Bill Searcey: In The Trenches with the Former Alabama Lineman
I recently had the pleasure of sitting down and interviewing Bill Searcey former offensive lineman for the Alabama Crimson Tide, the San Diego Chargers, and the Houston Gamblers. He is also the author of the book High Tide: Football, Freefall, and Forgiveness. I one other time had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Searcey at a church in Arley, Alabama where he was telling his testimony. His words moved me that night and his story is one that should be told more. This is an interview with a National Champion player, but an even better person.
Jeremy Grace (JG): How did it all start for you, what was your first experience with football?
Bill Searcey (BS): My first experience with football was at the age of about 6 and like lots of kids back then played little league football.
JG: What made you choose the University of Alabama and what was it like playing under Coach Paul Bear Bryant?
BS: I chose Alabama because I wanted to play for a legendary coach and have the opportunity to play on a National Championship Team I saw Alabama beat Clemson 56-0 in a night game at Bryant Denny Stadium on my recruiting trip and was hooked.
JG: What do you think about the Alabama Football Program now under Nick Saban and The Dynasty they have created in this time of college football?
BS: I think Alabama is as good as they have ever been in any era and that Coach Saban will retire with the all-time record. It is a great accomplishment in this era because I believe it’s harder to recruit now than ever and kids have a lot of options.
JG: What was your Pro Football career like?
BS: My pro career was much shorter than I would have liked but I am proud of the time I did play. I had a lot of wrong things going on in my life at the time and was not as focused as I should have been on being a great player.
JG: What’s the highest part of your career and the lowest part of your career?
BS: My highest part of my career was probably just being on a pro team and the lowest part was probably being cut for the final time in 1987.
JG: What is the hardest thing you had to deal with growing up? The hardest thing you had to deal with from the time you were a young adult? The hardest thing you have to deal with now? How do you compare them?
BS: Probably the hardest thing I have to deal with now and when I was young is that I expect a lot out of myself and I expect to win all the time. Except for a period of time when I was dealing with drug addiction and alcoholism and didn’t seem to care about much, winning has always been important to me.
JG: Would you go back and change anything about the road you have been on?
BS: If I could change things I would be a better husband and father and would have worked harder at what I wanted to be which was a pro athlete. I would not have so many distractions.
JG: What was it like publishing your book High Tide and how did you feel about that experience?
BS: Writing and publishing the book was a lot of fun and I would like to write another. Working with Kelly Whitman Gentleman was a blast and she is a great writer and a wonderful person.
JG: What are you doing now at this time in your life?
BS: I work for Dutch Lubricants in Birmingham and I am in sales.
JG: What’s something you want people to know about you? What is some advice that you would give with everything you experienced in your life?
BS: Not all people know that I have a soft spot for animals and have lots of pets. They are all rescues and adoptions because my wife Karen has never let a stray animal pass by without bringing them home. But I have become just as bad. My advice to people to never underestimate your greatness. You are so special that God was willing to let His only son die on a cross for you and your sins. Always be thankful for everything you do and help someone else up off the ground when you have the chance. After all, we are here to help others succeed.
I would like to thank Bill Searcey for allowing me to interview him. It was a pleasure to speak with such a great individual.
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