and he thought Curry would be a great choice to advance this initiative. The Alabama alumni power base hated the idea and wanted Curry, as the athletic embodiment of Dr. Thomas initiative, gone.
 

LT 1967

Jolly Good Fellow
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243
I agree that all the reasons discussed played a factor in Curry leaving Alabama. I recommend an article by Bill Curry concerning the GT-Alabama relationship.

The article is titled "Holding a Grudge is Football Tradition". Easily found online by the title. Coach Curry details the 1961 game in Birmingham when he was a redshirt Sophomore. This is the game in which Tech's Chick Graning received a serious Facial injury from an Alabama Forearm.
There was a lot of media fallout and hard feeling between the two schools. Curry also discusses his relationship with
the Bear and their discussion about Bryant sponsoring Tech's return to the SEC.

I attached two paragraphs from the article which reflects Curry's opinion that the "Grudge" concerning the 1961 game was still very much alive when he accepted the job.

This is long 5-page article and would be a good read for those younger members who unaware of this history.
 

Attachments

  • Bill Curry--Grudge.pdf
    131.7 KB · Views: 41

Heisman's Ghost

Helluva Engineer
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A little more complicated than that. Fulmer went 5-7 in his last year and an internal revolt forced him out. Kiffin came in a most everyone I know there, including letterman, David he brought an exciting brand of football back to UT. They were hopeful. Yes, he went 7-6 but … more exciting than Fulmer.

The problem with Kiffin was he was screwing any woman with two legs. AKA Joey Freshwater, he showed no hesitation to bed down. It got him in hot water under Saban as well as he was screwing a prominent boosters wife.

USC was his dream job. Layer, he admitted it was a mistake to leave UT. He would have taken the job again if offered but … he burned too many bridges.
That Kiffin was something else. He could call ball plays with the best of them but damn did he ever get on Saban's bad side. I saw a photo once of Kiffin talking to the Alabama quarterback with Saban a few feet away. What was startling, at least to me at the time, was the look of utter disdain on Saban's face. It said in so many words: I need you now boy, but your days at the Capstone are numbered.
 

Heisman's Ghost

Helluva Engineer
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I agree that all the reasons discussed played a factor in Curry leaving Alabama. I recommend an article by Bill Curry concerning the GT-Alabama relationship.

The article is titled "Holding a Grudge is Football Tradition". Easily found online by the title. Coach Curry details the 1961 game in Birmingham when he was a redshirt Sophomore. This is the game in which Tech's Chick Graning received a serious Facial injury from an Alabama Forearm.
There was a lot of media fallout and hard feeling between the two schools. Curry also discusses his relationship with
the Bear and their discussion about Bryant sponsoring Tech's return to the SEC.

I attached two paragraphs from the article which reflects Curry's opinion that the "Grudge" concerning the 1961 game was still very much alive when he accepted the job.

This is long 5-page article and would be a good read for those younger members who unaware of this history.
Interesting but Curry was likely a true freshman during the 1961 season as he graduated as an All American center in 1964. Colleges were still not allowing freshmen to play at that time. Tech played at Birmingham in 1961 with Alabama ranked number 2 in the country. Alabama won 10-0. That game was the infamous Chick Graning game. According to Dodd's autobiography, the Tech team doctor said that Graning had numerous small bones broken in his face and it was the worst facial injury he had ever seen as a team doctor in football. The game the next year was in Atlanta and as recalled by Kim King who was being heavily recruited by Alabama he and his family visited with the Bear in his hotel room before the game. Bryant was chain smoking Chesterfield cigarettes while watching a downpour and mumbling "This is Dodd weather, he will know how to take advantage of it" So, he did as Tech upset number one Bama in what Dodd later called his "greatest victory".
 
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GSOJacket

Jolly Good Fellow
Messages
242
Interesting but Curry was likely a true freshman during the 1961 season as he graduated as an All American center in 1964. Colleges were still not allowing freshmen to play at that time. Tech played at Birmingham in 1961 with Alabama ranked number 2 in the country. Alabama won 10-0. That game was the infamous Chick Graning game. According to Dodd's autobiography, the Tech team doctor said that Graning had numerous small bones broken in his face and it was the worst facial injury he had ever seen as a team doctor in football. The game the next year was in Atlanta and as recalled by Kim King who was being heavily recruited by Alabama he and his family visited with the Bear in his hotel room before the game. Bryant was chain smoking Chesterfield cigarettes while watching a downpour and mumbling "This is Dodd weather, he will know how to take advantage of it" So, he did as Tech upset number one Bama in what Dodd later called his "greatest victory".
Chick Graning was a well thought of, friendly guy. Seeing him on the Hill with his face black and blue and his jaw wired shut after what Holt did was sickening. The AJC did an excellent job of fanning the flames. I don't think Bryant or Holt ever apologized to Tech or Graning.
 

HurricaneJacket

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Folks forget he had Bama (at home) on the ropes. A blocked field goal, with a sec or 2 left on the clock that the refs took off so T Cody wouldn't have a penalty for removing his helmet during a live ball, was the difference.
Yup the mt Cody play was Hella frustrating as a UT fan at the time
 

Heisman's Ghost

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Chick Graning was a well thought of, friendly guy. Seeing him on the Hill with his face black and blue and his jaw wired shut after what Holt did was sickening. The AJC did an excellent job of fanning the flames. I don't think Bryant or Holt ever apologized to Tech or Graning.
Nope. Just another day at the office for the both of them. Yet, somehow, Bryant remained close friends with Dodd. Strange times.
 

LT 1967

Jolly Good Fellow
Messages
243
This is a minor point, but Bill came to Tech in Fall of 1960. I have attached Two paragraphs from his Book, "Ten Men You Met in The Huddle" for
review. He played on the Freshman Team in 1960, then redshirted in 1961 as a sophomore. Jim Carlen was his Freshman Coach. He also mentioned in the book that he did not start until the 4th game of his 4th year.

I have also attached his article for ESPN in 2004 concerning the Tech--Tide Grudge. This is worth the time to read. It helps make clear how long these type Grudges linger. In my view, it seems to be handed down for generations.
 

Attachments

  • Ten Men You Meet inThe Huddle.pdf
    134.1 KB · Views: 19
  • Holding a Grudge is Football Tradition 2004.pdf
    1.6 MB · Views: 22

DeepSnap

GT Athlete
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Hartselle, AL
Nope. Just another day at the office for the both of them. Yet, somehow, Bryant remained close friends with Dodd. Strange times.
What often gets lost in the prop wash from the Holt-Graning incident is how Alabama portrayed Holt as an exemplary citizen "with no priors."

Few remember the reason he was at Bama - Holt had been kicked out of A&M for his dirty play while there & transferred to Bama with Bryant.
 

Heisman's Ghost

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What often gets lost in the prop wash from the Holt-Graning incident is how Alabama portrayed Holt as an exemplary citizen "with no priors."

Few remember the reason he was at Bama - Holt had been kicked out of A&M for his dirty play while there & transferred to Bama with Bryant.
It was not the first time Alabama played fast and loose with the facts and it was not to be last time either.
 

GT33

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I know the pain of the TFG is still fresh and raw, but Lewis wrecked a program shortly removed from a NC and set us back a decade. IMO, that's a greater sin than what Collins did. I think, due to recency bias, we tend to blur out what our program had been in the 3-4 years prior to his arrival. I know this debate is like choosing between Hitler and Stalin but I don't think it will take as long to recover from the Lewis debacle. Heck, Key restored us back to our historical .500 level in just 8 games. For the record, this IS NOT to be construed in any ways as a voice of support for TFG. I am as glad as the next guy that he is no longer here.
A lot of truth here. Another aspect is Lewis' issues were probably a lot more confined to the locker room, the other one shoved it in your face. Think that's why it's more personal to many, it essentially became a loyalty test with him and the way it went down GT's fanbase needed to pick between him and the past. What happened in the past he couldn't influence. He needed to take that old support, win them over and add new or re-energized fans to the mix, not alienate or run off a high percentage of the exisiting fanbase and go get new fans matching his style to replace them. Just really damn dumb and someone at his level should definitely know better.
 

1979jacket

Ramblin' Wreck
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574
That Kiffin was something else. He could call ball plays with the best of them but damn did he ever get on Saban's bad side. I saw a photo once of Kiffin talking to the Alabama quarterback with Saban a few feet away. What was startling, at least to me at the time, was the look of utter disdain on Saban's face. It said in so many words: I need you now boy, but your days at the Capstone are numbered.
Yet my Bama fans say Kiffin will replace Saban some day, I told them "I don't think so." And the reason I say this is I believe Saban will have influence in who rpelaces him and he would never recommend Kiffin. Alabama fans are too dumb to see that - they are the most rumor milled without thinking fan body I have ever seen.
 

Heisman's Ghost

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Yet my Bama fans say Kiffin will replace Saban some day, I told them "I don't think so." And the reason I say this is I believe Saban will have influence in who rpelaces him and he would never recommend Kiffin. Alabama fans are too dumb to see that - they are the most rumor milled without thinking fan body I have ever seen.
True. They were like that back in Bear Bryant's day. Some things never change.
 

7979

Jolly Good Fellow
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Nashville
Bill Curry joined Pepper's staff as OL coach in time for 1976 spring practice....he's 33 or 34 yrs old and in his first post-NFL coaching gig....in our first OL group meeting, he opens with a quote from Shakspeare's Henry V (band of brothers speech), then rolls into the dangers with Nietzche's nihilism relative to "team-first" attitude......
No one had any idea what the Hell he was talking about...but I was hooked. He was the coolest guy I had ever met....my favorite coach and would have retired as GT head coach if Alabama never comes for him, throwing money....
 

bobongo

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Chick Graning was a well thought of, friendly guy. Seeing him on the Hill with his face black and blue and his jaw wired shut after what Holt did was sickening. The AJC did an excellent job of fanning the flames. I don't think Bryant or Holt ever apologized to Tech or Graning.
The Jackets got way better than apologies by knocking them out of a national championship in '62:



GDateDaySchoolOpponentConfPtsOppWLTStreakNotes
1Sep 22, 1962Sat(3) AlabamaGeorgiaSECW350100W 1
2Sep 28, 1962Fri(1) Alabama@TulaneSECW446200W 2
3Oct 6, 1962Sat(2) AlabamaVanderbiltSECW177300W 3
4Oct 13, 1962Sat(1) AlabamaHoustonIndW143400W 4
5Oct 20, 1962Sat(2) Alabama@TennesseeSECW277500W 5
6Oct 27, 1962Sat(2) AlabamaTulsaMVCW356600W 6
7Nov 3, 1962Sat(2) Alabama@Mississippi StateSECW200700W 7
8Nov 10, 1962Sat(3) AlabamaMiami (FL)IndW363800W 8
9Nov 17, 1962Sat(1) Alabama@Georgia TechSECL67810L 1
10Dec 1, 1962Sat(5) AlabamaNAuburnSECW380910W 1
11Jan 1, 1963Tue(5) AlabamaN(8) OklahomaBig 8W1701010W 2Orange Bowl (Miami, FL)
 
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BuzzDraft

Jolly Good Fellow
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227
Interesting but Curry was likely a true freshman during the 1961 season as he graduated as an All American center in 1964. Colleges were still not allowing freshmen to play at that time. Tech played at Birmingham in 1961 with Alabama ranked number 2 in the country. Alabama won 10-0. That game was the infamous Chick Graning game. According to Dodd's autobiography, the Tech team doctor said that Graning had numerous small bones broken in his face and it was the worst facial injury he had ever seen as a team doctor in football. The game the next year was in Atlanta and as recalled by Kim King who was being heavily recruited by Alabama he and his family visited with the Bear in his hotel room before the game. Bryant was chain smoking Chesterfield cigarettes while watching a downpour and mumbling "This is Dodd weather, he will know how to take advantage of it" So, he did as Tech upset number one Bama in what Dodd later called his "greatest victory".
If he graduated in spring of 1964, his "senior" football season was fall of 1963, and a freshman in 1960 football season.
 

LT 1967

Jolly Good Fellow
Messages
243
The Jackets got way better than apologies by knocking them out of a national championship in '62:



GDateDaySchoolOpponentConfPtsOppWLTStreakNotes
1Sep 22, 1962Sat(3) AlabamaGeorgiaSECW350100W 1
2Sep 28, 1962Fri(1) Alabama@TulaneSECW446200W 2
3Oct 6, 1962Sat(2) AlabamaVanderbiltSECW177300W 3
4Oct 13, 1962Sat(1) AlabamaHoustonIndW143400W 4
5Oct 20, 1962Sat(2) Alabama@TennesseeSECW277500W 5
6Oct 27, 1962Sat(2) AlabamaTulsaMVCW356600W 6
7Nov 3, 1962Sat(2) Alabama@Mississippi StateSECW200700W 7
8Nov 10, 1962Sat(3) AlabamaMiami (FL)IndW363800W 8
9Nov 17, 1962Sat(1) Alabama@Georgia TechSECL67810L 1
10Dec 1, 1962Sat(5) AlabamaNAuburnSECW380910W 1
11Jan 1, 1963Tue(5) AlabamaN(8) OklahomaBig 8W1701010W 2Orange Bowl (Miami, FL)

In the Fall of 1962 during Freshman orientation week, Coach Dodd made a presentation to the Freshman class. We gathered in the West Stands
behind the Old GTAA building.

Since that was 61 years ago, I don't recall a lot of what he told us during that gathering. But the one sentence I do remember; "ALWAYS SHOW CLASS, WIN OR LOSE".

The student body seemed to follow his admonition until the Alabama game day arrived. We have all heard about the intensity of that day. If media accounts of the day are accurate, there were some flying objects near the Alabama bench and their Head Coach during the Game. I cannot confirm that account. As I recall, I was partially behind one of the steel columns that supported the upper East stands in those years. Two years later, Bryant did wear an Alabama helmet as he came onto Grant Field prior the 1964 game to demonstrate his feelings.

Those were some intense and often bitter times.
 

okiemon

Helluva Engineer
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In the Fall of 1962 during Freshman orientation week, Coach Dodd made a presentation to the Freshman class. We gathered in the West Stands
behind the Old GTAA building.

Since that was 61 years ago, I don't recall a lot of what he told us during that gathering. But the one sentence I do remember; "ALWAYS SHOW CLASS, WIN OR LOSE".

The student body seemed to follow his admonition until the Alabama game day arrived. We have all heard about the intensity of that day. If media accounts of the day are accurate, there were some flying objects near the Alabama bench and their Head Coach during the Game. I cannot confirm that account. As I recall, I was partially behind one of the steel columns that supported the upper East stands in those years. Two years later, Bryant did wear an Alabama helmet as he came onto Grant Field prior the 1964 game to demonstrate his feelings.

Those were some intense and often bitter times.

That was one of the first Tech games I attended, as my Dad somehow was able to buy two tickets in the south end zone. I was 11 years old, and we were surrounded by Bama fans. When they finally scored, it was at the north goal line to make the score 7-6, and they went for the 2-pt conversion. From our vantage point, we could not see the yard lines, but only the backs of the Alabama players more than 100 yards away. We had no idea if they made it or not, until the Tech Rats started screaming and going nuts. The south end zone went deathly quiet except for my Dad and I and a handful of otherTech fans, but the rest of the stadium was in an uproar. I sure hope it happened the way I remember it!
 

LT 1967

Jolly Good Fellow
Messages
243
If he graduated in spring of 1964, his "senior" football season was fall of 1963, and a freshman in 1960 football season.

Based on Curry's Book, he had 5 years of eligibility. I have attached a page from his Book. It appears that his time at Tech
was as follows:

1960(Freshman Team) --1961(Soph Redshirt) --1962 (Soph)--1963(Junior)--1964(5th Year Senior).

Bill was a leader on the 1964 team based my 1965 Blueprint and Al Thomy's book, "Ramblin Wreck".

The designations are confusing since there were Freshman Teams in those years. Bill referred to himself as a Redshirt Soph in the 1961
Alabama game and as a Junior in his 4th year(Attached). I based my designations on his statements. Just trying to make them fit his own descriptions. Today, I believe we would refer to his second year as being a Redshirt Freshman.

Not trying to be argumentative, just noting that he had the 5th year of eligibility during the 1964 season.
 

Attachments

  • Bill Curry--Redshirt.pdf
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