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38 Days ‘Till Alabama Football Kickoff 2016: Glen Coffee

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Glenn Coffee ushered in the start of the Alabama dynasty.

The start of a trend. The start of a legacy. The start of an era.

Glen Coffee started it all. After years of tentative running backs with little impact on the game, Coffee got the start for Nick Saban in 2008, and brought a dogged determination and power with his running style that set a precedent for every Alabama running back since for the last eight years.

He ran through holes with unshakeable decisiveness and courage, and always fell forward for a couple of extra yards after contact. He mentored future Heisman trophy-winner, Mark Ingram, instilling that same mindset in him, who in turn passed it on to Trent Richardson to Eddie Lacy to T.J. Yeldon to Derrick Henry. That is a heritage in which to be proud of.

After being drafted by the San Francisco 49ers, Coffee was back up to likely future Hall-of-Famer, Frank Gore, and was looked at by many in the Bay Area as Gore’s heir apparent. However, only a couple of seasons into the professional ranks, Coffee retired from football, stating that his heart was never in it, and his religion played a factor in the decision.

A few years later, Coffee was serving the United States as a paratrooper for the Army Rangers.

Wherever he goes, Glen Coffee has made a difference— be it in an army or a football uniform.