Bobby Wallace (American football)

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Bobby Wallace
Sport(s) Football
Biographical details
Born (1954-09-17) September 17, 1954 (age 62)
Magnolia, Arkansas
Playing career
1973–1975 Mississippi State
Position(s) Safety
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1976 Mississippi State (GA)
1977–1979 East Carolina (DB)
1980 Wyoming (DB)
1981–1985 Auburn (DB)
1986 Mississippi State (DC)
1987 Illinois (DB)
1988–1997 North Alabama
1998–2005 Temple
2006–2010 West Alabama
2012–2016 North Alabama
Head coaching record
Overall 171–152–1
Tournaments 20–8 (NCAA D-II playoffs)
Accomplishments and honors
3 NCAA Division II (1993–1995)
7 Gulf South (1993–1995, 2013–2016)

Robert Hue Wallace (born September 17, 1954) is a retired American football coach. He was most recently the head football coach at the University of North Alabama, a position he held from 1988 to 1997 and again from 2012-2016. Wallace served as the head football coach at Temple University from 1998 to 2005 and at the University of West Alabama from 2006 to 2010. He led the North Alabama Lions to three consecutive NCAA Division II Football Championships, from 1993 to 1995.

Playing career[edit]

Wallace was a multi-sport athlete at Callaway High School in Jackson, Mississippi, lettering three years each in football, basketball, baseball, and track. He also earned prep All-America honors before enrolling at Mississippi State University. After starting for three seasons as a defensive back at MSU under Bob Tyler, Wallace earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education in 1976 and stayed the following year to serve the Bulldogs as a graduate assistant coach.[1][2]

Coaching career[edit]

Assistant coaching career[edit]

Wallace started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Mississippi State University in 1976. The following season, he joined Hall of Fame coach Pat Dye's staff at East Carolina to coach defensive backs. He followed Dye to Wyoming and Auburn, before returning to his alma-mater Mississippi State as defensive coordinator. During his tenure at Auburn, Wallace was noted for recruiting standout running back Bo Jackson.[3] In 1987, he coached defensive backs at Illinois.

North Alabama[edit]

Bobby Wallace's career as a head coach began in 1988 when he was named head coach at the University of North Alabama (UNA) in Florence, Alabama. He compiled a record of 82–36–1 in 10 seasons (1988–1997) at UNA, leading the Lions to three consecutive Division II national championships in 1993, 1994 and 1995. During those three seasons, the Lions recorded an overall record of 41–1, losing only to the eventual Division I-AA national champion Youngstown State in 1994. The 1995 UNA team was named the "Best Team of the Quarter Century" in Division II.

Wallace's UNA teams also won three consecutive Gulf South Conference championships (1993–1995), qualified for the Division II playoffs six times, and sent 12 players to the National Football League (NFL). In 1995, Lions linebacker Ronald McKinnon became the first and, as of 2016, only defensive player to win the Division II Harlon Hill Trophy.[3] He resigned at UNA following the 1997 season to become the head coach at Temple University.


Wallace became the 23rd head coach at Temple University on December 23, 1997. He coached the Owls for eight seasons, compiling a record of 19–71. Although his first team at Temple finished 2–9, one of the wins became arguably one of the biggest upsets in college football history. On October 17, 1998, the 0–6 Owls traveled to Blacksburg, Virginia to play the Virginia Tech Hokies. The Owls overcame a 17–0 deficit and numerous injuries to upset the Hokies, 28–24. The win gave the Owls their first ever Big East road win, and their first win over a ranked opponent in 11 years. Two weeks later, the Owls won again in improbable fashion, this time overcoming a 20–0 deficit to defeat Pittsburgh.[4]

Although his teams were consistently good defensively, none of Wallace's eight Temple teams had winning records. The Owls were winless during his final season in 2005, and played as a NCAA Division I-A independent after losing their Big East affiliation. During his tenure at Temple, Wallace had 12 players selected All-Big East. He coached All-Americans Dan Klecko and Rian Wallace.

West Alabama[edit]

Wallace was hired to be the head coach at West Alabama in March of 2006. Wallace's first UWA team went 6-5, achieving the program's first winning season since 1992. In 2009 West Alabama went 8-5 and made the NCAA Division II playoffs for the first time since 1975. In 2010, he led the Tigers to a 7-4 record posting back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 1991-92. Wallace retired from UWA following the 2010 season.[5][6]

Return to North Alabama[edit]

On January 2, 2012, the University of North Alabama announced that Wallace would return as the Lions' ninth head football coach following the departure of Terry Bowden. On September 26, 2015, Wallace coached North Alabama to a school-record tying 109th career win over Florida Tech. On October 3, Wallace became the winningest head coach in program history notching his 110th win with a 34–12 victory over Valdosta State.[7] In 2016 Wallace led the Lions to their fourth straight Gulf South Conference championship. It was the first time the feat had been accomplished in conference history.[8] The Lions went on to play for the NCAA Division 2 National Championship where they were defeated by Northwest Missouri State[9] Wallace retired following the 2016 season finishing his career with a 126–51–1 record at UNA and 171–152–1 overall.[10]

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
North Alabama Lions (Gulf South Conference) (1988–1997)
1988 North Alabama 2–8 2–6 8th
1989 North Alabama 6–5 4–4 5th
1990 North Alabama 8–3 6–2 T–2nd L NCAA Division II First Round
1991 North Alabama 3–7 1–5 7th
1992 North Alabama 7–4–1 2–2–1 T–2nd L NCAA Division II Second Round
1993 North Alabama 14–0 7–0 1st W NCAA Division II Championship
1994 North Alabama 13–1 7–0 1st W NCAA Division II Championship
1995 North Alabama 14–0 8–0 1st W NCAA Division II Championship
1996 North Alabama 6–5 4–4 T–5th
1997 North Alabama 9–3 6–2 3rd L NCAA Division II First Round
Temple Owls (Big East Conference) (1998–2004)
1998 Temple 2–9 2–5 T–6th
1999 Temple 2–9 2–5 T–6th
2000 Temple 4–7 1–6 7th
2001 Temple 4–7 2–5 6th
2002 Temple 4–8 2–5 T–6th
2003 Temple 1–11 0–7 8th
2004 Temple 2–9 1–5 T–6th
Temple Owls (NCAA Division I-A Independent) (2005)
2005 Temple 0–11
Temple: 19–71 10–39
West Alabama Tigers (Gulf South Conference) (2006–2010)
2006 West Alabama 6–5 3–5 6th
2007 West Alabama 1–9 0–8 11th
2008 West Alabama 4–7 2–6 T–8th
2009 West Alabama 8–5 5–3 T–3rd L NCAA Division II Second Round
2010 West Alabama 7–4 5–3 5th
West Alabama: 26–30 15–25
North Alabama Lions (Gulf South Conference) (2012–present)
2012 North Alabama 5–5 2–3 T–3rd
2013 North Alabama 10–3 5–1 T–1st L NCAA Division II Quarterfinal
2014 North Alabama 9–2 6–1 T–1st L NCAA Division II First Round
2015 North Alabama 9–3 6–1 T–1st L NCAA Division II Second Round
2016 North Alabama 11–2 7–0 1st L NCAA Division II Championship
North Alabama: 126–51–1 73–31–1
Total: 171–152–1
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title

Coaching tree[edit]

Assistant coaches under Bobby Wallace who became NCAA head coaches:


External links[edit]