Tuscaloosa, Ala. -- The head coach of the Univ. of Alabama's football team spoke about the impact a South Davidson High School coach had on the Denton community during a Wednesday news conference.
Nick Saban, the Crimson Tide coach, fielded a question from a reporter who asked him about the letter he sent South Davidson coach Mike Crowell's family following Crowell's recent death.
"[Crowell] was in our profession and worked very hard at it," Saban said. His fanaticism for Alabama football and the impact he had on hundreds of lives "made it really easy for us to try to have gratitude for the support [Crowell] had given the [Alabama] program through the years."
Crowell, 52, died Sept. 30. He'd coached the wrestling team at South for 25 years and spent five years as the school's head football coach. His death rocked his Davidson County community.
Crowell was also an avid Univ. of Alabama fan. Since his death, his current and former students have been using the hashtag #sabanforcrowell to try to get Saban's attention. They hoped Saban would be able to make an appearance at their homecoming game last Friday.
NCAA rules and a busy schedule kept Saban from appearing, but he did send a personal letter to Coach Crowell's family. Crowell's sister-in-law said he would have been thrilled with the correspondence.
"Mike would just be so delighted," Karen Pierce said. "[Saban] was an idol to Mike, and he would certainly be ecstatic knowing that Saban took the time to recognize him for the work that Mike's done."
At Wednesday's news conference, Saban also said he and his football staff were glad they could honor Crowell's "professionalism, his character and our appreciation for his support."
WFMY News 2