Del Greco talks college football at Chamber luncheon
Published 4:06 pm Monday, September 19, 2016
By STEPHEN DAWKINS / Staff Writer
HOOVER – Well-known football placekicker, golf coach and radio personality Al Del Greco spoke at the Hoover Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Sept. 15 about what he considers “one of the most blessed lives anyone can live.”
Del Greco, a Hoover resident, was the first placekicker to receive a scholarship to play football at Auburn University—though it almost did not happen.
Del Greco told those in attendance at the luncheon, which was held at Hyatt Regency Birmingham – The Wynfrey Hotel, that though he was initially recruited by Auburn, he was eventually told that the program would not be able to offer him a scholarship.
However, after a bowl season in which several games were decided by field goals, the AU coaching staff changed its position and offered Del Greco a scholarship.
“I was that close to not having the opportunity to do what has been the biggest blessing in my life,” he said.
At Auburn, Del Greco broke the Southeastern Conference record for field goal attempts and field goals made in a game when he made six out of seven attempts against Kentucky in 1982.
Del Greco played 17 seasons in the National Football League with the Green Bay Packers, St. Louis/Phoenix Cardinals and Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans.
He earned the nickname “Automatic Al.”
While with the Titans, Del Greco was the starting placekicker in Super Bowl XXXIV. Del Greco made a field goal to tie the game at 16-16, but the Titans lost to the St. Louis Rams, 23-16.
The disappointment in losing a Super Bowl was a valuable lesson for his three children, whom he called his “biggest accomplishment.”
Del Greco is also an avid golfer, and has served as golf coach at Spain Park High School and now at Samford University.
The speaker touched on the current college football situations at Auburn and the University of Alabama.
Though a “huge” Auburn fan, Del Greco said he respects what coach Nick Saban has accomplished at Alabama, having won four national championships in the past seven seasons.
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn, meanwhile, is in a “sticky situation” because of recent struggles.
“We need to expect and we need to see more when it comes to wins,” said Del Greco, who can be heard weekday mornings on The Opening Drive on Jox 94.5 FM.