Bill Curry

William Alexander Curry (born October 21, 1942) is a retired American football coach and former player.

Most recently, Curry was the head coach at Georgia State University, which began competing in college football in 2010. Previously, Curry served as the head football coach at the Georgia Institute of Technology (1980–1986), the University of Alabama (1987–1989), and the University of Kentucky (1990–1996). Between coaching jobs at Kentucky and Georgia State, Curry was a football analyst for ESPN.

He played football at Georgia Tech (1962–1964) and then played for ten seasons in the National Football League (NFL) with four teams: the Green Bay Packers (1965–1966), the Baltimore Colts (1967–1972), the Houston Oilers (1973), and the Los Angeles Rams (1974).

Bill Curry
Bill Curry 2013
Curry in 2013
Biographical details
BornOctober 21, 1942 (age 76)
College Park, Georgia
Playing career
1962–1964Georgia Tech
1965–1966Green Bay Packers
1967–1972Baltimore Colts
1973Houston Oilers
1974Los Angeles Rams
Position(s)Center
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1976Georgia Tech (assistant)
1977–1979Green Bay Packers (assistant)
1980–1986Georgia Tech
1987–1989Alabama
1990–1996Kentucky
2008–2012Georgia State
Head coaching record
Overall93–128–4
Bowls2–3
Accomplishments and honors
Championships
1 SEC (1989)
Awards
Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award (1989)
Amos Alonzo Stagg Award (2007)
ACC Coach of the Year (1985)
SEC Coach of the Year (1987, 1989)

Early life and playing career

Curry was born in College Park, Georgia. A 1965 graduate from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a degree in industrial management, Curry starred at center for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football team from 1962 to 1964 under legendary coach Bobby Dodd. He was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in 1965 . He was a NFL Champion for the 1965 Green Bay Packers, and again in 1966 with Super Bowl I. In his second year, he was the starting Center for Green Bay in their 35-10 Super Bowl I victory at the Los Angeles Coliseum.

Curry was selected by the New Orleans Saints in the 1967 NFL expansion draft on February 9 after he was left unprotected by Vince Lombardi who chose to keep Ken Bowman as the Packers' new starting center.[1] Curry never saw action for the Saints who traded him one month later on March 6 to the Baltimore Colts along with three draft picks, one of which was that year's first overall selection (Bubba Smith), in exchange for Gary Cuozzo, Butch Allison and a 1967 seventeenth rounder.[2] The request to include Curry in the transaction was made by Colts head coach Don Shula who admired his special teams versatility.[3] Through his tremendous work ethic and tenacity, Curry slowly developed into a first rate NFL center. He was the Colts' starting center during their NFL Championship season of 1968, and was viewed as a reliable force on the offensive line, and a team leader as well.

Like most of his Colts teammates, he remains bewildered by their stunning 16-7 loss in Super Bowl III at the hands of Joe Namath and the New York Jets in Miami's Orange Bowl. The Colts had finished the 1968 season with a record of 13-1 and avenged their only loss that year with a 34-0 devastation of the Cleveland Browns in the NFL Championship contest. They were heavy favorites to defeat the upstart Jets of the upstart AFL when disaster struck: after carrying the play to New York for most of the first quarter, due to an interception in the Jets' end zone, and two missed field goals, Baltimore had nothing to show for it. Trailing 7-0 late in the first half, and feeling the pressure, the Colts attempted a flea-flicker to help reverse their fortunes. However, after having caught the Jets' defense completely unaware, QB Earl Morrall failed to spot WR Jimmy Orr wide open near the end zone, and instead threw a wobbly pass underneath that was intercepted. In retrospect, this was Baltimore's one last golden opportunity to get back into the game. It was particularly dispiriting for Curry, who, (having no one to block due to the Jets biting hard on the initial hand-off) had a perfect view of Orr, and was sure the play would result in a touchdown. "I looked up, and saw Jimmy open, I don't know what (could've) happened."[4] he said. To add insult to injury, following the loss, Curry and his teammates were subjected to unusually harsh criticisms, including unsubstantiated claims that they had somehow thrown the game.

The Colts did go on to win Super Bowl V and the tightly-knit, veteran team made a valiant defense of that title, which ended, along with the (owner) Carroll Rosenbloom era, with a loss to Don Shula's Dolphins at the Orange Bowl in the 1971 AFC title game.

After ownership of the Colts was transferred to Bob Irsay the team's championship spirit, which was emblematic of the franchise under Rosenbloom's reign, was dissolved by newly installed GM Joe Thomas. Curry's close confidant, and Colts legend, John Unitas was unceremoniously benched in 1972, and many of those responsible for the franchise's success in years past were shipped out of Baltimore—Curry among them. He learned that he was traded via a collect call from Thomas at the Pro Bowl in Dallas.

During a brief stint with the flagging Houston Oilers in 1973, Curry suffered a catastrophic leg injury when he was hit in the back of the leg by Rams' great, Merlin Olsen. Though he did not retire until August 1975, the injury essentially ended his playing career.

Curry's NFL career is also notable for his efforts in leadership positions (including a stint as president) at the NFLPA. Though their fledgling efforts at self-assertion were largely unsuccessful, it can be argued that men like Curry and Colts teammate John Mackey laid the groundwork for the vastly improved wages and working conditions that exist for NFL players today.

Coaching career

Prior to his first head coaching assignment, Curry served as an assistant at Georgia Tech in 1976 and then for three seasons in the NFL (1977–1979) as Offensive Line Coach with the Green Bay Packers.

Curry returned to Georgia Tech in 1980 as head football coach. While it has been reported that Curry's first head coaching decision was to dismiss the quarterbacks coach, Steve Spurrier, he denies this. Curry said, "I never fired Steve. Georgia Tech fired the [Pepper Rodgers] staff before I got there. Then while I was deliberating who from that staff to retain, Steve took the Duke [assistant's] job." Curry led his team to a 9–2–1 record in 1985 and a win in the All-American Bowl. For his efforts, he was named the ACC Coach of the Year in 1985 by the Associated Press and the Atlantic Coast Conference media. Curry posted a 34–43–4 record over seven years at his alma mater, including winning seasons in 1982 (6–5), 1984 (6–4–1), and 1985 (9–2–1) and won the All-American Bowl.

Curry then accepted a job as head coach at the University of Alabama. There he posted a record of 26–10, won a share of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) title in 1989 and made bowl appearances every year of his three-year tenure. In September 1988, he refused to fly his Alabama team to play Texas A&M because of fears that Hurricane Gilbert would harm his players. The hurricane never reached Texas A&M at College Station, Texas, and Aggies coach Jackie Sherrill claimed Curry used the threat of weather as an excuse because his quarterback was injured. The game was rescheduled for December 1, when Alabama routed A&M, 30–10. Curry also suspended Alabama quarterback Jeff Dunn for breaking team rules prior to the 1988 Sun Bowl against Army.

After posting a 10–1 regular season record (the only blemish being a third loss in a row to Auburn), Curry's 1989 Crimson Tide squad shared the SEC title with Auburn and Tennessee—Alabama's first SEC title since 1981—and earned the berth in the 1990 Sugar Bowl, where they lost to the Miami Hurricanes, 33–25.[5] Curry was honored in 1989 as the SEC Coach of the Year and received the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award.

Curry's three-year record of 26–10 gave him the highest winning percentage among Alabama coaches since Bear Bryant.[6] However, Curry had an 0–3 record against Auburn. Indeed, he would never beat the Tigers in 12 tries during his career. Perhaps his best-remembered on-field act with Alabama came during the 1990 Sugar Bowl, when he castigated receiver Prince Wimbley for celebrating a first down against Miami with a dance. Curry called Wimbley to the sideline, grabbed him by the jersey, and lectured him. As ABC game cameras showed, Wimbley turned away and Curry grabbed his face mask and brought him into eye-to-eye contact.[7]

In early 1990, Alabama tendered Curry a new contract which contained provisions he disliked, including no raise and removal of his power to hire and fire assistants.[8] Curry was particularly upset by this since he'd led the Tide to a share of its first SEC title and its first major-bowl appearance since the Bryant era. He responded by accepting an offer to become the head coach at the University of Kentucky.

In 1993, Curry's Wildcat squad posted a 6–5 regular season record and earned a spot in the Peach Bowl, Kentucky's first bowl game in nine years. The Wildcats lost that game to Clemson, 14–13. As it turned out, this would be his only non-losing record in seven seasons in Lexington. His 1994 team only went 1-10, still the worst in modern Wildcat football history. Curry was asked to step down after the 1996 season and was succeeded by Hal Mumme.

Curry joined ESPN in 1997 as a college football game analyst. His primary assignment was the ESPN2 College Football Saturday Night telecast, along with selected bowl games. After 10 years away from the sideline, Curry was chosen as Georgia State University's first head football coach in 2008, and retired after three seasons.

Honors

Bill Curry is a member of the state of Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. He was also a member of the American Football Coaches Association Ethics Committee.

Head coaching record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (NCAA Division I-A independent) (1980–1982)
1980 Georgia Tech 1–9–1
1981 Georgia Tech 1–10
1982 Georgia Tech 6–5
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (Atlantic Coast Conference) (1983–1986)
1983 Georgia Tech 3–8 3–2 3rd
1984 Georgia Tech 6–4–1 2–2–1 5th
1985 Georgia Tech 9–2–1 5–1 2nd W All-American 18 19
1986 Georgia Tech 5–5–1 3–3 4th
Georgia Tech: 31–43–4 13–8–1
Alabama Crimson Tide (Southeastern Conference) (1987–1989)
1987 Alabama 7–5 4–2 4th L Hall of Fame
1988 Alabama 9–3 4–3 4th W Sun 17 17
1989 Alabama 10–2 6–1 T–1st L Sugar 7 9
Alabama: 26–10 14–6
Kentucky Wildcats (Southeastern Conference) (1990–1996)
1990 Kentucky 4–7 3–4 6th
1991 Kentucky 3–8 0–7 10th
1992 Kentucky 4–7 2–6 5th (Eastern)
1993 Kentucky 6–6 4–4 3rd (Eastern) L Peach
1994 Kentucky 1–10 0–8 6th (Eastern)
1995 Kentucky 4–7 2–6 5th (Eastern)
1996 Kentucky 4–7 3–5 4th (Eastern)
Kentucky: 26–52 14–40
Georgia State Panthers (NCAA Division I FCS independent) (2010–2011)
2010 Georgia State 6–5
2011 Georgia State 3–8
Georgia State Panthers (Colonial Athletic Association) (2012)
2012 Georgia State 1–10 1–7
Georgia State: 10–23
Total: 93–128–4
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title or championship game berth

Coaching tree

Assistant coaches under Bill Curry who became NCAA or NFL head coaches:

References

  1. ^ Christopulos, Mike. "Bowman Preaches Gospel; Minister Without Portfolio," Milwaukee Sentinel, Thursday, October 10, 1968.
  2. ^ "1967 NFL/AFL Common Draft Pick Transactions". prosportstransactions.com.
  3. ^ Hurt, Cecil. "On New Orleans visit, Bill Curry recalls his short Sainthood," The Tuscaloosa (AL) News, Tuesday, December 12, 1989.
  4. ^ Maule, Tex (January 20, 1969). "Say It's So, Joe". Sports Illustrated. Time Inc. Retrieved February 1, 2015.
  5. ^ "2006 Alabama Football Media Guide, Published by Ebsco Industries, Birmingham, AL, Page 200" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on July 15, 2011. Retrieved December 3, 2006.
  6. ^ "SI.com, Copyright © 2003 CNN/Sports Illustrated". Retrieved December 10, 2006.
  7. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyTm8buN2Kk
  8. ^ "The Uncivil War: Alabama vs. Auburn 1981-1994, Published by Rutledge Hill Press, Nashville, TN, Chapter 8" (NA). Retrieved December 3, 2006.

External links

1980 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football team

The 1980 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football team represented the Georgia Institute of Technology during the 1980 NCAA Division I-A football season. The Yellow Jackets were led by first-year head coach Bill Curry, and played their home games at Grant Field in Atlanta. Georgia Tech struggled mightily under Curry, finishing with one of the worst records in Georgia Tech history with 1 win, 9 losses, and 1 tie. A major highlight was achieved, however, when the Yellow Jackets produced a 3–3 tie against the number one team in the country, the undefeated Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

1981 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football team

The 1981 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football team represented the Georgia Institute of Technology during the 1981 NCAA Division I-A football season. The Yellow Jackets were led by second-year head coach Bill Curry, and played their home games at Grant Field in Atlanta. Georgia Tech produced abysmal results for the second consecutive year under Curry, finishing with a record of 1–10, their worst season in terms of winning percentage in school history (it would later be matched by another 1-10 season in 1994). Their sole win was a season-opening upset victory over the second-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide in Birmingham.

1982 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football team

The 1982 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football team represented the Georgia Institute of Technology during the 1982 NCAA Division I-A football season. The Yellow Jackets were led by third-year head coach Bill Curry, and played their home games at Grant Field in Atlanta. It was their last year competing as football independents before joining the Atlantic Coast Conference in 1983.

1983 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football team

The 1983 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football team represented the Georgia Institute of Technology during the 1983 NCAA Division I-A football season. The Yellow Jackets were led by fourth-year head coach Bill Curry, and played their home games at Grant Field in Atlanta. In their first year as full members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, the team finished in third with a final record of 3–8 (3–2 ACC).

1984 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football team

The 1984 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football team represented the Georgia Institute of Technology during the 1984 NCAA Division I-A football season. The Yellow Jackets were led by fifth-year head coach Bill Curry, and played their home games at Grant Field in Atlanta. In their second year as members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, the team finished in fifth with a final record of 6–4–1 (2–2–1 ACC).

1985 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football team

The 1985 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football team represented the Georgia Institute of Technology in the 1985 NCAA Division I-A football season. The Yellow Jackets were led by sixth-year head coach Bill Curry and played their home games at Grant Field in Atlanta. In their third season as members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, they finished in second with an ACC record of 5–1. They were invited to the 1985 Hall of Fame Classic bowl game, where they defeated Michigan State, 17–14. The Yellow Jackets finished ranked in both the AP Poll and the Coaches' Poll for the first time in 15 years.

1986 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football team

The 1986 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football team represented the Georgia Institute of Technology during the 1987 NCAA Division I-A football season. The Yellow Jackets were led by head coach Bill Curry, in his seventh and final year with the team, and played their home games at Grant Field in Atlanta. The team competed as members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, finishing in fourth.

1987 Alabama Crimson Tide football team

The 1987 Alabama Crimson Tide football team (variously "Alabama", "UA", "Bama" or "The Tide") represented the University of Alabama in the 1987 NCAA Division I-A football season. It was the Crimson Tide's 95th overall and 54th season as a member of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The team was led by head coach Bill Curry, in his first year, and played their home games at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama. They finished the season with a record of seven wins and five losses (7–5 overall, 4–3 in the SEC) and with a loss in the Hall of Fame Bowl to Michigan.

Due to a major renovation project that resulted in the completion of the western upper deck, Alabama played all of their home games at Legion Field instead of splitting them with Bryant–Denny Stadium for the 1987 season.

1989 Alabama Crimson Tide football team

The 1989 Alabama Crimson Tide football team (variously "Alabama", "UA", "Bama" or "The Tide") represented the University of Alabama in the 1989 NCAA Division I-A football season. It was the Crimson Tide's 97th overall and 56th season as a member of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The team was led by head coach Bill Curry, in his third year, and played their home games at both Bryant–Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa and Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama. They finished the season with a record of ten wins and two losses (10–2 overall, 6–1 in the SEC), as SEC Co-Champions and with a loss in the Sugar Bowl against national championship winner Miami.

Alabama won its first ten games en route to its best record since 1980 and first SEC championship since 1981 season, its 19th overall. Highlights of the season included a 62–27 victory over Ole Miss after falling behind 21–0, a 47–30 victory over Tennessee in a match of unbeatens, and a 17–16 victory over Penn State in which Alabama blocked an 18-yard field goal try with 13 seconds left in the game for the win. The 32-16 win at LSU featured a first for the Crimson Tide, as Alabama safety Lee Ozmint scored the first ever defensive two-point conversion in school history on a 100-yard interception return of an LSU two-point conversion attempt.However, in the season finale against Auburn—the first Iron Bowl ever played in Auburn, Alabama—the Tigers beat Alabama 30–20. As a result, Alabama, Auburn and Tennessee finished in a three-way tie for the conference championship. Alabama would however receive the conference's Sugar Bowl berth.In the Sugar Bowl Miami would defeat Alabama 33–25 and be named national champions.In the week after the Sugar Bowl loss, on January 7, 1990, Bill Curry resigned his position to take the head coaching job at Kentucky.

1990 Kentucky Wildcats football team

The 1990 Kentucky Wildcats football team represented the University of Kentucky in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) during the 1990 NCAA Division I-A football season. In their first season under head coach Bill Curry, the Wildcats compiled a 4–7 record (3–4 against SEC opponents), finished in sixth place in the SEC, and were outscored by their opponents, 316 to 228. The team played its home games in Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, Kentucky.

The team's statistical leaders included Freddie Maggard with 1,055 passing yards, Al Baker with 780 rushing yards, and Phil Logan with 565 receiving yards.Bill Curry had been the head football coach at Alabama from 1987 to 1989, compiling a 26-10 record with the Crimson Tide. He was the SEC Coach of the Year in 1989. He was hired by Kentucky in January 1990.

1991 Kentucky Wildcats football team

The 1991 Kentucky Wildcats football team represented the University of Kentucky in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) during the 1991 NCAA Division I-A football season. In their second season under head coach Bill Curry, the Wildcats compiled a 3–8 record (0–7 against SEC opponents), finished in last place in the SEC, and were outscored by their opponents, 268 to 190. The team played its home games in Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, Kentucky.

The team's statistical leaders included Pookie Jones with 954 passing yards, Terry Samuels with 307 rushing yards, and Neal Clark with 647 receiving yards.

1992 Kentucky Wildcats football team

The 1992 Kentucky Wildcats football team represented the University of Kentucky in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) during the 1992 NCAA Division I-A football season. In their third season under head coach Bill Curry, the Wildcats compiled a 4–7 record (2–6 against SEC opponents), finished in fifth place in the Eastern Division of the SEC, and were outscored by their opponents, 280 to 207. The team played its home games in Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, Kentucky.

The team's statistical leaders included Pookie Jones with 1,434 passing yards, Terry Samuels with 380 rushing yards, and Tim Calvert with 330 receiving yards.

1994 Connecticut gubernatorial election

The Connecticut gubernatorial election of 1994 included Republican John G. Rowland winning the open seat following the retirement of A Connecticut Party Governor Lowell Weicker. The election was a four-way race between A Connecticut Party Lieutenant Governor Eunice Groark, Republican U.S. Congressman John G. Rowland, Democrat state comptroller Bill Curry, and independent conservative talk show host Tom Scott. Rowland won the election with just 36% of the vote.

1994 Kentucky Wildcats football team

The 1994 Kentucky Wildcats football team represented the University of Kentucky in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) during the 1994 NCAA Division I-A football season. In their fifth season under head coach Bill Curry, the Wildcats compiled a 1–10 record (0–8 against SEC opponents), finished in last place in the Eastern Division of the SEC, and were outscored by their opponents, 405 to 149. The team won its season opener against Louisville (20–14), but then lost the final ten games of the season, including blowout losses to Florida (7–73), Indiana (29–59), Mississippi State (7–47), and Tennessee (0–52), following the injury of the Teams Star Running Back transfer from Rutgers U and Kenmore East HS Grad William Bing. The team played its home games in Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, Kentucky.

The team's statistical leaders included Antonio O'Ferral with 642 passing yards, Moe Williams with 805 rushing yards, and Leon Smith with 375 receiving yards.

1995 Kentucky Wildcats football team

The 1995 Kentucky Wildcats football team represented the University of Kentucky in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) during the 1995 NCAA Division I-A football season. In their sixth season under head coach Bill Curry, the Wildcats compiled a 4–7 record (2–6 against SEC opponents), finished in fifth place in the Eastern Division of the SEC, and were outscored by their opponents, 269 to 223. The team played its home games in Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, Kentucky.

The team's statistical leaders included Billy Jack Haskins with 1,176 passing yards, Moe Williams with 1,600 rushing yards, and Craig Yeast with 337 receiving yards.

1996 Kentucky Wildcats football team

The 1996 Kentucky Wildcats football team represented the University of Kentucky in the 1996 NCAA Division I-A football season. The Wildcats scored 138 points while allowing 322 points; they opened the season with 1 win and 6 losses, and then after the firing of head coach Bill Curry was announced, the Wildcats won three straight SEC games before losing their final game to finish 4–7.

Bill Curry (politician)

William E. Curry Jr. (born December 17, 1951, in Hartford, Connecticut) has been a two-time Democratic nominee for Governor of Connecticut and a White House advisor in the administration of Bill Clinton.

Georgia State Panthers football

The Georgia State Panthers football team is the college football program for Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. The Panthers football team was founded in 2010 and competes at the NCAA Division I FBS level. The team is a member of the Sun Belt Conference.

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