Don McNeal Into State Sports Hall

Former Alabama and Miami Dolphins standout Don McNeal will be one of nine to be inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday in Birmingham.

A native of Atmore, Don McNeal played for Coach Paul Bryant at The University of Alabama. He was a three-year starter on teams that compiled a record of 34-2. He was a member of two consecutive National Championship teams for the Crimson Tide (1978 and 1979) and earned All-America. He was named team captain of the 1979 team. He was named to the Alabama Team of the Century in 1992.

In 1980 he was drafted by the Miami Dolphins and played ten years in the NFL all with the Dolphins. He played in two Super Bowls with the Dolphins (1982 and 1984). In both of those seasons he was named Dolphins Player of the Year. In 1996 he was named to the Dolphins Silver Anniversary Team.

In the book, "What It Means To Be Crimson Tide," McNeal said that of all his honors in football, the one of which he was most proud was being elected co-captain (with Steve Whitman) of the 1979 national championship team.

"And when I return to The University, which I do as often as I can," McNeal said, "I go to the quad and see all those great names around Denny Chimes – Pat Trammell, Billy Neighbors, Lee Roy Jordan, Joe Namath, Steve Sloan, Kenny Stabler, Johnny Musso, Sylvester Croom, Ozzie Newsome. And then I peek around the corner and see ‘Don McNeal.'

"My daughter is going to Alabama. I told her to drop by every now and then and clean my name off. I've got a lot of pride in that."

Alabama fans will remember McNeal for his stop of Scott Fitzkee of Penn State on the one-yard line on second down during the famous "Goal Line Stand" in the 1978 Sugar Bowl.

Other members of the Class of 2008 include former Alabama golf star (and now PGA player) Steve Lowery and the 2008 Distinguished American Sportsman, Alabama graduate Joseph E. Gibbs, creator of the Golf Channel.

To order tickets for the induction banquet at the Birmingham Sheraton Hotel call the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame toll free at 877-323-6665.

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