She was effectively the dorm mother of Bryant Hall, the athletic dormitory of the University of Alabama. She had been married for 60 years to Alabama player and assistant coach Jack Rutledge.

Norma Rutledge, 86, has died in Tuscaloosa.

Mrs. Rutledge and her husband Jack ran Bryant Hall for 15 years under both Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant and Coach Gene Stallings.  When Bryant retired in 1983, the Rutledge couple left the university and went into private business. When Stallings came to Alabama, the Rutledge couple also came back.

Mrs. Rutledge may also be the only member of the famous A-Club who was not an athlete. The club is the honorary lifetime organization for athletic alumni at UA.  Admission to the A-Club is highly vetted.

Jack Rutledge died in 2019 at age 80.  She then lost her son David in 2020.

Husband Jack had played and lettered in football during Coach Bryant’s 1959-1960-1961 seasons. He was part of five National Championship teams – 1961 as a player; 1972, 1978, and 1979 as an assistant coach; and 1992 as the director of Bryant Hall.

Services will be on Wednesday at First Baptist Church of Tuscaloosa at 12:00 p.m. with a private family and close friends' burial to follow. Visitation will be at the church Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. until service time at noon.

Fittingly, “one of her boys” from her Coach Bryant days will preach her service. Keith Pugh went from a player to a preacher and is now on staff at First Baptist Tuscaloosa.

The University of Alabama. Where legends are made.

Jim ‘Zig’ Zeigler’s beat is the colorful and positive about Alabama. He writes about Alabama 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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