Archives for posts with tag: Jackie Sherrill

Bryant with two players at Texas A&M

The tie between Alabama and SEC newcomer Texas A&M is obvious to anyone who’s studied the history of college football — Paul “Bear” Bryant. The Alabama graduate served as A&M’s head coach from 1954 to 1957 before heading home to Tuscaloosa in 1958. ESPN highlighted Bryant’s beginning at A&M with its movie “The Junction Boys,” which featured his first training camp with the Aggies in Junction, Texas.

While Bryant stands out as the obvious link between the two schools, there are other ones like Gene Stallings and Jackie Sherrill who each had a significant impact in the SEC as well as at A&M. Stallings played for Bryant at A&M in the mid-1950s and won Alabama’s first national championship in 1992 since Bryant’s retirement and passing ten years earlier. Sherrill is an Alabama graduate who also coached under Bryant and won three SWC championships as A&M’s head coach in the mid-1980s.

Stallings coached under Bryant at A&M.

Even Dennis Franchione represents a tie as he coached the Tide from 2001 to 2002 and left for the same position at A&M in 2003.

Paul Bryant Jr. hosted a reception last night at the Paul W. Bryant Museum in Tuscaloosa honoring 30 former Aggies players who played for his father in the mid-1950s.

They’ve only met four times on the field, but ‘Bama’s and A&M’s histories run deep.

Adidas has designed an all-white uniform for Mississippi State.

In remembrance of the 2000 Independence Bowl between Mississippi State and Texas A&M that saw a snow storm cover Shreveport, La. and the Bulldogs defeat the Aggies 43-41 in overtime, #15 State is wearing all-white uniforms in Saturday’s game against #16 A&M. The two meet for the first time as division rivals in Starkville, and State will replace its end zone #HailState Twitter hash tag with #SnowBowl12.

Jackie Sherrill led State to the 2000 Independence Bowl win over A&M, a program he coached from 1982 to 1988. Both programs were levied with NCAA sanctions during and after Sherrill’s tenures. His 74 wins at State are the most in the program’s history for a head coach as he finished 74-76-2 from 1991 to 2003 and won the 1998 SEC Western division title.

Sherrill finished 52-28-1 at A&M and won three consecutive Southwest Conference championships from 1985 to 1987.

The 2000 Independence Bowl aka The Snow Bowl:

 

The newest member of the SEC West is serious about its football. The Texas Aggies reside in a state that eats, sleeps and breathes it, and their entrance into the SEC has set them apart from their state brethren residing in the People’s Republic of Austin.

Kyle Field is Home of the 12th Man

A&M has some of the best traditions in all of college football — if not the best — led by the 12th Man, which was born in 1922. E. King Gill, a former football member of head coach Dana X. Bible’s squad who was playing basketball at the time, was helping reporters identify football players during a game when Bible called him from the press box to suit up. Gill never made it in the game but was honored as accepting the call to help his team. A&M uses that spirit to call its student body the 12th Man.

Former head coach Jackie Sherrill introduced the 12th Man kickoff squad to A&M in the 1980s, which was comprised of regular students who won the jobs through open tryouts. As college football evolved into the 1990s, then head coach R.C. Slocum limited the 12th Man to one man on the kickoff team who wore #12.

Heisman Trophy winner Brown chases down Barhorst, who had stolen Brown’s belt towel.

One of the most memorable moments of the 12th Man took place during A&M’s 35-10 win over Notre Dame in the 1988 Cotton Bowl. Walk-on Warren Barhorst tackled Notre Dame’s kick returner, the 1987 Heisman Trophy winner and former Dallas high school football star Tim Brown, and then preceded to rip off Brown’s belt towel. While it endeared him to the Aggies, Brown ran towards the A&M sidelines and jumped on Barhorst, earning the Heisman Trophy winner a 15-yard penalty and an ejection from the game.

“I probably talk about it five times a week,” Barhorst said in an interview with 12th Man Magazine. “Friends, colleagues, clients, strangers — you name it — bring it up.”

Today, Barhorst owns the largest Nationwide insurance agency in the country in Houston.

A&M’s traditions go well beyond the 12th Man, including Midnight Yell, led by their well-known corps of cadets, their Gig’em hand sign, their “Howdy” welcome, their mascot Reveille, and Silver Taps, which is a tribute held for a graduate or undergraduate student who passes away while enrolled at Texas A&M on the first Tuesday of the month following the student’s passing, among others.

To learn more about the Aggies’ traditions, visit Texas A&M University’s Traditions Council website.

ESPN’s College Gameday will be in College Station Saturday for Texas A&M’s inaugural SEC game against Florida at 3:30 pm EDT.