Services for University of Alabama standout player and later athletic director Cecil "Hootie" Ingram will be on Saturday at Tuscaloosa's Calvary Baptist Church. Visitation will be from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m., with a memorial following.

Calvary Baptist Church is the appropriate place for Ingram's Crimson Homegoing. It is two blocks from and in sight of Bryant-Denny Stadium. It is also the transit point for the Tuscaloosa Trolleys, which bring thousands to and from the stadium on home Saturdays in the Fall.

Ingram, 90, died Monday. He was a native of Tuscaloosa and played three sports for the Tuscaloosa High School Black Bears.

He was a standout Alabama player in the early 1950s, playing both safety on defense and halfback on offense. He still owns a team and SEC record. In the 1952 season, he made 10 pass interceptions. Another Hootie record was his 80-yard punt return in the Tides' 1953 Orange Bowl win over Syracuse.

Ingram also played on the Tide baseball team.

Ingram's high school coaching career centered in the Tuscaloosa area at Brookwood High and Tuscaloosa County High.

His transition into the college ranks included stops as an assistant coach at Wake Forest, Georgia and Arkansas.

From 1970-1972, Ingram was head coach of the Clemson Tigers.

At this point, Ingram made another transition, this time into the administrative side of college athletics, where he remained for the rest of his career.

He became an administrator with the Southeastern Conference. From 1981 to 1989, he was athletic director at Florida State University.

Ingram's return to Tuscaloosa was a big one. He was named athletic director from 1989 to his retirement in 1995. Two big exclamation points on his Alabama career were his recruitment of Bryant-pupil Coach Gene Stallings and their 1992 National Championship.

Ingram was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1991.

Hootie Ingram made a difference at so many places and times that I am sure I have left out some. I am also sure that some Alabama football historian will let me know what needs to be added.

It is amazing to think that Hootie Ingram's Crimson life was both before and after Coach Bryant. He was a standout player at Alabama six years before Bryant returned to his alma mater from Texas A&M and the Junction Boys. Ingram much later became Alabama's athletic director, six years after Bryant's retirement and death—a player in the Coach Red Drew era and AD in the Coach Gene Stallings era.

Hootie Ingram was a difference-making coach, a solid administrator, and a long-standing part of Alabama's history. 

Jim' Zig' Zeigler writes about Alabama's people, places, events, groups and prominent deaths. He is a former Alabama Public Service Commissioner and State Auditor. You can reach him for comments at

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