He was part of a long processional of coaches who tried to follow Bear Bryant at Alabama.
It was a thankless, impossible task.
Come on, following the Bear?
The only thing harder might have been playing the same concert hall as Elvis a few hours later.
For three seasons, Bill Curry guided the Alabama football team. In his final season, he won a share of the SEC championship.
His sins were that he wasn’t an Alabama guy, he never beat Auburn and he was one coach removed from the Bear.
Curry left Alabama following the 1989 season to take the Kentucky job after it became painfully obvious that he was never going to have full support at the Capstone. He returns to Bryant-Denny Stadium on Thursday night, more than two decades after he coached his final game with the Crimson Tide.
And he does so with a fledgling Georgia State program in its first season of football.
It’s a neat story, the 68-year-old Curry returning to the sideline and building a program from the ground up. Georgia State is 6-4 and will end its season against Alabama.
Curry, a longtime college football analyst for ESPN, knows what an undertaking this is for his team. But he also knows it’s an experience -- no matter how badly they’re beaten -- they will never forget.
Jeff Schultz of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote an excellent piece on Curry earlier this week, detailing how his life has changed since those days of trying to follow a legend.
Let’s face it. There’s a reason Nick Saban is the eighth head football coach Alabama has hired since Bryant retired in 1982. The guy with the houndstooth hat cast a pretty ominous shadow.
Curry, who was 26-10 at Alabama, can joke now about the infamous brick-throwing incident.
During his second season at Alabama, a brick was thrown through his office window following a 22-12 homecoming loss to Ole Miss. The Crimson Tide didn’t complete a single pass in the game. When Curry returned to his office the next day, he found the brick and broken glass.
“My first thought was, if the quarterback had been as accurate as the guy who threw the brick, we wouldn’t be discussing this,” Curry told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Curry also joked that nobody ever came forward to claim their handy work.
All these years later, he’s still not expecting a confession.
But, please, no more bricks.