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2014 Banquet Speaker Bobby Wallace

Wallace BobbyAssistant coaching career: Wallace started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Mississippi State University in 1976. The following season, he joined Hall of Fame coach Pat Dye's staff at East Carolina to coach defensive backs. He followed Dye to Wyoming and Auburn, before returning to his alma-mater Mississippi State as defensive coordinator. During his tenure at Auburn, Wallace was noted for recruiting standout running back Bo Jackson. In 1987, he coached defensive backs at Illinois.


University of North Alabama: Bobby Wallace's career as a head coach began in 1988 when he was named head coach at the University of North Alabama (UNA) in Florence, Alabama. He compiled a record of 82–36–1 in 10 seasons (1988–1997) at UNA, leading the Lions to three consecutive Division II national championships in 1993, 1994 and 1995. During those three seasons, the Lions recorded an overall record of 41–1, losing only to the eventual Division I-AA national champion Youngstown State in 1994. The 1995 UNA team was named the "Best Team of the Quarter Century" in Division II.
Wallace's UNA teams also won three consecutive Gulf South Conference championships (1993–1995), qualified for the Division II playoffs six times, and sent 12 players to the National Football League (NFL). In 1995, Lions linebacker Ronald McKinnon became the first and, as of 2010, only defensive player to win the Division II Harlon Hill Trophy. He resigned at UNA following the 1997 season to become the head coach at Temple University.


Temple University: Wallace became the 23rd head coach at Temple University on December 23, 1997. He coached the Owls for eight seasons, compiling a record of 19–71. Although his first team at Temple finished 2–9, one of the wins became arguably one of the biggest upsets in college football history. On October 17, 1998, the 0–6 Owls traveled to Blacksburg, Virginia to play the Virginia Tech Hokies. The Owls overcame a 17–0 deficit and numerous injuries to upset the Hokies 28–24. The win gave the Owls their first ever Big East road win, and their first win over a ranked opponent in 11 years. Two weeks later, the Owls won again in improbable fashion, this time overcoming a 20–0 deficit to defeat Pittsburgh.


Although his teams were consistently good defensively, none of Wallace's eight Temple teams had winning records. The Owls were winless during his final season in 2005, and played as a Division I-A independent after losing their Big East affiliation. During his tenure at Temple, Wallace had 12 players selected All-Big East. He also coached All-Americans Dan Klecko and Rian Wallace.


Return to UNA: On January 2, 2012, the University of North Alabama announced that Wallace would return as the Lions' ninth head football coach following the departure of Terry Bowden.