John Mark Stallings

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John Mark "Johnny" Stallings (born June 11, 1962 - died August 2, 2008) was the son of Alabama Crimson Tide football coach Gene Stallings and his wife Ruth Ann. He was born with Down syndrome, a chromosomal disorder which affects cognitive ability and physical appearance. In John Mark's case it created heart problems, as well.

While living in Tuscaloosa, John Mark accompanied his father at every practice and game and most public appearances. He worked at the Paul Bryant Museum on campus and was almost always seen wearing Crimson Tide gear, including a 1992 National Championship ring. John Mark bonded especially with the team's trainers and the equipment room at the Alabama athletic facility was named in his honor in 2005. The football and soccer field at Faulkner University in Montgomery and the playground at Tuscaloosa's Rise School are also named for John Mark.

After Stallings retired to Paris, Texas, John Mark took a job at Roden and Sons Funeral Home, greeting visitors and assisting with video production.

References

  • Stallings, Gene and Sally Cook (1997) Another Season: A Coach's Story of Raising an Exceptional Son. Boston: Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 0316811963
  • Mason, Carolyn (September 7, 2006) "Life on the Ranch." Tuscaloosa magazine.
  • Hollis, Charles (August 2, 2008) "John Mark Stallings, the son of former Alabama football coach Gene Stallings, dies." Birmingham News