MONTGOMERY – Woody McCorvey, who played a key role in national championships at the University of Alabama and Clemson University, has been named the 2021 TaxAct Camellia Bowl Alabama Football Legend presented by Regions Bank. The award is given annually to a person who has made a significant contribution to college football in the state of Alabama.
“We are thrilled to add Woody McCorvey to our list of Alabama Football Legends,” Johnny Williams, the TaxAct Camellia Bowl executive director, said. “Woody was a standout quarterback at Alabama State and has been a part of some pretty significant championship runs at both Alabama and Clemson. His legacy on and off the field has made him a central figure in college football.”
The past recipients are Bobby Bowden (2014), Pat Dye (2015), Woodrow Lowe (2016), Gene Stallings (2017), Johnny Davis (2018) and Larry Blakeney (2019). There was no awards luncheon in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This is really a great honor,” McCorvey said. “I am elated to be associated with all the previous winners for this award, especially Coach Stallings. I worked for him for seven years at Alabama and we have continued that relationship over the years. Pat Dye meant a lot to me and was instrumental in my career. Larry Blakeney, Woodrow Lowe and Bobby Bowden all had influences. It’s a great honor to be this year’s recipient.”
McCorvey, who serves as the Chief of Football Administration at Clemson under head coach Dabo Swinney, has been a significant part of the two greatest eras in Tiger football. In the 1980s he was on the staff of College Football Hall of Fame coach Danny Ford, and helped Clemson to a 60-19-3 record, three ACC titles and four bowl wins. He was on the staff of five Clemson teams that finished in the final top 20 of the AP poll.
Now, McCorvey is back at Clemson, and Swinney would be the first to say how important he has been in contributing to Clemson’s recent run of eight straight seasons of 10+ wins and a final top-25 finish.
“He is my national security advisor,” said Swinney. “My experience with him dates to my days as a player at Alabama when he was my position coach. He coached at Clemson in the 1980s under Danny Ford and knows all about our winning tradition.”
The 2020 season is his 43rd in college football as either a coach or an administrator. He came back to Clemson for the 2009 season, Swinney’s first full year, and he has helped him bring the Tigers to a level of consistent excellence that culminated in national championships following the 2016 and 2018 seasons.
With Ford’s induction in 2017, McCorvey has now worked for three coaches in the College Football Hall of Fame. He has also been in significant coaching roles with Gene Stallings and Phil Fulmer. He has worked for four national championship coaches in Ford, Fulmer, Stallings and Swinney.
Swinney has a 126-28 record as head coach since McCorvey joined his staff. That includes eight wins over top-10 teams in bowl games the last eight years. The Tigers have won six ACC titles, eight division titles and posted 10 bowl wins in just 11 years.
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 to oversee that important area. Clemson has finished in the top 10 percent of all FBS programs in APR scores in eight of the last nine years, one of only three schools to make that claim.
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. Current Tiger assistant head coach Danny Pearman was also on that staff.
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.
Alabama’s players flourished under his guidance. In McCorvey’s time as offensive coordinator, running back Shaun Alexander established many school records and later went on to a Pro Bowl career with the Seattle Seahawks. In 1993, David Palmer established school records for catches and receiving yards along with earning first-team All-America honors. Palmer was third in the Heisman Trophy balloting, the highest finish in history for an Alabama player at the time.
In addition to his time at Alabama and Clemson, McCorvey has also coached at North Carolina Central, Alabama A&M, South Carolina, Tennessee and Mississippi State.
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 2013, he was on the Rose Bowl Advisory Committee and returned to that role in 2017. He was a member of the College Football Playoff Advisory Committee in 2014-15 as well.
In 2010, McCorvey was inducted into the Atmore (Ala.) Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 2020 as part of an induction class that included Sylvester Croom, with whom he coached with at Mississippi State.
The Atmore, Ala., native is married to the former Ann Brown. The couple has a son, Marlon, daughter-in-law Brooke, and grandson, Beau.
Photo 1 – Woody McCorvey
Photo 2 – Gene Stallings, Woody McCorvey and Dabo Swinney at the 2020 ASHOF Induction
Photo 3 – Freddie Kitchens and Woody McCorvey