MONTICELLO — The University of Arkansas at Monticello football team will feature an “ALVY” decal on the back of helmets during the 2018 season, after the passing of the legendary UAM coach.
“Coach Early deserves to be honored in a powerful way,” Head UAM Football Coach Hud Jackson discussed. “His influence on our university and our football program is amazing. We are dedicating our season to him and the Early family.”
Alvy Early, who won more than any coach in the history of college athletics in Arkansas, regardless of the sport or division, finally met an opponent he couldn’t defeat. Early lost a short, sudden battle with cancer today, ending a storybook coaching career that covered a half-century. Early coached the women’s basketball and softball teams at the University of Arkansas at Monticello for 39 years, including three years when he coached both sports and served as the school’s athletics director at the same time, never missing a beat. Before coming to UAM, he was a successful high school coach in West Fork.
The numbers don’t lie. Early’s UAM teams won a combined 1,178 times, more wins than any college coach in the state’s history. Second on the list is Norm DeBriyn, who won 1,161 games as head baseball coach at UA-Fayetteville. Early passed his old friend in total victories last year.
Early’s list of accomplishments is a long one. He is a member of both the UAM and Arkansas Sports Halls of Fame, was the Gulf South Conference Softball Coach of the Decade (2000-09), won championships in two leagues in both basketball and softball and took the Cotton Blossoms basketball team to the cusp on a national championship in 1990.
Early’s coaching success always stemmed from a simple philosophy – get good players and get them to play hard. “I think the key is getting character in your talent and being able to get them to perform at a high level,” he said. After nearly four decades, Early leaves behind a lasting legacy as a coach, as a mentor, and as a friend.
The Weevils will open the 2018 season on Thursday, August 30 on the road in Weatherford, Oklahoma against Southwestern Oklahoma State at 6:00 p.m.