McElwain seeing dream come true

Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain (WBRC photo)
Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain (WBRC photo)

By Dennis Washington

PASADENA, CA (WBRC) - When Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain started coaching nearly 30 years ago, he told his wife that one day he was going to play in the Rose Bowl.

She didn't believe him.

"When I started in this business 27, 28 years ago, my wife said, 'Jim, what are we going to do with this,' because she didn't quite understand this coaching, this small school we were at, and I said, 'Honey, some day we're going to play in the Rose Bowl,' and she laughed and said, 'Why don't you get that job at JC Penney and make sure we get a steady paycheck.'"

McElwain is seeing his dream come true, something he said Monday was very exciting to him.

"The Rose Bowl is the grandaddy of them all," McElwain said. "It's an exciting thing."

McElwain will lead his offense against a stingy Texas defense Thursday night as the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide, 13-0, takes on the No. 2 Texas Longhorns, 13-0, in the Citi BCS National Championship game in Pasadena, Calif.  McElwain said part of preparing for this game is keeping his players focused on their jobs.

"We've got to make sure that we understand the game plan that we're going to go out and play a ball game against a very good team," McElwain said. "There's a reason they are here."

McElwain said head football coach Nick Saban has made his job easy.

"You've got a defense like that and it makes my job pretty easy," McElwain said. "The great thing about having a guy like Coach Saban is his wealth of knowledge about what the opposing defense is trying to do. I can't tell you how much ball we've learned since being here, just from being around a guy like Nick.

McElwain said reports about him leaving to become a head coach are just rumors, but admits he wouldn't mind the opportunity to move up the ladder one day.

"All of us someday would like to get forward and captain our own ship, and when the right thing comes along, and hopefully it does, we can maybe take that step."

Copyright 2010 WBRC-TV. All Rights Reserved.