Individual Award Goes To Team Man
Woodrow Lowe was joined by Alabama Athletics Director Mal Moore and others at the induction dinner, held at the Century Center Convention Center in South Bend that served as the culmination of the National Football Foundation's two-day Enshrinement Festival
Although Lowe was receiving an individual award, he has always been the epitome of a team man.
He once talked about going to Alabama and playing for the legendary Paul Bryant. "I knew what a great coach he was, and when I got there I found out he was greater than I suspected. He talked to us about character, and looking back, I can see we didn't have any players who weren't of high character. He talked to us about hard work, sacrifice, having confidence. He really stressed believing in yourself and how putting on that crimson jersey epitomized confidence. And he talked about team, that no one person was bigger than the team. We had some stars, but I don't think they knew it at the time."
Lowe was a star.
Lowe was one of the Crimson Tide's all-time great linebackers, playing from 1972-75. He is one of just two Alabama players to be named a three-time All-American, earning the honor from 1973-75. Lowe joins the likes of Tim Brown, Troy Brown, Chris Spielman, Gino Torretta and Coach John Robinson in the hall's class of 2009. The dinner was the grand finale of a packed schedule that included a celebrity golf tournament, a fan festival, a grand parade, a youth football clinic and a fireworks display.
During his Tide tenure, Lowe helped lead Alabama to four Southeastern Conference Championships and the 1973 National Championship.
Mal Moore, who was a member of the Bama coaching staff in Lowe's playing days, said, "Woodrow was a tremendous player for the Crimson Tide, and I am pleased to be on hand to see him enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame. While he enjoyed great individual success playing for Alabama, setting records that still stand today, what I appreciated most about Woodrow as a player was that his focus was always on the team. That commitment to working together for the good of the team is part of what made him so great as a player and a leader."
Lowe is the 21st Alabama player or coach enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame, joining UA greats such as Bryant, Cornelius Bennett, John Hannah, Frank Howard, Lee Roy Jordan, Johnny Musso and Ozzie Newsome.
"With its championship tradition, Alabama has quite a history with the College Football Hall of Fame," Moore said. "Tonight, as the 21st Alabama inductee into this Hall of Fame, Woodrow adds his name to the Crimson Tide's legacy of success and we are very proud of all he has accomplished throughout the years."
Lowe, the 1973 Churchman's National Defensive Sophomore of the Year, set the Alabama single-season record with 134 tackles during that season, a mark that still stands today. That season the Tide played in the Sugar Bowl and was named the UPI National Champions.
As a junior in 1974, Lowe earned consensus All-America honors and led UA to a third straight SEC title and an Orange Bowl berth. As a senior in 1975, Lowe again earned first-team All-America honors and served as team captain as Alabama captured its fourth straight SEC title and earned another trip to the Sugar Bowl where they beat Penn State, 13-6.
Lowe was Alabama's all-time leading tackler with 315 when he finished his career in 1975 and still ranks third in career stops at The Capstone. Following his senior season, Lowe played in the 1976 Senior Bowl and entered the NFL Draft where he was selected in the fifth round by the San Diego Chargers.
Told that Lowe had been a fifth round draft choice, Bryant said, "That's like getting a fifty dollar gold piece for fifty cents."
Lowe missed only one game in 11 seasons with the Chargers and tallied 21 interceptions while returning four for touchdowns.
Following his career with the Chargers, Lowe served as an assistant coach with the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders and in the college ranks at the University of Alabama-Birmingham.
Named to Alabama's first-team All-Decade Team for the 1970s by readers of 'BAMA Magazine and a second-team All-Century selection, Lowe was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 2001.
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