Coach Mark Gottfried seems like a genuine guy

Published 8:26 pm Monday, June 16, 2008

By By Adam Robinson – Sports Editor
Former T.R. Miller Tiger and University of Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Walter Lewis said it right when describing current Alabama head basketball coach Mark Gottfried's career at Alabama Thursday night at the Country Club of Brewton at the Escambia County Alumni meeting.
That illustration sums of Gottfried's career at Alabama.
After having his finest years of his tenure during the 2001-2002 season that saw the Crimson Tide win the SEC regular season championship and in the 2003-2004 season when the team advanced to the Elite Eight. Those years include five consecutive NCAA tournament appearances from 2002-2006 and the first-ever No. 1 national ranking during the 2002-2003 season.
Those were the peaks and most recently the valleys have hit the program.
Alabama basketball posted back-to-back losing seasons in the SEC in 2006-2007 and 2007-2008.
The 2007-2008 season marked the first time in nine years and only the second time under Gottfried that Alabama did not reach either the NIT or the NCAA post-season tournaments.
While the past two seasons have not been the best for Gottfried and the Tide, things sound like they are looking up.
Gottfried said he has four incoming freshman that will benefit the team greatly.
Tony Mitchell from Georgia, junior college standout Anthony Brock, Ronald Steele's brother Andrew Steele, and the Mr. Basketball from the state of Alabama JaMychal Green from Montgomery.
Counting those four incoming freshman, the guys from last year who stepped up, and the three who's decision with the NBA draft will come by Monday, Gottfried sounded pleased. He sounded pleased even if he loses his NBA people.
While at UCLA, Gottfried had the pleasure of working with the great John Wooden. Wooden influenced Gottfried so much that he tries to apply what was taught to him by Wooden to his current players.
Gottfried told a funny story when asked about the tornado that hit the Georgia Dome during the SEC basketball tournament in Atlanta.
When asked how he got out so fast of the Dome during the tornado, Gottfried replied, “I was smart.”
Gottfried said he thought that the SEC handled the situation the best way that they could.
One last thing that coach Gottfried had to say was about our troops. The past eight years, he and other coaches have made trips to Kuwait to visit our troops and that it has changed his perspective on the war. Gottfried said that he always watched CNN and other media news stations and until he got over there and met the troops and put on the camouflage fatigues and heard the national anthem sung, it really hit him.
Overall, coach Gottfried seemed like a really nice guy. I am sure it is hard for the head basketball coach at the University of Alabama to feel like his team will always be second place to a tradition-rich football university, team and state.
On a different note, I want to say that I hope everyone has a great week and congrats to all our Little League all stars and good luck to them in their upcoming post season games.
Until Wednesday when we meet again or out in the sports world, God bless.

Email newsletter signup