Stewart enjoys calling Alabama football, basketball games

Published 10:01 am Friday, May 17, 2024

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Alabama football and basketball radio announcer Chris Stewart is enjoying the greatest run of his broadcasting career.

Stewart spoke at the Dallas-Wilcox Bama Club on May 9 at Cornerstone Presbyterian Church as 17 scholarships were awarded.

On New Year’s Day, Stewart announced Alabama’s College Football semifinal playoff game against Michigan. On April 5, Stewart announced Alabama’s historic Final Four appearance against UConn.

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“I can’t tell you how fun these last eight months have been,” Stewart said. “I’m calling a playoff game in the Rose Bowl and then Alabama’s first-ever trip to the Final Four.”

Stewart said it was a pleasure working with former Alabama football coach Nick Saban, who retired days after Alabama lost to Michigan 27-20 in overtime. Stewart considers Saban as the greatest college football ever, but legendary Crimson Tide coach Bear Bryant is right in the conversation.

“Nick Saban won six of his seven national championships at Alabama, and he also thinks highly of the one title in purple and gold,” Stewart said.

Stewart predicts Saban will do well in his job as analyst with ESPN during the fall. Saban was part of ESPN’s NFL Draft coverage last month and earned rave reviews.

Stewart also thinks Kalen DeBoer is the right coach to succeed Saban. DeBoer coached Washington to a spot in the national title game and named Alabama’s coach five days later.  DeBoer won three NAIA national titles at Sioux Falls.

“Kalen DeBoer is a winner,” Stewart said. “He coached Sioux Falls to three national championships. I know Sioux Falls is not the SEC, but that is winning football.”

On the basketball subject, Stewart sees a bright future for Alabama basketball under head coach Nate Oats. The Crimson Tide lost to eventual national champion UConn in the national semifinals.

“I saw Nate Oats the next day, and he’s already looking ahead to next year,” Stewart said. “He’s talking about returning to the Final Four. They might be ranked one or two entering the season.”

Stewart said he expects Alabama point guard Mark Sears will return for a final season on the Capstone in Tuscaloosa. Sears is currently testing the NBA Draft waters and projected as a second-round selection in the June 26 draft.

“No one has called me and told me anything, but I believe Mark will be back,” Stewart said. “Second-round picks don’t get guaranteed money. The NIL (name, image and likeness) is made for players like Mark Sears.”