Teague relishes return to Capstone
By Tim Gayle
On Friday night, a frustrated George Teague was watching his team suffer its third consecutive lopsided loss.
Just a few hours later, at 4:30 a.m., he was traveling to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to catch a plane to Alabama to join the 25th anniversary celebration of Alabama’s 1992 national championship team.
“This is something I definitely wasn’t going to miss,” Teague said. “When I first talked to the university about it and they said, ‘hey, can you make it work,’ it was ‘absolutely.’ I was going to do whatever possible to be here for this moment. Twenty-five years ago, winning a national championship is something you never forget.”
The line extended out the doors of the Paul W. Bryant Museum. Teague and receiver Prince Wimbley, captains from the 1992 team, were on hand to sign autograph cards at the museum, as former Crimson Tide players do every weekend prior to a home game.
But this was different, sporting the largest crowd in years as fans who continue to revere the 1992 team as one of their all-time favorites, brought their own memorabilia to sign. Game programs from the 1993 Sugar Bowl game with Miami as well as bowl media guides, newspaper clippings and all types of artifacts from that season were offered up for autographs as Teague and Wimbley heard stories from almost every person in line determined to relive their own memories of the event.
“This is a special moment for me personally, but also for our team just to know that we made an impact on the community in a positive way,” Teague said.
Teague is one of the more popular sports figures in both Alabama and the Dallas area, where he retired after nine seasons in the National Football League. While he was a first-round pick of the Green Bay Packers and played in Wisconsin for three years, he is better known at Alabama and with the Dallas Cowboys for three memorable moments in the history of both programs.
At Alabama, his strip of Miami receiver Lamar Thomas in the 1993 Sugar Bowl is replayed every Saturday on the replay screens during pre-game activities at Bryant-Denny. Teague’s famous run down the sideline where he overtakes the Miami receiver and takes the ball away might not have counted because of an offsides penalty, but it would still rank as one of the most memorable plays in school history.
In Dallas, his sprint to midfield to knock Terrell Owens down for celebrating a touchdown on the team logo in a game against the 49ers in 2000 was voted one of the most memorable moments in the history of Texas Stadium. A year later, the son of an Air Force officer had another memorable moment in Cowboy history when he carried the American flag onto the field in the first game after the terrorists’ attack of 2001.
After his retirement from football, he spent a few years teaching youth clinics through his foundation before getting into coaching at Harvest Christian Academy in the Fort Worth suburb of Watauga. After three seasons, he became the athletic director at Carrollton (Texas) Christian Academy and then stepped back into coaching at June Shelton High, a private school founded for the treatment of learning different (LD) children in north Dallas.
His ability to lead Shelton into the state playoffs in 2016 earned him area acclaim for his coaching efforts and he was hired in January at John Paul II High a few miles farther north in Plano. The Cardinals, which had just one victory in their previous 51 games, lost their debut under Teague but rebounded the next week to defeat Legacy Christian 28-24 to snap a 33-game losing streak.
Interestingly enough, the former Jeff Davis High standout said he looked into the Volunteers’ coaching vacancy at the end of the 2012 season when the county school system was looking for a replacement for Vincent Wiggins but never heard back.
While he has remained in the Dallas area since ending his five-year tenure with the Cowboys, he indicated he is open to returning to the Montgomery area, where many of his eight siblings remain.
While he missed the Friday night reunion with the team, he enjoyed his visit with his former teammates and head coach Gene Stallings prior to Saturday’s kickoff against Arkansas.
“We do a very good job of staying in touch but just having Steve Busky and some of the other guys like Martin Houston I haven’t talked to in three or four years, just seeing them around campus already is great,” Teague said. “It just brings back so many memories.”