Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Alabama Crimson Tide fans will remember the 2006 Cotton Bowl victory over Texas Tech, which ended with what may be the ugliest game winning field goal in college football history.
Aside from tickets to that Cotton Bowl game, I have a couple more pieces of memorabilia that tie Texas Tech and Alabama together and remind me that the sixteen-hour trip to Tuscaloosa isn’t as far as I once thought.
In my guest bedroom sits my wife’s diplomam with the signature of one former Texas Tech President by the name of Guy Bailey. When he was hired by the University of Alabama I was ecstatic, because I thought how cool it would be to go to two different schools and have the same President sign both of our diplomas. That quickly fell to the wayside as Guy Bailey didn’t make it in Tuscaloosa longer than two months before making an early exit.
Secondly, there sits a basketball in my garage with the imprint “Merry Christmas from Lady Raider basketball 2006.” It is signed by one Kristy Curry.
I couldn’t tell you why I got that as a Christmas present that year, but I can tell you that before she’s done Kristy Curry will bring all sorts of presents to the Alabama faithful before she’s done.
The one thing that sticks out to me after watching Kristy Curry and seeing her around town the last few years is that she genuinely cares for her team and the community around her. I can’t count the number of times after a tough loss that I heard her credit her teams heart and fight and refused to throw them under the bus.
Coach Curry’s overall record is 309-149 including stops at Purdue University and Texas Tech. In 14 years of being a head coach, she has made it to postseason play 12 times, including 10 trips to the NCAA tournament.
There’s no doubt that her stop in Lubbock, Texas didn’t pan out as well as everyone might have hoped, but I believe that’s going to fuel her drive to turn around Alabama in a hurry.
Growing up in Louisiana and spending the last seven years coaching in Texas will provide a solid base for recruiting in the South and help her speed up the process of getting her players to Tuscaloosa. Her husband, Kelly, will most likely join her staff, which will provide the main ingredient to her coaching staff that knows what she wants in players, how she wants her practices run, and how she wants her program to be run.
It seems as if Bill Battle and the University of Alabama athletic department reached out at the perfect time, showing their commitment to making women’s basketball at Alabama better and finding a winning coach who still has a lot to prove. Coach Curry is young enough to keep sustained success at the University of Alabama for a long time, and I think the turnaround the women’s program will see will be nothing short of amazing.