Among the more high-profile names mentioned as possible successors to Mike Shula as Alabama head football coach are Nick Saban of the Miami Dolphins, Bob Stoops of Oklahoma, and Steve Spurrier of South Carolina. Photographs of those are the three the Independence Bowl selected to illustrate the page showing the record of each head coach who has participated in the game.
Incidentally, Saban, Stoops and Spurrier have something in common: all are 0-1 as head coaches in the Independence Bowl. Saban was coach of Michigan State in 1995, losing to Gerry DiNardo and LSU; Stoops lost to David Cutcliffe and Ole Miss in 1999; and Spurrier was last year's loser, to Gary Pinkel and Missouri.
Alabama Offensive Coordinator David Rader is in the Independence Bowl Hall of Honor, which includes players and coaches who have "exemplified positive character both on and off the field." Rader participated as both a player and head coach and now participates as an assistant coach. As a player he was Tulsa's back-up quarterback in the inaugural game in 1976. He completed five of 10 passes in the Golden Hurricane's 20-16 loss to McNeese. Rader was head coach at Tulsa in 1989 when the Golden Hurricane lost to Oregon, 27-24.
Others with an Alabama connection in the Independence Bowl Hall of Honor are Danny Ford, former Tide player and assistant coach who entered as head coach at Clemson; Pat Dye, a former Bama assistant coach who was head coach at East Carolina; and David Cutcliffe, an Alabama graduate who was head coach at Ole Miss.