Back to Articles

Former Alabama Football Star Vaughn Mancha Passes Away At The Age Of 89

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Former Alabama football star Vaughn Mancha, a College Football Hall-of-Famer and a member of a pair of Crimson Tide Sugar Bowl teams, passed away on Jan. 27 in Tallahassee, Fla.  He was 89.

Mancha, a four-year starter at center and middle linebacker, led his team to the Sugar Bowl in 1945 and 1948.  Alabama took on the Duke Blue Devils in the 10th Sugar Bowl Classic in a matchup that has been described as "one of the great thrillers of all time."  Alabama came out strong and scored 19 of its 26 points in the first half, but the Blue Devils rallied to take the lead late in the game.  With less than a minute remaining, Alabama had one last shot, but receiver Ralph Jones was brought down at the Duke 24 as time expired. 

Three years later, during Mancha's senior season, Alabama returned to the Sugar Bowl against Texas.   Alabama had a tough time getting its offense going managing only a second quarter touchdown.  Meanwhile, Texas rode the efforts of quarterback Bobby Layne, who would go on to be selected for the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame.  Twenty second-half points gave the Longhorns a 27-7 victory. 

Mancha played in all 60 minutes of the 1948 Sugar Bowl and was member of the Sugar Bowl all-decade team.  He was one of 78 College Football Hall of Fame players to compete in the Sugar Bowl.  Forty-four Hall of Fame coaches have also directed their squads in Sugar Bowl action. 

Although Mancha left a lasting impression at Alabama and the Sugar Bowl, his career went on for many years to follow, both at the professional and collegiate levels.  His impact both on and off the field will be remembered for many years to come.