Scenes from Friday's big event

Yes, Friday's press conference marked Bama's third head coach since last November. But truthfully such events are normally quite rare. <br><br>With the introduction of Mike Shula as Alabama's 26th head football coach, the Crimson Tide family took an important step toward putting the recent past behind and moving forward.

(Above left) Mike Shula and his wife Shari wait to be introduced to the media. The couple have a three-year-old daughter already and recently found out that they are expecting their second child.


The media room in the Football Complex is normally more than big enough for events, but Friday it was bursting at the seams. (Left to right) Athletics Director Mal Moore, university President Robert Witt and Mrs. Shula sit in the front row. Behind them were selected members of the Crimson Tradition Fund Raising Committee.


As much as any other school in the nation, Alabama enjoys loyal support from past players. A highly successful businessman in the state, Bart Starr of course became famous as the championship quarterback for the Green Bay Packers. Interestingly, he played at Alabama just before the arrival of Paul Bryant, which meant he didn't win many games on the college level.


Shula and his wife listen as Mal Moore makes the formal introduction. More than any other Crimson Tide fan out there, Moore is hoping that the "third time will be the charm" and the Shula hire will end up being his legacy, along with the now-underway capital improvements campaign.


Numerous members of the Alabama Board of Trustees were also on hand. John McMahon (left) shares a word with Paul Bryant Jr. (right). As the president pro tempore of the board, McMahon has often been quoted in the media the past few weeks. In contrast, Bryant Jr. has maintained a typically extremely low profile.


Having been introduced as the 26th head coach in Crimson Tide football history, Mike Shula stands behind the podium fielding questions from the media. At 37, he's Bama's youngest head coach in decades and will have to grow in the job. According to Shula, his famous coaching father (Don Shula) told him "You've been given a great opportunity. Now it's up to you to take advantage of it."


Former Alabama All American and current Seattle Seahawk All-Pro running back Shaun Alexander was on hand to lend his support. Alexander revealed that he had talked to several seniors on the current squad, encouraging them to not give up.


Different pictures tell different stories. Most of the Shula photos taken this past weekend reveal a young, energetic coach eagerly facing his first head coaching job. Shown from the side in this picture talking with the press, a bit more of Shula's 37 years of maturity is revealed.



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