American Football Database
Mike DuBose
Biographical details
Born (1953-01-05) January 5, 1953 (age 69)
Opp, Alabama
Playing career
Position(s)Defensive lineman
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Alabama (GA)
Fairhope HS (AL) (assistant)
Prattville HS (AL)
Chattanooga (DL)
Southern Miss (DL)
Alabama (DL)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (DL)
Alabama (DL)
Northview HS (AL)
Luverne HS (AL)
Millsaps (DC)
Memphis (DL)
Head coaching record
Overall57–33 (college)
Tournaments1–2 (NCAA D-III playoffs)
College Football Data Warehouse
Accomplishments and honors
1 SEC (1999)
4 SCAC (2006–2009)

Mike DuBose (born January 5, 1953) is a former University of Alabama football player and a former defensive line coach for the Memphis Tigers.[1] DuBose came to Memphis from Millsaps College, where he was the Majors' head coach from 2006 to 2009. He resurrected the school's struggling football program by winning outright or sharing a conference title in each of his four seasons there. DuBose is best known for his four year stint as the head football coach at his alma mater, the University of Alabama, where he led the Crimson Tide to an SEC championship in 1999.

Prior to coaching, DuBose played for Alabama under legendary coach Paul "Bear" Bryant, where he was a teammate of other noted players such as John and Charley Hannah and Sylvester Croom and was a part of the Crimson Tide's 1973 national championship team.

Playing career

DuBose was born in Opp, Alabama. He earned four varsity letters as an athlete at Opp High School,[2] before going to the University of Alabama Crimson Tide where he played on the defensive line under head coach Bear Bryant from 1972 to 1974.[3] The highlight of DuBose's career was a performance against the Tennessee Volunteers in which he caused a fumble and had twenty tackles and was named SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week. His career totals included 129 total tackles, eight forced fumbles, and six fumble recoveries.[2]

Early coaching career

DuBose's coaching career began as a graduate assistant with the Crimson Tide in 1975.

High school coaching career

DuBose was an assistant coach in 1976 and 1977 at Fairhope High School in Alabama. In 1978 and 1979, he was the head coach as well as athletic director of Prattville High School in Prattville, Alabama.

Assistant coaching in college/pros

DuBose began his collegiate coaching career as a defensive line coach at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 1980. After two years at UTC, he was offered a job on the staff at Southern Mississippi. DuBose wanted to reject the job offer in hopes of working for Bear Bryant at Alabama, but Bryant told DuBose to go for one year and he'd get a call for a new job the following year (see Ivan Maisel, War In Dixie). DuBose went to USM and was the defensive line coach. He was on the opposite sideline of the game that ended Alabama's then college record 57-game home unbeaten streak in November 1982. Two months later, Bryant died, and DuBose was invited to Alabama as a defensive line coach on the staff of new coach Ray Perkins. He coached the defensive line for four years and followed Perkins to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for three years, 1987–1989. He returned to Alabama as the defensive line coach under Gene Stallings from 1990 to 1996, including the Crimson Tide's national championship season in 1992.

University of Alabama

On December 9, 1996, sixteen days after Stallings announced his retirement, DuBose was named as head coach of Alabama.[4]

Slow start

In 1997, DuBose's first season at Alabama, the Crimson Tide won its first two games. However, they soon began feeling the strain of the loss of 30 scholarships as a result of NCAA violations from the Stallings era. They lost seven of the last nine games including their first loss to Kentucky since 1922, blowout losses at the hands of Tennessee and LSU, and a shocking loss to Louisiana Tech. The 1997 Iron Bowl presented DuBose an opportunity to salvage at least a piece of a lost season, but Alabama lost in a heartbreaker after the Crimson Tide led the game 17–15 with less than a minute to go. Faced with a third and a long one and the prospect of having to punt the ball to Auburn if they did not convert, leaving Auburn an opportunity to get into field goal range, the Tide ran a screen pass resulting in a fumble and Auburn recovery that led to the game-winning field goal for the Tigers. Much controversy surrounded the apparent fact that DuBose not only didn't call the play, but didn't know what play was being run. DuBose reacted by firing four assistants including the ones who called the play, Bruce Arians and Woody McCorvey. The Tide finished with the school's worst record since 1957, the year before Bryant arrived.

The following year, 1998, DuBose led the team to a 7–5 record and a berth in the inaugural Music City Bowl against Virginia Tech. The Tide lost with a poor performance on a day with even worse weather, 38–7, and DuBose went back to the drawing board. After pulling off a shocking comeback over LSU in Tiger Stadium, and defeating Auburn in Legion Field, which coincidentally was the last time the Iron Bowl would ever be played at the location, many felt that DuBose was beginning to grow into the job and was on the right path to being a successful head coach. Unfortunately for DuBose and Tide fans, the Music City Bowl showed things were not going as smoothly as hoped.

Alleged harassment

In May 1999, rumor leaked out on the internet that DuBose was accused of having an affair with Deborah Gibson, his secretary. DuBose flatly denied the charges, but three months later reached an out-of-court settlement that paid over $300,000 out of his own pocket, removed the final two years of his contract (leaving him without a job after the upcoming 1999 season unless either an extension was granted or a new contract was reached), and gave the administration the chance to fire him at any time they desired.

SEC champions

After a 2-0 start, Louisiana Tech stunned Alabama again, scoring a touchdown on the last play from scrimmage, a 29-yard pass by Brian Stallworth, who replaced an injured Tim Rattay on the previous play, to complete a shocking upset. Calls for DuBose's head reached a fevered pitch, and the administration responded by firing Athletic Director Bob Bockrath. Many Alabama fans and graduates were openly upset when the following week had passed and DuBose was still the head coach. Rumors persisted that DuBose would be fired in the off week of October 9, 1999, right after the Tide was expected to be routed by the Florida Gators. However, Alabama suddenly took off behind All-American tailback Shaun Alexander and Outland Trophy winner Chris Samuels, who played left tackle. DuBose pulled the team together and beat Arkansas, then stunned Florida in a 40-39 overtime thriller that ended Florida's five-year home winning streak and put Alabama back in the top ten. They went the rest of the regular season losing only to Tennessee, 21-7, and earned the right to meet Florida again for the SEC Championship after a dominating fourth quarter in Jordan-Hare Stadium to beat Auburn. Coincidentally, the win over Auburn marked the first time since 1992 that either Alabama or Auburn had won the Iron Bowl in consecutive years, and it was first time Alabama had ever beaten Auburn in Jordan-Hare Stadium.

On December 4, 1999, Alabama and Florida played a rematch at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Florida was expected to return the favor of Alabama's October win. The Gators scored in five plays to start the game but never scored the rest of the night. The game was close, 15-7 Alabama, until the early fourth quarter when a broken play ran by Freddie Milons, a wide receiver lined up at quarterback, bolted for a 77-yard touchdown after reversing his field. Two plays later, defensive lineman Reggie Grimes tipped, intercepted, and scored a touchdown on a pass from Jesse Palmer. The final score was Alabama 34, Florida 7.

After the game, the two years removed from DuBose's contract after the Gibson settlement were restored. This angered some Alabama fans and alumni, some of whom believed he should have been fired in the first place.[5] Alabama then faced Michigan in the Orange Bowl where the Tide lost 35-34 on a missed PAT in the first overtime. Alabama ended the year ranked 8th in both major polls, its first top-10 finish in five years.[6]

For the Tide's 10–3 performance, DuBose was named SEC Coach of the Year.[3]

The 2000 debacle and firing/resignation

Alabama came into the 2000 regular season with very high expectations. The Tide was ranked third in the country in the pre-season polls, and many thought that Alabama was, as a result of the previous year's success and highly-rated recruiting classes, about to re-establish itself as one of the nation's elite programs. The Crimson Tide opened the 2000 season in Los Angeles against UCLA and the national title hopes were quickly shattered as Alabama lost in a stunning upset, 35-24. After a lackluster win against Vanderbilt the following week, the Tide played a miserable game against Southern Mississippi and lost, 21–0. DuBose offered his resignation to Athletic Director Mal Moore after the game, but Moore refused it.[7] After a controversial loss to Arkansas - where two disputed calls kept alive the Razorbacks' game-winning drive - the Tide rebounded to beat South Carolina and Ole Miss to raise its record to 3-3. As it turned out, the 45-7 thumping of Ole Miss was the last game DuBose would win. Things reached a nadir on October 28, 2000, when the Tide lost to underdog Central Florida at home, 40-38. On the Tuesday after the game, the announcement was made that DuBose would be gone at the end of the year.[7] The 2000 season ended disastrously as Alabama lost a close contest to LSU in Tiger Stadium, thus ending the 31-year winning streak over the Bayou Bengals in their home stadium, was dominated in Starkville by Mississippi State, and was shut out 9-0 by Auburn in the Iron Bowl on a miserable day in which Tuscaloosa had sleet and snow in the first installment of the rivalry played on the Alabama campus since 1901.

Years later, DuBose said that he never talked with Stallings after becoming Alabama's coach, a decision he still regrets.[4]

After a long coaching search in which Butch Davis, Frank Beamer, Tommy Bowden, and others were considered for the job, Alabama Athletics Director Mal Moore hired Dennis Franchione to replace DuBose.

Unfortunately for Alabama, the effects of the DuBose era would not dissipate so quickly. The NCAA would, shortly thereafter, begin investigating the recruitment of Albert Means, a star defensive lineman recruited out of Memphis, Tennessee. Although DuBose was not implicated in any wrongdoing, Alabama was nevertheless hammered for the violations that occurred on his watch, which included a loss of 21 scholarships over three years, a two-year bowl ban, and five years of probation.

After Alabama

After a brief respite from coaching, DuBose was hired as head coach of the Northview High School football program in Dothan, Alabama. During his only year there in 2002, the team had an 0-10 record.

After leaving Northview, DuBose was named head coach of the Luverne High School football program in Luverne, Alabama in 2003. During his two seasons at Luverne, 2003 and 2004, he led the Tigers to a 20-7 record and the 2003 state runner-up in the 2-A classification. In the 2-A state championship game at Legion Field, the Tigers lost a heartbreaker to Randolph County, who was led to victory on the heels of Ezekiel Knight's 31-yard touchdown run, and 77-yard punt return for a touchdown. Weeks later, Knight would sign a letter of intent to play for Alabama.


In 2005, DuBose became the defensive coordinator for the Millsaps College Majors. In his first season at Millsaps, the team struggled to a 2-7 record.

After the 2005 season, DuBose became the Majors' head coach.[8]


In his first season as head coach, Millsaps shocked the SCAC by finishing undefeated in conference play and earning the conference's automatic playoff bid for the first time since 1975.

DuBose was named the SCAC's 2006 coach of the year for engineering the Majors' remarkable turn-around. Sophomore quarterback Juan Joseph was named the league's offensive player of the year and Senior wide receiver Chris Jackson was honored as the league's special teams player of the year (and a first team All-American[9]) for his role as the team's return specialist. In all, 20 Majors were named to the All-SCAC first team, second team and honorable mention lists.


In 2007, DuBose's Majors repeated as conference champions, this time sharing the title with Trinity.[10] However, because Trinity defeated Millsaps head-to-head, with the Tigers winning on the game's legendary final play, "The Mississippi Miracle," it was they, not Millsaps, who received the automatic playoff bid reserved for the SCAC champions. Despite the Majors finishing with the program's best win-loss record since 1996,[11] they failed to receive an at-large bid into the playoffs.

As in 2006, the Majors' success on the field was reflected in the 2007 all-conference superlatives. Junior Quarterback Juan Joseph was the SCAC's offensive player of the year for the second consecutive season, Senior defensive tackle Casey Younger was the league's co-defensive player of the year and sophomore return specialist John Milazzo was the SCAC's special teams player of the year. In all, 19 Majors were named to the All-SCAC first team, second team and honorable mention lists.


The 2008 season was DuBose's best at Millsaps. His veteran squad finished the season 11-1 after an undefeated regular season and captured a third consecutive SCAC crown. Prior to the team's season-ending playoff loss to Washington & Jefferson, the 2008 Majors won every game they played by 17 or more points, with just one team completing a game within 20 points of Millsaps. The team climbed to their highest national ranking ever, #3, before finishing the season ranked #12.

Once again, DuBose was named the conference's coach of the year and Senior Quarterback Juan Joseph was the SCAC's offensive player of the year for the third consecutive season. Sophomore Wide Receiver and return specialist Michael Galatas was named the conference's special teams player of the year and freshman Running Back Shane Bowser was the SCAC's co-newcomer of the year. In all, 20 Majors were named to the All-SCAC first team, second team and honorable mention lists.


In 2009, Millsaps again earned a share of the SCAC championship, giving DuBose and the Majors four conferences titles in as many years.

Junior return specialist Michael Galatas was named the SCAC's Special Teams Player of the Year for the second consecutive season, the fourth consecutive season the award went to a Millsaps player, and junior linebacker Will Hawkins was the conference's Defensive Player of the Year, and a first team All-American.[12] A total of 20 Majors were voted to the all-conference first, second and honorable mention teams.

In December, DuBose announced he was leaving Millsaps to join new Memphis coach Larry Porter's staff. DuBose's tenure ended with 33 victories in four seasons, prior to which the Majors won just 37 games in the 10 years, and DuBose's four conference championships came after the Majors had won only two since joining the SCAC in 1989. Through 43 games, DuBose's teams scored more than 37 points per game and allowed just over 17 points per game. DuBose's .767 winning percentage is the highest of any coach in the school's history and only Harper Davis, who led Millsaps football for a quarter century from 1964 to 1988, won more games as the Majors' head coach.

Head coaching record


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Alabama Crimson Tide (Southeastern Conference) (1997–2000)
1997 Alabama 4–7 2–6 5th (West)
1998 Alabama 7–5 4–4 T–3rd (West) L Music City
1999 Alabama 10–3 7–1 1st (West) L Orange 8 8
2000 Alabama 3–8 3–5 T–4th (West)
Alabama: 24–23 16–16
Millsaps Majors (Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference) (2006–2009)
2006 Millsaps 7–4 6–0 1st L NCAA Division III First Round
2007 Millsaps 8–2 6–1 T–1st
2008 Millsaps 11–1 7–0 1st L NCAA Division III Second Round 12 13
2009 Millsaps 7–3 5–1 T–1st
Millsaps: 33–10 24–2
Total: 57–33
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
Indicates BCS bowl, Bowl Alliance or Bowl Coalition game. #Rankings from final Coaches' Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.

Personal life

DuBose is married to the former Polly Martin of Opp, Alabama. They have two children, a son and a daughter.


External links