Former University of Alabama head football coach Gene Stallings was hospitalized in Montgomery on Thursday night after suffering a mild stroke, but is now back at his Texas home.
Stallings, speaking from his Paris, Texas, ranch on Saturday, said that he has felt ill on Thursday but attended a banquet in connection with a meeting of the board of directors of Great Southern Wood.
“I introduced Dabo (Swinney, the Clemson head coach and a former player for Stallings at Alabama) as the speaker but I didn’t feel well at all. So I went to the hospital and they determined that I’d had a stroke before the banquet,” Stallings said.
Stallings flew back to Texas on Friday but had to cancel a planned appearance in Tuscaloosa this weekend. He said that doctors had recommended that he curtail travel plans for the next six weeks.
Stallings was head coach at the University of Alabama from 1990-96. He went 70-16-1 in seven seasons. That included going 13-0 in 1992 en route to a 34-13 win over Miami in the Sugar Bowl to clinch Alabama’s 12th national championship.
He was a member of the “Junction Boys” on the first team at Texas A&M coached by Paul W. “Bear” Bryant at Texas A&M in 1954. Stallings’ coaching career began as an assistant at Alabama under Bryant in 1958, until he was named head coach of the Aggies in 1965. He coached there for seven years, going 27-45. He worked in the NFL as an assistant and head coach from 1972-89 before arriving at Alabama.
Stallings became an active member in the Tuscaloosa community during his coaching tenure, working as a prominent supporter of the Rise School at UA. Stallings’ son, Johnny, was born with Down Syndrome. Rise serves young children with disabilities. Its facility on campus is named The Stallings Center.
Staff writer Ben Jones contributed to this story.