COVINGTON COUNTY, AL (WSFA) - An investigation has been opened after former University of Alabama head football coach Mike DuBose suffered an accidental gunshot wound Monday afternoon.
According to the Opp Police Department, DuBose drove himself to the emergency room at Mizell Memorial Hospital in his hometown of Opp after being struck in the torso by one bullet from a .38 caliber handgun.
After his arrival at Mizell, DuBose was transferred to another unspecified regional hospital by medical helicopter. It’s believed his injuries are non-life-threatening but no updates on his condition have been given.
Opp police say, despite some media reports, DuBose’s injuries were not the result of a hunting accident, though no other details have been released. Opp police say the Covington County Sheriff’s Office has opened an investigation into the matter.
According to the sheriff’s office, DuBose accidentally shot himself shortly before 2 p.m. near Gardners Chapel Road. That’s near Opp but not within the city limits.
WAAO-FM reports that it spoke with some of the coach’s family members who said he was on a riding lawn mower cutting grass on property owned by his father when he was accidentally struck by a bullet. The gun, WAAO said, was used for protection against snakes.
The radio station also said DuBose had undergone surgery and was recovering at a Dothan hospital.
DuBose played football under legendary Alabama head coach Paul “Bear” Bryant, earning a ring in the team’s 1973 national championshi win.
He returned to his alma mater as head coach in 1997 shortly after Gene Stallings, another legendary UA coach, announced his retirement.
Over the next four seasons from 1997-2000, DuBose and the Tide struggled to overcome adversity. Tide wins climbed from four wins in DuBose’s first season to seven the next, then to 10 in his third year, the coach’s high-water mark.
DuBose’s team made an appearance in the 1999 SEC Championship game and he was named the SEC Coach of the Year.
But 2000 saw a collapse from high expectations. The Tide started with a Top-5 preseason poll ranking and went on to win just three games. DuBose was fired with a 24-23 record.
In the years since his stint with the Crimson Tide, DuBose, who is from Opp, has helped coach at several south Alabama high schools, including Opp and Luverne.