Gene Stallings was born March 2, 1935 and is a former American football player and coach in the United States. He played college football at Texas A&M University (1954–1956), where he was one of the "Junction Boys", and later served as the head coach at his alma mater from 1965 to 1971. Stallings was also the head coach of the St. Louis/Phoenix Cardinals of the NFL (1986–1989) and at the University of Alabama (1990–1996). Stalling's 1992 Alabama team completed a 13–0 season with a win in the Sugar Bowl over Miami and was named the consensus national champion. Stallings is currently a member of the Board of Regents of the Texas A&M University System. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 2010.
University of Alabama
In 1958, Stallings joined Bear Bryant's original staff at the University of Alabama as a defensive assistant. He was on hand for two of Alabama's national championship seasons, in 1961 and 1964.
Texas A&M University
Shortly after helping Alabama win the 1964 national title, Stallings was named the head coach of his alma mater, Texas A&M, at the age of 29. He coached the Aggies for seven seasons compiling a record of 27–45–1. Under his tenure, the Aggies won the Southwest Conference in 1967, Stallings' only winning season at A&M.
In 1972, Stallings joined the staff of the Dallas Cowboys as Tom Landry's secondary coach. He remained with the Cowboys for 14 seasons, and helped them win Super Bowl XII.
St. Louis/Phoenix Cardinals
In 1986, Stallings was named the head coach of the St. Louis Cardinals. In parts of four seasons, Stallings compiled a 23–34–1 record with the Cardinals and was the head coach during the franchise's move to Arizona. He came closest to a winning season during the Cardinals' first two years in Arizona, in 1988 and 1989. Both times, the Cardinals were doomed by late-season collapses. With five games remaining in the 1989 season, Stallings announced that he would resign at the end of the season. Instead, general manager Larry Wilson ordered Stallings to leave immediately and named running backs coach Hank Kuhlmann as his temporary replacement.
University of Alabama
Stallings returned to Alabama as head coach in 1990. His first team finished with a 7–5 record, including a 34–7 loss to Louisville in the 1991 Fiesta Bowl. Following Harold Drew, Stallings became only the second Alabama head coach since the renewal of the Iron Bowl in 1948 to defeat Auburn in his first attempt; Dennis Franchione became the third in 2001. Stalling's 1991 squad finished the season with an 11–1 record, including a 30–25 victory over the Colorado in the 1991 Blockbuster Bowl.
In 1992, Stalling's experienced defensive unit led the team to an undefeated regular season and a berth in the first SEC Championship Game where Alabama defeated Florida, 28–21, giving Alabama its 20th SEC title. Following a 34–13 victory over the heavily favored Miami in the 1993 Sugar Bowl to cap a perfect 13-0 season, Stallings' 1992 team won the first Bowl Coalition national championship.
In 1993, Stallings' squad won a second straight SEC West Division title, compiling a 9–3–1 record. However, the Tide lost to Florida in the SEC Championship Game. In 1994, Stallings' team finished the regular season with a record of 11–0, an 8–0 record in the SEC, and captured its third straight SEC West Division title. However, they lost the SEC title game for the second year in a row to Florida. Alabama finished the 1994 season with a 12–1 record, including a 24–17 victory over Ohio State in the Citrus Bowl.
After an investigation that ran from late 1993 to August 1995, the NCAA found Alabama guilty of four major rules violations during the 1993 season. Stallings was implicated, along with athletic director Hootie Ingram, in falsifying the eligibility of Alabama player Antonio Langham during the that season. Langham had signed with a sports agent and applied to enter the NFL Draft following the 1993 Sugar Bowl, but was not subsequently declared ineligible per NCAA rules. As a result, Alabama's football program was placed on three years probation, and docked a total of 30 scholarships from 1995 to 1998. Alabama was also forced to forfeit eight wins and one tie from its 9–3–1 1993 season in which Langham participated, resulting in an official record of 1–12. The Crimson Tide were also barred from postseason competition, including the SEC Championship Game and bowl games, during the 1995 season.
Stalling's 1994 team proved to be tremendously successful, as Alabama finished the regular season undefeated before losing to Florida in the SEC Championship Game. The team concluded the season by defeating Ohio State in the Citrus Bowl to finish the season 12-1. Alabama went 8–3 in 1995, the only season between 1992 and 1996 that Stallings didn't lead the Crimson Tide to the SEC Championship Game. In 1996, Stallings' team won ten games and earned a berth in the SEC Championship Game, where they lost to again to Florida, which eventually won the national title that season. Stallings announced on November 23, 1996 that he would resign at the end of the season. He completed his tenure at Alabama with a 17–14 win over Michigan in the 1997 Outback Bowl on January 1, 1997. Stallings compiled an official record at Alabama of 62–25 (70–16–1 if the 1993 forfeits are disregarded).
Outside of Football
Stallings serves on many boards, including President George W. Bush’s Commission on Intellectual Disability, and he was formerly a member of the board of Abilene Christian University. Other boards include Tandy Corporation, People’s National Bank of Paris, Paris Regional Medical Center, Disability Resources, the Texas Rangers Law Enforcement Association, the Great Southern Wood Corporation, and the Boys and Girls Club of Paris, Texas. Stallings was appointed to the Texas A&M Board of Regents by Texas Governor Rick Perry in 2005. He serves on the Committee on Audit and the Committee on Academic and Student Affairs. Stallings is chair of the Policy Review Committee and is a member of the Special Committee on Educational Access. His term expires on February 1, 2011.
After his legendary coaching days on the field in Alabama, Coach Stalling is now available for corporate appearances, motivational sports speaking engagements, VIP meet and greets, autograph signings, football camps, celebrity golf tournaments and product endorsements. Hire Gene to meet and mingle with your best customers, clients and employees.
Stallings co-wrote the book Another Season: A Coach's Story of Raising an Exceptional Son (ISBN 0-316-81196-3) with AP journalist Sally Cook, which described his love for his son, John Mark Stallings, who was born with Down syndrome. John Mark, also known as "Johnny," was a dedicated follower of his father's career, a longtime Crimson Tide fan, and a tour guide in the Crimson Tide facilities. John Mark died on August 2, 2008 due to a congenital heart condition. Two facilities at the University of Alabama were named for the younger Stallings, the Stallings Center that serves as home to the RISE Center for young children with disabilities, in 1994, and the equipment room in the University of Alabama football building in 2005. Most recently, Faulkner University in Montgomery, AL named its new football and soccer field after John Mark Stallings on October 8, 2010.