Aug. 21, 2012
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
Dr. Judy Bonner, interim president of the University of Alabama, hosted the three Crimson Tide teams that won NCAA championships last spring to a celebratory luncheon Tuesday afternoon at the University Club.
The Alabama gymnastics, softball and women's golf student-athletes, coaches and staff gathered on the UA campus the day before classes get underway for the 2012-13 academic year to celebrate the extraordinary two months last spring.
Alabama gymnastics, under head coach Sarah Patterson, won its sixth national title and second in a row in April. Then in late May, Mic Potter and the women's golf team won its first NCAA title while Patrick Murphy's squad won the Tide's first national softball title in June.
"When each of you started school last fall, you were student-athletes, very good student-athletes, but student-athletes," Bonner said in opening the luncheon. "You finished the year as national champions, and we are very proud of all you accomplished."
The deans of Alabama's various colleges were also on hand, joining Bonner in honoring the Tide. Bonner noted that each team not only excelled athletically, but in the classroom as well, and that the University appreciated the balance of excellence each team brought to their roles as student-athletes.
Each head coach thanked Bonner and UA director of athletics Mal Moore for their support in the pursuit of excellence.
"Dr. Bonner, I have worked for nine president's here at Alabama, and I think it's appropriate that in a year when our women won three national championships, that you are our leader," Patterson said. "And to Mal Moore, and our administration, I can't thank you enough for providing these women with the opportunity to compete every day at the highest level."
Moore, who saw Alabama win four national titles last season, including the 2011 BCS Football Championship in January, echoed the coaches' praise of Bonner.
"Dr. Bonner, I want to personally thank you for your support, which has always been outstanding, not only as our president but during the years you spent before that as our provost," Moore said.
At the end of the luncheon, the three head coaches presented Bonner with a framed print which featured all four of Alabama's championship from last year.