Wallace adds honor to legacy

Head Coach Bobby Wallace speaking at the kick-off Press Conference December 15. Wallace left UNA the winningest coach in GSC history with 152 wins.

Former North Alabama coach Bobby Wallace has been announced as an inductee to the Gulf South Conference Hall of Fame April 6 after retiring from UNA in December.

Wallace will be inducted May 31 in Pensacola, Fla. Wallace will be apart of the GSC’s fourth hall of fame class.

At Coach Wallace’s press conference Dec. 20, he knew that it was his time to retire from coaching.

“This will be the third time that I have retired, but I think this one will stick,” Wallace said. “It’s just time for me.”

After a runner-up finish in the Division II National Championship game in 2016, Wallace called it quits. Wallace coached at UNA for 15 seasons totaling 126 wins for the Lions including three National Championships. Wallace has already an inductee into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame 2004, the Division II Football Hall of Fame 2010 and the University of North Alabama Athletic Hall of Fame 2011.

Wallace leaves UNA the winningest coach in UNA history with 126 wins and also the winningest coach in GSC history at 152 wins. UNA athletic director Mark Linder said the university should be impressed with the induction.

“Anytime a UNA representative is inducted into the Hall of Fame, we take tremendous pride in their accomplishment,” Linder said. “It memorializes that we, as an institution had selected the right person and gave them needed resources to be successful.”

Wallace won the 1993, 1994 and 1995 Division II National Championship at UNA while sporting a 40-1 record during the three-year span. The three straight national titles made the Lions the first school to win three straight National Championships. Wallace is the only coach in GSC history to win seven GSC titles.

He has the second most post-season playoff wins in Division II history at 20. Wallace also went to the playoffs 10 of the 15 years coached at UNA. Wallace was also awarded the Division II Coach of the Quarter Century 1972-97 and GSC Coach of the Quarter Century 1971-95 to add to his career awards leading to his induction into the GSC Hall of Fame.

Wallace won three National Coach of the Year awards in 1993-1995 and four GSC Coach of the Year awards in 1993, 1994, 1995 and 2016, but his people skills was what impressed Linder the most.

“His caring attitude for the people who worked with him was second to none,” Linder said. “He makes the people around him better.”

Linder recalled a special moment with Coach Wallace after a football game. Linder’s son, Braxton, had a high school cross-country race the morning before the UNA night game. After the football game, Coach Wallace left an impression on Braxton.

“He asked my son how his cross-country race went that morning,” Linder said. “It meant the world to my son that ‘The Bobby Wallace’ would ask about his race. It was a really neat moment, and it highlights the people first attitude of Bobby Wallace.”