As the non-playing season is soon to begin and the long cold winter sets in, it’s time to relax with a good book, and what better topic to consume than Alabama Football!
Below is a list – and only a partial list at that – of Bama Books worth spending time with. I’ve read many of these and certainly recommend the read.
If you have books you’d like to add to the list, please let us know and we’ll continue to grow this inventory as new material is available.
* note, the links below are affiliate links. If you decide to purchase from these links, we may receive a small referral – at no cost to you.
Another Season: A Coach’s Story of Raising an Exceptional Son
When beloved University of Alabama football coach Gene Stallings’s son was born with Down syndrome and a serious heart defect, doctors predicted he wouldn’t live to see his first birthday and urged Coach Stallings and his wife to institutionalize him. But for Gene and Ruth Ann that was not an option. Johnny quickly won the hearts and adoration of the Stallings family and everyone who took the time to know him, and, proving the doctors wrong by leading an active life, he became a vital and important part of his family, his community, and his father’s career. With intimate glimpses of family life and thrilling football anecdotes, ANOTHER SEASON is brimming with poignant lessons about defying the odds and finding joy in every moment.
Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer: A Journey into the Heart of Fan Mania (Hardcover)
Fresh and funny, St. John has crafted a winner in asking and then answering the question, “why do fans care?” In search of the answers, Warren St. John seeks out the roving community of RVers who follow the Alabama Crimson Tide from game to game across the South. A movable feast of Weber grills, Igloo coolers, and die-hard superstition, these are characters who arrive on Wednesday for Saturday’s game: Freeman and Betty Reese, who skipped their own daughter’s wedding because it coincided with a Bama game; Ray Pradat, the Episcopalian minister who watches the games on a television set beside his altar while performing weddings; John Ed (pronounced as three syllables, John Ay-ud), the wheeling and dealing ticket scalper whose access to good seats gives him power on par with the governor; and Paul Finebaum, the Anti-Fan, a wisecracking sports columnist and talk-radio host who makes his living mocking Alabama fans-and who has to live in a gated community for all the threats he receives in response.
The Junction Boys: How Ten Days in Hell with Bear Bryant Forged a Championship Team
The Junction Boys tells the story of Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant’s legendary training camp in the small town of Junction, Texas. In a move that many consider the salvation of the Texas A&M football program, Coach Bryant put 115 players through the most grueling practices ever imagined. Only a handful of players survived the entire 10 days, but they braved the intense heat of the Texas sun and the burning passion of their coach, and turned a floundering team into one of the nation’s best. The Junction Boys is more than just a story of tough practices without water breaks. An extraordinary fellowship was forged from the mind-numbing pain. The thirty-five survivors bonded together like no other team in America. They profited from the Junction experience; the knowledge they took back with them to College Station, about themselves and what they were capable of, would be used for the rest of their lives.
The Missing Ring: How Bear Bryant and the 1966 Alabama Crimson Tide Were Denied College Football’s Most Elusive Prize
The Missing Ring is the story of the one that got away, the one that haunts Alabama fans still, and native Alabamian Keith Dunnavant takes readers deep inside the Crimson Tide program during a more innocent time, before widespread telecasting, before scholarship limitations, before end-zone dances. Meticulously revealing the strategies, tactics, and personal dramas that bring the overachieving boys of 1966 to life, Dunnavant’s insightful, anecdotally rich narrative shows how Bryant molded a diverse group of young men into a powerful force that overcame various obstacles to achieve perfection in an imperfect world.
Bear Bryant On Leadership: Life Lessons from a Six-Time National Championship Coach
PAT WILLIAMS – Few people know leadership better than Orlando Magic co-founder Pat Williams. A sports executive for over 40 years, Williams has led more teams than most of his contemporaries combined. The former General Manager of the Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, Atlanta Hawks, and Chicago Bulls, Williams is the prolific author of over 10 books on leadership, most recently Lincoln Speaks to Leaders. Williams is a highly-acclaimed professional speaker, having keynoted for dozens of Fortune 500 organizations and has appeared on hundreds of news programs including The Today Show.
TOMMY FORD – Few people know the University of Alabama and the coaches and former players better than Tommy Ford. Ford knows his Alabama football, having served as sports editor of the Crimson White while in school at Alabama. In his professional career, Ford has served the Athletic Department as Ticket Manager, Director of TIDE PRIDE, and currently as Director of Donor Programs. Ford is the author of Alabama’s Family Tides, a book about families of Alabama football, the Alabama All-Access Football Vault, and the Alabama-Auburn Rivalry Football Vault.
How Good Do You Want to Be?: A Champion’s Tips on How to Lead and Succeed at Work and in Life
Excellence doesn’t happen overnight. It comes from hard work, consistency, the drive to be the best, and a passion for what you do. Few understand this better than Nick Saban, the hottest college football coach in the game. Now, in How Good Do You Want to Be?, Saban shares his winning philosophy for creating and inspiring success.
In more than three decades as a player and coach, Saban has learned much about life and leadership, both on the field and off. Working alongside some of the game’s legends, including Super Bowl winner Bill Belichick and coaching legend Jerry Glanville, he saw firsthand how great leaders encourage greatness in others. In this candid, insightful guide, he shares such acquired wisdom as
How Good Do You Want to Be? is more than the story of how Nick Saban motivates his staff and players to excel–it is also the memoir of one of America’s most successful coaches. Filled with instructive anecdotes and illuminated by never-before-told stories of his life and career, this is a book that challenges and inspires us all to be our best.
Bear The Legendary Life of Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant
Four days after the funeral of legendary Alabama football coach Paul Bryant, the coach’s bodyguard, Billie Varner, was helping Bryant’s longtime secretary, Linda Knowles, clean out the Bear’s office. Packed boxes and memorabilia lay everywhere. A nameplate and a few yet-empty boxes were all that was left on his huge desk, his high-back chair sitting empty as if waiting for Coach to step through the door once again, sit down, light up a Chesterfield, and make a call to Pat Dye. Finally the last box was sealed, and Varner said to Knowles, “If it’s all right with you, let’s just stay in here for a little bit longer. I’m hurtin’ too damn bad to leave right now.” After a few silent moments, Varner sighed, a sad look on his face, and with a breaking voice said, “Linda, it won’t be anything like he said it was going to be. You know, he always said he’d be forgotten as soon as we laid him to rest.”
Bear’s Boys: Thirty-Six Men Whose Lives Were Changed by Coach Paul Bryant
Bear’s Boys is a collection of inspiring stories featuring 36 men whose lives were altered by their encounter with the legendary coach while they were players and coaches at Alabama. The stories of star players such as Joe Namath, Ken Stabler, Marty Lyons, Bob Baumhower, Ozzie Newsome, and Gene Stallings show how the Coach forever changed them as young men and ball players on the field and later in life after football.
I Remember Paul Bear” Bryant”: Personal Memoires of College Football’s Most Legendary Coach, as Told by the People Who Knew Him Best
On July 17, 1981, Coach Bryant sat in his office at Memorial Coliseum reminiscing with sports columnist Al Browning of the Tuscaloosa News. Contemplating the twilight of his career, he calmly said, “They’ll forget me as soon as I croak and am buried”. When Browning objected, Coach smiled slightly and said, “No, that’s the way it is. Life moves on, and people find interest in other things”.
While Bryant’s memory may have faded slightly, he certainly has not been forgotten, and I Remember Paul “Bear” Bryant is a glowing testimony to the love that those who knew him best continue to have for him to this day. Here dozens of his contemporaries, former players, childhood friends, family, competitors, opponents, and his “boys” offer in their own words their favorite memories of this man they loved so much. They recall ordinary moments as well as extraordinary ones; they recall moments of joyful victory and bitter defeat; they recall memories of the gridiron discipline he dished out and the thoughtful, helpful guidance he offered to his players, even long after they had graduated and gone on to their own careers.
The Last Coach: A Life of Paul “Bear” Bryant
Allen Barra’s The Last Coach traces Paul Bryant’s rise from a family of truck farmers to recognition as the most successful and influential coach in the game’s history. The eleventh of thirteen children, Bryant was born in tiny Moro Bottom, Arkansas in 1913 and grew up in nearby Fordyce—where his legend was born when he wrestled a live bear on the stage of a local theater. Paul was raised by his mother, who barely managed to keep him out of trouble and on the Fordyce High School Redbugs long enough to get a football scholarship at Alabama, where he would meet and marry the love of his life, campus beauty queen Mary Harmon Black.
Historic Photos of University of Alabama Football
In 1992, the centennial year of the University of Alabama football program, the Crimson Tide won its 12th national championship. Few major college football programs can claim as many. Through the medium of photography, this book tells the story of the greatness of University of Alabama football, from its origins as a club sport in 1892, through the death of its most famous head coach, Paul W. Bryant. Over the course of those nine decades, Alabama would win 11 of its 12 national championships and forever change the face of college football. What began as a sport dominated by elite teams in the Northeast and Midwest, would, by the time of Bryant’s death, be the hallmark sport of the American South. And the University of Alabama would, for many of those years, be the premier team in one of America’s greatest football conferences, the Southeast Conference. Historic Photos of University of Alabama Football provides a window into a storied past that is the foundation upon which the program’s future greatness will stand.
Bear: My Hard Life & Good Times As Alabama’s Head Coach with CD
Paul “Bear” Bryant created legendary, successful football programs at Kentucky, Texas A&M, and the University of Alabama. Bryant redefined coaching excellence through his unique communication and care for players. Using his coaching methods, he achieved an amazing 323 victories and shaped players such as Babe Parilli, Heisman Trophy winner John David Crow, and Joe Namath. In Bear and the audio CD, Bear Bryant: Speaking from the Heart, Bryant tells his life story with candor and insight, giving the reader a chance to understand the man behind the legend.
I Ain’t Never Been Nothing but a Winner: Coach Paul Bear Bryant’s 323 Greatest Quotes About Success, On and Off the Football FieldI
Ain’t Never Been Nothing But A Winner features legendary college football coach Paul Bear Bryant’s 323 greatest quotes about success, on and off the football field. Quotes are as fresh and colorful for football fans as they are motivational for business-types.
Memorable Words of Alabama Football: Quotes from Crimson Tide Coaches, Players, Fans, Opponents, & Others
A must-read for Alabama Crimson Tide fans! This book is a compilation of over 160 of the most popular and memorable quotes from the rich traditions of Alabama Football. From the legendary Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant and Coach Gene Stallings to Auburn’s iconic Coach Shug Jordan and President Ronald Reagan, this book features quotes from coaches, players, commentators, fans, and opponents. Other prominent figures include Ravens GM & Hall of Famer Ozzie Newsome, NFL Hall of Fame QB Joe Namath, Heisman Trophy Winner Mark Ingram and Coach Nick Saban. Roll Tide!! INCLUDING FAVORITES LIKE: “I’ll put you through hell, but at the end of it all we’ll be champions.” — Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant “When you win, nothing hurts.” — Joe Namath “If you think there is such a thing as an unimportant game, just try losing one.” — Coach Gene Stallings
Daily Devotions for Die-Hard Fans: Alabama Crimson Tide
Daily Devotions for Die-Hard Fans: Alabama Crimson Tide combines the great passion of the Crimson Tide fan with the great passion of the fan of Christ into one set of devotions, one book that is fun while providing a time of reflection about God. In one of the biggest games in Bama basketball history, the subs refused to go in. Bear Bryant learned an invaluable lesson once when he stopped in a diner for lunch. Jay Barker was once grateful that he was benched. No matter how hard he tried, Don McNeal couldn’t kill Kate. At least one time, Bear Bryant was wrong; Mark Ingram proved that. These stories and more are recounted here. Also appearing are Nick Saban, Joe Namath, Gene Stallings, Niesa Johnson, Ozzie Newsome, and many others. Their stories – along with legendary games, impossible victories, and historical events – are told with a twist: They are all tied to God’s story. Have fun! Have faith! Roll Tide! Go God!