Gene Stallings is not only a famous coach, but a man of character who provides guidance and assistance.
When then Alabama Athletic Director Hootie Ingram hired Gene Stallings on Jan. 11, 1990 to become Alabama's head coach it was "his own character and accomplishments which earned him the job," Ingram said. Despite all the awards and victories Stallings has collected during his 38 years of coaching, it's the man behind those accolades that receives first mention from those who have been close to him for several years. This was a great reunion for Stallings, who was assistant coach under Alabama's legendary Paul "Bear" Bryant in 1962. Recently retired as the Tide's head coach, Stallings has compiled an on-the-field record of 60-13-1. He has won a national and SEC championship, three straight SEC Western Division titles (1992, '93, '94), two SEC Coach of the Year Awards (1992, '94) and was also named the Paul Bryant/FWAA Coach of the Year in 1992. Sure, these results are nothing short of spectacular, but the Paris, Texas native would prefer higher praise for his efforts which take place when the gridiron equipment is put away and the stadium lights go out.
Stallings as a coach has always worked hard to do his very best and inspire his team to do their best on the field and off. His son Johnny's special needs have inspired Gene Stallings to treasure the time that he has with his family and to reach out to other families with disabled children. In his book Another Season, Stallings warmly describes the joy and heartbreak of raising a child with Down syndrome. But more than anything, the book is about the love relationship between Stallings and his son. In 1991 his family was honored as the Family of the Year by the Tuscaloosa Association of Retarded Citizens for their sponsorship of an annual charity golf tournament which raises money for the association. And in November of 1994 his family was honored once again for their generosity when the RISE Program, located on Alabama's campus, named its new building the Stallings Center.