The Alabama football community received sad news of the passing of a treasured member of the Crimson Tide's glorious past.

Former Alabama football player and assistant coach Jack Rutledge passed away Thursday at the age of 80.

Rutledge played at Alabama from 1959-1961 and was a member of Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant's first national championship team in 1961. The Birmingham native was an assistant coach at Alabama from 1966-1982 and returned to the football program as the director of Bryant Hall under Gene Stallings.

During Friday's edition of The Gary Harris Show, former University of Alabama athletics administrator Dr. Gary White reflected on the life of his close friend.

Long after Rutledge left the coaching ranks, White described how his dear friend's love of football kept churning long after he left Coach Bryant's staff.

"Every staff after he became dorm director and left the field, he would go talk with those guys (coaches) and find out information about what they were doing and that kind of thing. He kept living it the entire time." White said.

The former Alabama athletics department administrator relayed his feelings about Jack Rutledge as a coach and person.

"Jack was really a fine man and an outstanding coach. I'm going to miss him terribly. He and I were close all these years." White said.

He further recalled how he and Rutledge developed their bond that would last a lifetime.

"We came in here together as freshman in '57 and just struck it up and became good friends then and have remained good friends all the way through, and a lot of the things that we did overlapped with each other. We were constantly connecting with each other. Even after both of us retired, we stayed in touch all the time. I'm really going to miss him." White said.

With the passing of Jack Rutledge, White stated his thoughts of how the number of Coach Bryant's living proteges that can tell the stories of Alabama's iconic coach from 1958-1982 are getting fewer and fewer.

Later in the conversation, White mentions how Rutledge's passing is a blow toward the story telling of the Coach Bryant era, what made Rutledge a great assistant coach and some of the recruiting stories involving the late Alabama assistant.

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