There were plenty of highs during Bear Bryant's reign as head coach. However, there was also a "lowe" during the early-to-mid-1970s. The "lowe" was Woodrow Lowe, the Crimson Tide linebacker who established himself as one of the best defenders in Alabama history.
A native of Phenix City, Ala., Lowe begin his career in Tuscaloosa in 1972. After 46 tackles as a freshman, Lowe put together arguably the best season by a Crimson Tide defensive player. Lowe set and still holds the single-season school record with 134 tackles to go along with three interceptions. He broke Mike Hall's 1968 record of 120 tackles.
Considering his incredible sophomore season, Lowe's last two seasons may have been considered a disappointment by some. As a junior in 1974, he compiled 86 tackles, including five tackles for loss. In his final year in 1975, Lowe tallied 67 tackles with four tackles for loss.
For his efforts from 1973 to 1975, Lowe earned the first of three consecutive First Team All-America honors. Along with Cornelius Bennett (1984-86), they are they only players in Alabama history to earn three First Team All-America selections. Lowe left Alabama as the all-time leader in tackles—a record since broken by linebackers Thomas Boyd (1979-82) and Wayne Davis (1983-86).
In Lowe's four seasons at Alabama from 1972 to 1975, Alabama was 43-5, with four Southeastern Conference Championships and a national championship in 1973. After graduating from Alabama, Lowe was selected by San Diego in the fifth round of the 1976 NFL Draft. During his 11-year career with the Chargers from 1976 to 1986, Lowe compiled 21 interceptions, including four that were returned for touchdowns.
After retiring from the NFL, Lowe began his second career in coaching in the professional, college and high-school levels. Lowe was a defensive assistant in the NFL for Oakland and Kansas City and in college for the University of Alabama-Birmingham. He was also an assistant and head coach for several high schools in Alabama, including his alma mater, Central High School in Phenix City.
Lowe has received numerous honors for his accomplishments in college. He was named to the Alabama All-Decade Team of the 1970s. The Crimson Tide also created the Woodrow Lowe Award, given to the best linebacker on the team each season. Lowe has been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame and the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.
Woodrow Lowe: The man who experienced many highs during his collegiate and professional career.