Bill Wieseman introduced Jackie Sherrill to the Huntsville Quarterback Club Thursday night, 45 years or so after he “introduced” him to the A Club, for University of Alabama lettermen.
OK, maybe the word we’re looking for is “initiate.”
In those wacky, carefree days of the 1960s, there were the occasional tasks – call them character-builders – like carrying around an egg and being required to have five coeds autograph it. If it broke, “you got a slap,” Sherrill said.
Meaning that the newbies were introduced to the working end of a paddle. A couple of “slaps” also came at the end of initiation.
The first slap Sherrill took, once he came back from orbit, caused him to turn to Wieseman, one of the upperclassmen, and say, “That’s it.” To which Wieseman said, “Jackie, you gotta take another one.”
Sherrill responded, “I’m not. And as a matter of fact, there ain’t anybody in this room big enough to make me take it.”
That’s the way Sherrill went through a quarter-century of coaching. There may have been bigger schools and better players, but nobody was more bold as a coach.
He won a national title at Pittsburgh. He built the famed “12th Man” tradition at Texas A&M. He even took Mississippi State to four bowls and the SEC Championship Game.
These days, Sherrill is living near Memphis and involved in a new company, GameOn Sports Nutrition, which manufactures and sells a sports supplement snack.
He also does TV work for Fox Sports, covering the Big 12. Still, he closely follows the Southeastern Conference – and his alma mater. Said Sherrill, “Six in a row (Auburn wins over the Tide) is enough.”