industry spotlights

Alumni Spotlight: Dick Coffee III, University of Alabama

College football season has arrived, and with it comes a surge of alumni pride for one’s alma mater. From game watches and tailgates to bowl games, college sports can play a major role in strengthening the ties between alumni and their schools.

Perhaps no one can attest to this better than Dick Coffee III, who grew up going to University of Alabama football games with his family. His father, Dick Coffee Jr., was an exceptionally passionate Alabama alum and Crimson Tide fan.

Coffee Jr. made college football history by attending 781 consecutive Alabama games between 1946 and 2013.

In 2013, Coffee Jr.’s legendary streak earned him the title of ESPN’s #1 college football superfan, shortly before his passing in June of that year.

alt Dick Coffee Jr. before attending his 700th consecutive football game in 2006. (The Birmingham News)

After years of attending football games with his father, it was an easy choice for Coffee III to attend the University of Alabama for college.

“The university was always part of my life,” Coffee III said of his unique childhood. “It always felt like home to me.”

As a student, Coffee III was a sports writer for the school’s newspaper, The Crimson White, and served as a yearbook editor. Upon his graduation from the business school in 1979, Coffee III soon became involved with UA's Alumni Association.

“It was a natural progression. I became active with the local chapter in Birmingham and eventually became a member of the executive committee,” he explained.

His involvement didn’t stop there. In 2011, Coffee III became the national president of UA's Alumni Association. He held this title for year and with it had the opportunity to visit many of Alabama’s vibrant regional chapters across the country.

"There’s so much spirit and love for the University of Alabama, wherever you go. Our NYC chapter is phenomenal. Even in small towns in Alabama, like Scottsboro and Andalusia, I was always surprised by how much love there is for Alabama.”

“I highly recommend getting involved, especially if you’re in a distant city,” he urged. “There are so many wonderful chapters and ways to get involved – everything from student recruitment to football game watches."

alt Dick Coffee III with his 'little red book' preseason football guide, a family tradition he's continued. (The Anniston Star)

“UA has done a good job of connecting people, even if they didn’t go to the school,” he explains. This network of alumni, football fans, friends and family has certainly benefitted the Alumni Association.

“Football has played a huge role,” he added. “It has brought in Alumni Association members who otherwise wouldn’t have been involved with the school."

Football has also had the added benefit of strengthening the University as a whole, which has seen a spike in enrollment in the last 15 years. “It’s interesting to me how it’s impact student recruitment. There’s a lot of young people from across the country who come to Alabama because they want to be part of this atmosphere.”

Continuing his father’s legacy, Coffee III can often be found on campus in Tuscaloosa or in the stands of Bryant-Denny Stadium. He also remains active on his local Jefferson County alumni board.

Here at Tassl, we are motivated and inspired by dedicated alumni leaders like Dick Coffee III and his father. Learn more about our alumni engagement solutions.