Former Alabama and NFL quarterback Ken Stabler has passed away. Stabler died Wednesday, surrounded by family, after a battle with colon cancer. He was 69 at the time of his passing. Stabler leaves behind three daughters.
Stabler was born in Foley, Alabama. Nicknamed “the Snake” by his coach, Stabler had a standout career at Foley High School, excelling in baseball, basketball, and football. Stabler was offered a minor league contract from the Astros and Yankees, but elected to play college football at Alabama under legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. Though he didn’t get to play much, Alabama won two straight national titles his first two years at the program.
In his junior year, Stabler finally got a chance to show his talent. He led the Crimson Tide to an 11-0 record and demolished Nebraska in the Sugar Bowl 34-7. Despite the dominant season, Alabama only finished third in the polls behind Notre Damme and Michigan State. The Crimson Tide would slip to an 8-2-1 record the next year, but Stabler provided a season highlight during the Iron Bowl when he scampered 53 yards to score a touchdown to beat Auburn 7-3.
Stabler would go on to be selected in the second round of the 1968 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders. He was named AFC player of the year in 1974 and 1976. The ’76 season would be particularly memorable, as Stabler led the Raiders to the Super Bowl. Stabler completed 12 of 19 passes for 180 yards and a passer rating of 111.7. The Raiders won the game 32-14.
Following his playing career, Stabler became a color commentator. He first worked for CBS for their NFL telecasts. Stabler later became the color commentator for Alabama’s radio broadcast. He left his radio position prior to the 2008 season.