Alabama Crimson Tide Players and Coaches in the College Football Hall of Fame

The College Football Hall of Fame has enshrined 25 members of the Crimson Tide football program
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College Football Hall of Fame

Cornelius Bennett, 1983-86, linebacker, inducted 2005

Johnny Mack Brown, 1923-25, halfback, 1957

Paul W. “Bear” Bryant, 1933-35, coach, 1986

Johnny Cain, 1930-32, fullback, 1973

Harry Gilmer, 1944-47, quarterback/defensive back, 1993

John Hannah, 1970-72, guard, 1999

Dixie Howell, 1932-34, halfback, 1970

Pooley Hubert, 1922-25, quarterback, 1964

Don Hutson, 1932-34, end, 1951

Lee Roy Jordan, 1960-62, linebacker, 1983

E.J. Junior, 1977-80, defensive lineman, 2020

Woodrow Lowe, 1972-75, linebacker, 2009

Marty Lyons, 1975-78, defensive lineman, 2011

Vaughn Mancha, 1944-47, center, 1990

Johnny Musso, 1969-71, halfback, 2000

Billy Neighbors, 1959-61, tackle, 2003

Ozzie Newsome, 1974-77, split end, 1994

Fred Sington, 1928-30, tackle, 1955

Riley Smith, 1934-35, quarterback, 1985

Gene Stallings, 1990-96, coach, 1990-96

Frank Thomas, 1931-46, coach, 1951

Wallace Wade, 1923-30, coach, 1955

Don Whitmire, 1941-42, tackle, 1956

Also: Frank Howard, 1928-30, guard, 1989

Cornelius Bennett

Linebacker, 1983-86, 2005 Inductee 

A three-time All-American, Bennett was a unanimous selection in 1986, the year he also won the Lombardi Trophy. He was selected as SEC Player of the Year in 1986 after earning AllAmerica honors in 1984 and 1985. Cornelius was Defensive Player of the Game in the 1985 Aloha Bowl and the 1986 Sun Bowl and finished 7th in the Heisman Trophy balloting that year. He was selected to the Tide’s Team of the Century and was the Player of the Decade for the 1980s. He went on to a stellar career in the NFL, including four Super Bowl appearances with the Buffalo Bills and one with the Atlanta Falcons. 

Johnny Mack Brown

Halfback, 1923-25, 1957 Inductee

A two-year all-Southern Conference player, Brown is best remembered for his role in Alabama’s 20-19 win over Washington in the 1926 Rose Bowl. He was on the receiving end of two long passes — a 58-yarder from Grant Gillis and a 62-yarder from Pooley Hubert — which fueled Bama to its victory. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1957, his performance in that ‘26 Rose Bowl earned him a spot on the all-time Rose Bowl team. Known as the “Dothan Antelope” during his playing days, he was the first of four brothers to play for the Tide. He died of a kidney disease Nov. 15, 1974 in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Paul W. "Bear" Bryant

Coach, 1986 Inductee

Paul "Bear" Bryant acquired the nickname "Bear" because, as a teen-ager he wrestled a circus bear. At Alabama he was an end on the 1933-35 teams. Bryant started his coaching career as an assistant at Alabama 1936-39 and Vanderbilt 1940-41. He was in the U.S. Navy in World War II. Bryant was head coach at Maryland one year 1945, Kentucky eight years 1946-53, Texas A&M four years 1954-57, and Alabama 25 years 1958-82. His record at each school: Maryland 6-2-1, Kentucky 60-23-5, Texas A&M 25-14-2, Alabama 232-46-9. His career total for 38 years: 323-85-17. His 1950 Kentucky team won the school's first conference championship and knocked off Oklahoma 13-7 in the Sugar Bowl, ending Oklahoma's 31-game winning streak. Bryant's 1956 Texas A&M team won the Southwest Conference. Before he became head coach at Alabama, the school had won just four games in the three years. Bryant won five games his first year, made a bowl his second year, and was national champion his fourth year. He won six national championships — 1961, 1964, 1965, 1973, 1978, 1979. His Alabama teams played in a bowl 24 straight years. When Alabama beat Auburn 28-17 on Nov. 28,1981, it was his 315th win. This topped A.A. Stagg's 314 wins and Bryant was saluted as the all-time winningest coach in college football. On Dec. 29, 1982, Alabama beat Illinois 21-15. He previously had announced this would be his last game as a coach. This gave him 323 victories. He died Jan. 26, 1983, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama less than a month after his final game. In 1997 the U.S. Postal Service issued the 32-cent Bear Bryant stamp.

Johnny Cain

Fullback, 1930-32, 1973 Inductee

Known best as a powerful left-footed punter, Johnny “Hurri” Cain was the only sophomore starter on Alabama’s 1931 Rose Bowl championship team. A two-time All-America selection, Cain was named to the all-time Alabama team and in 1973 received the ultimate honor for a college football player when he was inducted into the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame. His most famous game as a punter was against Tennessee, the 1932 game which was played in a driving rainstorm, when he punted 19 times for an average of 48 yards a punt. He was a three-time member of the All-Southern Conference team.

Harry Gilmer

Quarterback/Defensive Back, 1944-47, 1993 Inductee 

One of the all-time football legends at Alabama, Harry Gilmer’s deftness in passing, running, tackling, returning kicks and kicking highlighted an extraordinary career. An AllAmerica and SEC Player of the Year in 1945, Harry was voted MVP of the Rose Bowl after leading Bama to a 34-14 victory over Southern California. His 16 career interceptions rate as second-best in Alabama history, while his 436 punt return yards in 1946 are the best in Bama annals. Gilmer accounted for 52 touchdowns in his Crimson Tide career, an Alabama school record. In 1946, he led the team in passing, rushing, interceptions, punt returns and kickoff returns.

John Hannah

Guard, 1970-72, 1999 Inductee

Considered one of the finest offensive lineman to play the game of football, John Hannah was a unanimous All-America selection in 1972. He was also named to some All-America teams in 1971 and was an All-SEC pick in 1971-72. He was a member of Alabama’s Team of the Century, was selected to ESPN’s all-time college football team in 1989 and was a member of Alabama’s team of the decade for the 1970s. Named winner of the 1972 Jacobs Trophy, given annually to the best blocker in the SEC, Hannah went on to a stellar career in the NFL where he was elected to the NFL Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.

Frank Howard

Guard, 1928-30, 1989 Inductee as a coach

During his playing days at the Capstone, Howard was known as the “Little Giant of the Tide’s Herd of Red Elephants.” Those were productive years for Bama, especially Howard’s senior year when Alabama claimed a national title and defeated Washington State 24-0 in the Rose Bowl. Howard coached at Clemson from 1940-69 and while a head coach he compiled a record of 165-118-2. Clemson’s football stadium is named after him.

Dixie Howell

Halfback, 1932-34, 1970 Inductee

In the first two years of the Southeastern Conference’s existence, Millard Howell, better known as Dixie, led Alabama to a pair of conference titles and one national championship. An All-America choice in 1934, he is best remembered for his record-setting performance in Alabama’s 29-13 win over Stanford in the 1935 Rose Bowl. He rushed for 111 yards, completed 9-of-13 passes for 160 more, and punted six times for a 43.8 average. He was elected to the college football Hall of Fame in 1970 and to the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame in 1993.

Pooley Hubert

Quarterback, 1922-25, 1964 Inductee

The second All-American football player in the school’s history, he was a four-year letterman on Alabama teams that had a combined record of 31-6-2, including a 1925 squad that went unbeaten and made the Tide’s first bowl appearance. He quarterbacked Alabama to the first of six Rose Bowl appearances and led the Tide to a 20-19 victory over Washington. Alabama fell behind 12-0 but Hubert rallied the Tide by scoring one TD and passing to Johnny Mack Brown for another. 

Don Hutson

End, 1932-34, 1951 Inductee

Don Hutson established himself among college football’s legends in the 1935 Rose Bowl game when he caught six passes for 165 yards and scored twice on passes of 59 and 54 yards in the Crimson Tide’s 29-13 win over Stanford. Voted to the all-time college football team in 1969 and to Sports Illustrated’s Silver Anniversary Team, Hutson left the Capstone to become the NFL’s first superstar receiver while playing for the Green Bay Packers. His college coach Frank Thomas said of Hutson, “He was the best player I ever coached.” Hutson, who came to Alabama on a partial baseball scholarship, also starred as a sprinter on the Tide’s track team. He was selected to the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame in 1993.

Lee Roy Jordan

Linebacker, 1960-62, 1983 Inductee

A two-time All-America selection for the Crimson Tide, Lee Roy Jordan is considered the best inside linebacker in Alabama football history. Voted Alabama’s Player of the Decade for the 1960s and to the ESPN all-time college football team in 1989, Jordan was inducted into the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame in 1983. During his career, Alabama compiled a 29-2-2 record and Jordan will forever be remembered for his unforgettable Orange Bowl performance against Oklahoma on New Year’s Day, 1963. In that 17-0 Alabama triumph, Jordan was credited with 31 tackles.

E.J. Junior

Defensive Lineman, 1977-80, 2020 Inductee

A unanimous First Team All-American in 1980, E.J. Junior was a finalist for the Lombardi Award and helped guide Alabama to consecutive national championships in 1978 and 1979. Junior and the 1979 Crimson Tide squad went 12-0, winning the program’s third straight Sugar Bowl and completing a run of eight SEC Championships in nine years. He was part of only four losses during his Alabama career, helping the Tide post an astounding 44-4 record, which included a 28-game winning streak, while never finishing lower than No. 6 in the national rankings.

Woodrow Lowe

Linebacker, 1972-75, 2009 Inductee

Woodrow Lowe was one of the Tide's all-time great linebackers, playing for legendary coach Paul "Bear" Bryant from 1972-75. One of just two Alabama players to be named a three-time AllAmerican, he earned the honor from 1973-75. In 1973, Lowe set the Alabama single-season record with 134 tackles. He was Alabama's all-time leading tackler with 315 when he finished his career in 1975. Lowe was named to Alabama's first-team All-Decade Team and was a second-team AllCentury selection. 

Marty Lyons

Defensive Lineman, 1975-78, 2011 Inductee

A consensus All-American in 1978 and a two-time All-SEC selection in 1977 and 1978, Lyons was part of “The Goal Line Stand” in the 1979 Sugar Bowl as Alabama turn back Penn State 14-7 to capture the 1978 national championship. He made 59 tackles with five tackles for loss in 1977 to earn first-team All-SEC honors. In 1978, Lyons earned consensus All-America and All-SEC honors by recording 119 tackles and 15 tackles for loss. He served as a defensive captain of the 1978 team and was selected to the Tide’s Team of the Century and to the All-Decade Team of the 1970s. Lyons had perhaps his best game in the 1978 Iron Bowl with 16 tackles and three quarterback sacks against Auburn. 

Vaughn Mancha

Center, 1944-47, 1990 Inductee

Vaughn Mancha earned the starting assignment at center in his first college game as a freshman against LSU in 1944. He never relinquished his spot and went on to a career that earned him a spot in the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame in 1990. He was a consensus AllAmerica pick in 1945, a year in which the Tide posted a perfect 10-0 record and beat Southern California 34-14 in the Rose Bowl. During his career, he also played in a pair of Sugar Bowls.

Johnny Musso

Halfback, 1969-71, 2000 Inductee

Johnny Musso earned All-America honors in 1970 and 1971, including unanimous selection in ‘71. He was SEC “Player of the Year” in 1971 as selected by the Nashville Banner, the Atlanta Touchdown Club and the Birmingham Quarterback Club. He was selected to Alabama’s Team of the Century, the all-decade team of the ‘70s and is a member of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. The 1971 offensive team captain, he was also an Academic All-America and National Scholar Athlete winner. He rushed for 2,741 yards and 34 touchdowns and had 495 receiving yards and four touchdowns in his collegiate career.

Billy Neighbors

Tackle, 1959-61, 2003 Inductee

One of the best to play for Coach Bear Bryant, Neighbors played on Tide teams that went 26-3-4 and won a national championship during his three-year tenure. A unanimous All-America pick in 1961, Neighbors helped Alabama to three straight bowl appearances, including the 1962 Sugar Bowl and a perfect, 11-0 season. Defensively, Bama yielded just 25 points during the championship run. The MVP of the Senior Bowl, Neighbors won the SEC’s Jacobs Trophy in 1961, given to the top blocking lineman. He was an All-Conference pick and team captain.

Ozzie Newsome

Split End, 1974-77, 1994 Inductee

Voted Alabama’s Player of the Decade for the 1970s, Ozzie made 102 receptions for 2,070 yards and 16 touchdowns during his Alabama playing career. He averaged 20.3 yards per catch, still the SEC’s best mark on a minimum of 100 receptions, as the Tide went 42-6 during his career. Ozzie started 47 consecutive games and helped the Tide to win three Southeastern Conference championships. He also returned punts, averaging 7.5 yards per return on 40 returns. 

Fred Sington

Tackle, 1928-30, 1955 Inductee

A consensus All-American and Phi Beta Kappa choice as well, Sington capped his brilliant career by leading the Tide to a perfect season in 1930 capped by a 24-0 win over Washington State in the Rose Bowl. Elected to the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame in 1955, Sington was such a dominant lineman legendary Notre Dame coach Knute Rockne called him, “the greatest lineman in the country.” Also a standout baseball player, Sington played professional baseball for the Washington Senators.

Riley Smith

Quarterback,1934-35, 1985 Inductee

A converted fullback, a position he played in 1933, he quarterbacked Alabama in 1934-35, earning All-America honors. He also won the Jacobs Award, given annually to the SEC’s best blocker. Still considered one of the best blockers in Alabama football history, he came back from an injury to lead the Tide to impressive wins over Georgia (17-7) and Tennessee (25-0) in his senior year. In the win over the Vols, he threw for one touchdown and ran for another. 

Gene Stallings

Head Coach, 1990-96, 2010 Inductee

Gene Stallings was the head coach of the Crimson Tide from 1990-96, Stallings led Alabama to an on-fi eld record of 70-16-1, while leading the Crimson Tide to the 1992 National Championship, one Southeastern Conference title (1992), four SEC West Division championships (1992, 1993, 1994 and 1996), five victories in postseason bowl games and four final top-10 national rankings. He coached 13 first-team All-Americans during his head coaching career. A member of College Football Hall of Fame coach Bear Bryant’s “Junction Boys” as a player at Texas A&M and took over as head coach in 1965. After spending the next 17 seasons as an NFL coach, Stallings took over as head coach at Alabama in 1990.

Derrick Thomas

Linebacker, 1985-88, 2014 Inductee

Perhaps no defensive player in Crimson Tide history had a greater ability to singlehandedly change the course of a football game than Derrick Thomas. Known as “The Sackman” during his Alabama days, Thomas was voted the Tide’s Defensive Player of the Decade for the 1980s and was later selected to the Alabama Team of the Century. A unanimous All-American in 1988, Thomas posted an amazing 27 quarterback sacks as a senior in 1988, a national record that still stands. In 1987, he had set a new Crimson Tide standard for sacks with 18, a total that would be dwarfed the following season. He finished his Alabama career with 52 sacks, a national record. Thomas is one of a select group of defensive players in college football history to have finished among the top 10 in the voting for the Heisman Trophy. Thomas was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009. He died February 8, 2000.

Frank Thomas

Head Coach, 1931-46, 1951 Inductee

Frank Thomas followed Wallace Wade as head coach at Alabama, being named to the position in January, 1931. A 1923 graduate of Notre Dame where he played for the legendary Knute Rockne, Thomas compiled a 115-24-7 (.812) as the head coach of the Crimson Tide. Six of his teams appeared in major bowls, including three Rose Bowl tilts and two of his teams were crowned national champions. He had four undefeated teams, including his 1934 and 1945 squads which won Rose Bowl championships. Among the players he coached at Alabama were Don Hutson, Dixie Howell, Riley Smith, Harry Gilmer, Vaughn Mancha, Johnny Cain, and Paul Bryant. 

Wallace Wade

Head Coach, 1923-30, 1955 Inductee

Under Wallace Wade’s tutelage, Alabama football was established as a national power. During his eight year coaching tenure, the Crimson Tide compiled a 61-13-3 record and won three national championships. In 1925, he led the Tide to an undefeated record and to its first bowl game, a trip to Pasadena to play Washington in the Rose Bowl. Alabama won 20-19, clinching a first national title and forever establishing the Crimson Tide among the nation’s football powers. Alabama also appeared in the 1927 and 1931 Rose Bowls under Wade. After Alabama beat Washington State 24-0 on January 1, 1931, Wade left the Capstone for Duke. Wade died October 6, 1986.

Don Whitmire

Tackle, 1941-42, 1956 Inductee

An All-America tackle for the Crimson Tide, he helped the Tide to a 9-2-0 season in 1941 and an 8-3 mark in 1942, including a 37-21 win over Boston College in the Orange Bowl. He was later chosen to the all-time Orange Bowl squad. After the 1942 season, he moved to Annapolis and the Naval Academy. He was awarded the Knute Rockne Trophy, signifying him as being the nation’s best lineman in 1943. He rose to greater heights in the Navy, advancing to the rank of admiral. Whitmire died May 4, 1991.