When Paul "Bear" Bryant returned to his alma mater to coach in 1958, he came, he famously said, because he heard Mama calling.
He meant the University of Alabama itself.
But new UA President Dr. Guy Bailey might say the same thing. The Texas Tech president, known for his love of students and his efforts to elevate Texas Tech as that state's next national research university, now returns to his Mama, too. He will become president at the place he knew he wanted to attend even as a small child.
And it doesn't hurt that his real mama -- Henryette Bailey of Montgomery -- is close enough to call, too.
"I'm thrilled to have him as president of Alabama," said Mrs. Bailey, 85, a diehard Bama fan who calls plays from her seat in the stands and has attended the Tide's last three national championship games. "I'm more thrilled to have him close to home."