Wallace looks to second year

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 21, 2007

LIVINGSTON &8212; In his first season with the University of West Alabama Tigers, head coach Bobby Wallace produced the first winning season for a program that hasn&8217;t seen one since 1992.

Wallace, who has already been inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 2004 and named the first Division II Coach of the Quarter Century for his work as the head coach of the University of North Alabama, took over the floundering program and produced results in one season. He said he feels more comfortable with this year&8217;s unit, after getting a late start with the group he lead to a 6-5 season.

Wallace said the group is more comfortable this year with the coaching staff, and the staff is more comfortable with the players. He said since both groups know what to expect from one another there is less miscommunication, thus the group is picking up the program with more ease.

Reiter said the recent success of the program can be attributed to Wallace, who he feels is one of the best coaches he has played under. With the plethora of experience that Wallace has amassed during his coaching career, coaching defensive backs at East Carolina, the University of Wyoming, Auburn University and the University of Illinois, holding the defensive coordinator position at Mississippi State University and head coaching positions at UNA, Temple University and now UWA, experience is inevitable.

With his experience, Wallace has learned that there is more to a team than Xs and Os on a chalkboard. He said it is important that players know that the team is on the upswing to motivate athletes. Starting at the bottom of the Gulf South Conference last year and ending up in the middle after a winning record is one way to do it.

Though there are many young players coming in, Wallace said he feels this year&8217;s group has the ability to again raise the bar of the program, but he knows that, as with every season, there are a lot of unknowns to which the team will have to adjust.