Mobile, Ala.- Former University of Alabama head basketball coach Wimp Sanderson will be in Mobile during “Bowl Week Festivities” as the guest speaker at the Great Southern Wood Basketball Luncheon on Saturday, December 17, 2005. The luncheon is scheduled for noon and will be held at the Mobile Marriott Hotel. The Great Southern Wood Basketball Luncheon will tip-off a day of activities that ends with the Coors Classic Basketball Doubleheader.
After earning a degree in physical education in 1959, Sanderson began his coaching career at Carbon Hill High School where he went 25-4. The next season he became a graduate assistant to Hayden Riley at the University of Alabama for the 1960-61season and was elevated to a full-time assistant’s post the following year. He held that spot until C.M. Newton’s retirement in 1980.
Then, after 20 years as an assistant coach, Sanderson was named Alabama’s 16th head coach on April 15, 1980. In his first 11 years (1981-91) as head coach, Sanderson took Alabama to nine NCAA Tournaments, one NIT and reached the NCAA’s “Sweet Sixteen” six times. He also took the Crimson Tide to the finals of the Southeastern Conference Tournament eight times and won five (1982, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991). He had seen almost 50 percent of all basketball games in which Alabama participated in up until 1991.
The Lexington Herald-Leader named Sanderson “SEC Coach of the Decade” for the 1980s. Sanderson compiled a 241-110 record at the time of his induction. In 1990 he was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, becoming the third Lion athlete to achieve that honor and the first basketball player to do so. He was also named UNA Alumni of the Year in 1990.