From Tate High To Alabama And Clemson: Woody McCorvey Of Atmore Named To Alabama Sports Hall Of Fame

December 5, 2019

Woody McCorvey of Atmore, a longtime college football coach that began his career at Tate High School, is one of eight people to be inducted into the State of Alabama Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2020.

McCorvey is currently the Clemson Associate Athletic Director of Football Administration.

“It’s very humbling,” McCorvey said. “For me, it’s very special for having grown up in that state. To be a part of a special recognition like being the in Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, it took a lot of people with me going back to my mom and my my dad, the support of my family — my wife, my son, Marlon, my daughter-in-law, Brooke, my grandson, Beau — but on top of that, the players. That’s why I got into this business. This recognition is really for them because I’m standing on those guys.

“The other thing that’s important to me is the staffs that I’ve worked with all down through the years, all the way going back to the kids I coached in high school and every stop that I’ve made and everybody here at Clemson. Clemson has been a big part of what I’ve been able to do, and it’s really special to be part of a great group of other honorees I’m going into the Hall with.”

Among those McCorvey will join in the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame is Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney, who was inducted as part of the Class of 2018.

“I’m just so excited for Coach McCorvey,” Swinney said. “He’s so deserving of this honor. He’s in the Atmore Hall of Fame, and now to know that he’s going into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, I just think it’s something that’s so deserving.

“And for he and Sylvester Croom to be going in together I think is just beautiful. Obviously, Sylvester was the head coach at Mississippi State and Woody was the offensive coordinator. I think Sylvester was the first African-American head coach in the SEC and Woody was the first African-American offensive coordinator at Alabama, and I just think about their journeys and the lives that they’ve impacted. I can just tell you, I’m not where I am today if it’s not for Woody McCorvey. I know this, there’s nobody more deserving than Coach McCorvey. I’m super proud, super happy, and I can’t wait to be a part of the celebration.”

Born September 30, 1950 in Grove Hill, Alabama, McCorvey played quarterback at Alabama State from 1968-1971. After starting his coaching career in the high school ranks, he began his collegiate coaching career in 1978 with NC Central. He has held positions at the University of Alabama, Alabama A&M, Clemson, Mississippi State, South Carolina, and Tennessee. During his 26 plus years in college football, McCorvey has been a part of five national championship teams and 31 bowl games.

A 42-year veteran of college football as a coach or administration, McCorvey returned to Clemson for the 2009 season, Head Coach Dabo Swinney’s first full year. He has worked with four national championship head coaches and three coaches who earned induction in the College Football Hall of Fame.

McCorvey serves as the primary liaison between Swinney and the athletic and IPTAY administrations. He also oversees the management of the football administrative offices. He supervises the football budget and works with the academic staff that has helped Clemson earn NCAA Academic Performance Public Recognition Awards in eight out of the last nine years.

McCorvey coached at the Division I level for 26 years and went to a bowl game in 17 of those seasons. He coached or signed 36 players who went on to a professional football career as well. From 1990-2008, he coached in the SEC every year, including each of the last five at Mississippi State, where he served as assistant head coach and offensive coordinator in addition to coaching the quarterbacks.

McCorvey coached at Tennessee for five years from 1999-03. With him heading the running game, the Volunteers had a 46-14 record. He helped guide Tennessee to the 2000 Fiesta Bowl, 2001 Cotton Bowl, 2002 Citrus Bowl, and 2002 and 2003 Peach Bowls. Tennessee won three consecutive New Year’s Day Bowl games from 2000-02 as well.

Prior to joining the staff at Tennessee, McCorvey worked one season at South Carolina, where he served as the wide receivers coach in 1998 under former Tiger assistant coach Brad Scott. McCorvey took the South Carolina job following an eight-year stay at Alabama from 1990-97. He served seven seasons as its wide receivers coach and the 1996 campaign as offensive coordinator. He was the assistant head coach in 1997 as well.

Alabama had five top-25 final rankings in his tenure, including three seasons in the top five. The Crimson Tide won the 1992 national title with McCorvey serving as wide receivers coach and Swinney as one of his student-athletes. That season culminated with a 34-13 win over heavily-favored Miami (Fla.) in the Sugar Bowl. During the 1990-96 era, Alabama posted a 70-16-1 record and played in six bowl games. With McCorvey at the controls of the offense in 1996, Alabama finished 10-3, including a win over Michigan in the Outback Bowl.

From 1979-82, he served as an assistant coach at Alabama A&M and helped that program to the No. 6 rushing offense in Division II in 1981 after finishing 11th in the nation in scoring offense in 1980. McCorvey began his college coaching career at North Carolina Central in 1978.

McCorvey began his coaching career with a six-year stint (1972-77) at Tate High School. A quarterback at Alabama State from 1968-71, McCorvey earned his bachelor’s degree from Alabama State in 1972 and a master’s degree from West Florida in 1977.

He was the recipient of the 2015 AFCA Outstanding Achievement Award for his contributions to college football. In 2010, the native of Atmore, Ala. was inducted into the Atmore Hall of Fame.

Other inductees in the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2020 are Ronnie Brown, Sylvester Croom, Doug Kennedy, Q.V. Lowe, Jorge Posada, Duane Reboul and Steve Shaw.Starting with the first class in 1969, this will be the 52nd Class inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. The eight newly elected inductees will bring the total number of inductees to 369.

The 52nd Annual Induction Banquet and Ceremony will be held in Birmingham on May 2, 2020.

Courtesy photos for, click to enlarge.


11 Responses to “From Tate High To Alabama And Clemson: Woody McCorvey Of Atmore Named To Alabama Sports Hall Of Fame”

  1. Terry Trawick on December 11th, 2019 1:50 am

    I am so glad to have been coached by coach McCorvey, at Tate high School, he was a real inspiration on me ,congradulations coach.

  2. Gerald Noblin on December 6th, 2019 8:08 am

    I was a senior football player at Tate when Woody was first hired. I will never forget seeing him throw a football before practice one day. He launched the football 50-55 yards with no effort and it was a perfect spiral. One year while I was in college, I served as a coaching assistant and intern at Tate. Coach Madison had me working with the 9th Grade Team and the Varsity. Woody was the Head Coach of the 9th Grade Team. I loved working with Woody and have great memories of working with him and Neil. Woody McCorvey is a Great Coach but he is an even Better Person and Man. Congratulations Woody, it is a well deserved recognition!

  3. Mike Killam on December 5th, 2019 11:05 pm

    Congratulations Coach MCCorvey !!
    My first Coach at Tate HS , a mentor and friend. I’m so appreciative of the discipline, integrity and excellence you instilled in my life. You are so deserving and I’m grateful you were part of my life.

  4. Darrell Black on December 5th, 2019 9:50 pm

    Congratulations coach. I played for Coach McCorvey at Tate 1972-1976. He had a very positive impact on my life. God bless you.

  5. Nancy Helton on December 5th, 2019 4:41 pm

    Coach, your father was so proud of you. He would tell me of al that you would be doing & what you had done for him. He would just beam & say something like “let me tell you what my son did for me. I’m going to TN”…or wherever you were. Congratulations for a well deserved recognition & award.

  6. Raymond H Merritt on December 5th, 2019 2:57 pm

    Woody has eaten dinner at my house along with Coach Croom when they were recruiting my son for Miss State both men are first rate!

  7. Harry P. Barraclough Jr. on December 5th, 2019 12:51 pm

    I played for Coach McCorvey at Tate High 72-76. It was an honor and so glad to see his success. I knew from his coaching style he would go far. He wasn’t an in your face kind of coach. He was a teacher! Glad he touched my life. God Bless you coach. You deserve all the recognition in the world!

  8. MR REALITY on December 5th, 2019 9:52 am

    I didnt know he went to Tate. This man has done it all….Imagine the impact he has had on young men! What an honor for him and for all of us!!!!

  9. Steve Minton on December 5th, 2019 9:08 am

    Congratulations Coach McCorvey!!! It was great having you as our coach at Tate High School.

  10. Edna L. Whitehurst on December 5th, 2019 8:41 am

    Congratulations. Tate alumni and present students are proud of you.

  11. Jim Helton on December 5th, 2019 7:05 am

    Congratulations to Coach McCorvey! He’s been a great example and mentor to a lot of young men.

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