Atmore’s McCorvey recognized during Swinney C.O.Y. speech

Published 6:18 pm Thursday, January 10, 2019

Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney didn’t hesitate to recognize Atmore’s Woody McCorvey during Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year award acceptance speed on Jan. 9 at the annual Bryant Awards in Houston, Texas.

Days removed from winning his second College Football Playoff National Championship, Swinney invited McCorvey up on stage to show the world what the game of football does. Clemson defeated Alabama 44-16 on Jan. 7.

“This is how God works through the game of football,” Swinney said via a FOX Sports broadcast. “Highway 31, which runs all the way through Alabama — he’s from Atmore, Alabama, and I’m from Pelham. Highway 31 was the only highway I knew.

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“You take the game of football, and it brought a guy from Atmore together with a young guy from Pelham,” he said.

Swinney was referring to his time as a wide receiver for the University of Alabama under former head coach Gene Stallings. McCorvey served as Swinney’s position coach.

“I played for him for three years,” Swinney said. “He (McCorvey) was very instrumental of me getting into coaching.”
Swinney, who served as a graduate assistant at UA for a short time, said he found himself on McCorvey’s staff as a receivers coach in 1996.

“Woody was named the offensive coordinator in 1996, the first African American offensive coordinator in the history of the University of Alabama,” he said. “He wanted me to be his receivers coach.”
Later when Swinney got the head coaching job for the Tigers at Clemson, he said his first call went to McCorvey.

Swinney said he told McCorvey that he didn’t want him to coach, but to teach about life and help run the program.

At present, McCorvey is the associate athletic director for football administration.

“Even though that’s my name on this trophy, his name aught to be on there, too,” Swinney said.