Alvin Nance
Alvin Nance
Sport(s): Football
Year of Graduation: 1976-1979
Year Inducted: 2001

 

*Induction Speech by Randy Lambert*

 

 

 

ALVIN NANCE 1976 – 1979 FOOTBALL

 
 

COTTON EASTER HAD A REMARKABLE CAREER RECORD OF 26 WINS AND NINE LOSSES.  ROLAND MCCLANAHAN HAD AN AMAZING CAREER RECORD OF 25 WINS AND 8 LOSSES.  OUR THIRD INDUCTEE HAD AN EVEN BETTER CAREER RECORD OF 28 WINS AND 7 LOSSES – THE BEST FOUR YEAR PERIOD IN THE HISTORY OF MARYVILLE COLLEGE FOOTBALL.  WOULD ALVIN NANCE PLEASE COME FORWARD? IT WAS IN THE 70’S AND MC FOOTBALL WAS NEEDING A BIG BOOST.  THEY HAD JUST FINISHED A DISMAL 0 – 9 SEASON.  A TALENTED GROUP OF FRESHMEN, ALONG WITH A TRANSFER FROM KNOXVILLE COLLEGE, HAD HIGH HOPES OF RETURNING THIS PROGRAM TO ITS WINNING WAYS.  IN 1976, THE TALENTED TRANSFER, ALVIN NANCE, WAS THE HEISMAN HOPEFUL FOR MARYVILLE FANS.  AFTER AN INJURY TO SENIOR RUNNING BACK, JOE GENUALDI, ALVIN GOT HIS CHANCE.  IN HIS FIRST VARSITY APPEARANCE ON OCTOBER 4, 1976 AGAINST CENTRE COLLEGE, HE AMASSED 124 YARDS ON 17 TRIES AS THE SCOTS WON 17–9.  IN HIS NEXT GAME VERSUS HAMPDEN-SYDNEY, HE RUSHED FOR 122 YARDS IN 24 CARRIES.  IN HIS THIRD GAME, HE CARRIED THE BALL 32 TIMES AND RUSHED FOR 124 YARDS.  HE WAS A WORKHORSE.  ALVIN WAS EXPLOSIVE AT THE LINE OF SCRIMMAGE.  HE HAD THE SPEED TO BLOW BY A WOULD-BE TACKLER AND THE POWER TO RUN OVER ONE.  GAME-AFTER-GAME, THE 5 FT. 10 INCH 180 POUND DURABLE, ALL-PURPOSE BACK, WAS A KEY INGREDIENT TO THE MC OFFENSIVE ATTACK.  THE ’76 TEAM HAD TURNED IT AROUND AND FINISHED THE SEASON AT 7–2.  DURING THE NEXT SEASON, ALVIN HAD THE MISFORTUNE OF SEVERAL NAGGING INJURIES, BUT THE TEAM HAD A GREAT YEAR.  AFTER REELING OFF 6 CONSECUTIVE WINS, THE SCOTS RECEIVED A FIRST-EVER NATIONAL RANKING – NO. 9 IN THE COUNTRY. BECAUSE OF INJURIES TO NANCE AND A FEW OTHER KEY PLAYERS, THE SCOTS LOST THEIR LAST TWO GAMES TO SOUTHWESTERN AND HAMPDEN-SYDNEY.

 

ALVIN WAS IMPATIENT DURING THE REMAINDER OF THAT YEAR.   HE WORKED HARD REHABBING HIS INJURIES AND GETTING STRONGER IN THE WEIGHT ROOM.  THE 1978 SEASON COULD NOT COME SOON ENOUGH.  THE POWER RUNNER OF OLD WAS BACK.  90 YARDS VERSUS MILLSAPS, A THREE GAME TEAR OF 125 YARDS, 126 YARDS, AND 147 YARDS.  IN WHAT MAY HAVE BEEN HIS GREATEST GAME, ALVIN HAD 126 YARDS IN 21 CARRIES AND 2 TD’S IN A 55–36 HOMECOMING VICTORY AGAINST SOUTHWESTERN AT MEMPHIS.  DURING THE SEASON, THE FLEET-FOOTED RUNNING BACK FROM CHATTANOOGA BRAINERD HIGH SCHOOL, ESTABLISHED HIMSELF AS ONE OF THE PREMIER OFFENSIVE PLAYERS IN MC HISTORY.  HE WAS OFTEN REFERRED TO AS MR. EXCITEMENT BECAUSE OF HIS BREAK AWAY THREAT EVERY TIME HE TOUCHED THE BALL AND HIS DEMONSTRATED ENTHUSIASM AFTER EVERY BIG PLAY.   HIS ENTHUSIASM WAS CONTAGIOUS.  THE 1978 TEAM FINISHED THE YEAR AT 8–1.

 

ALVIN’S BEST FOOTBALL WAS AHEAD OF HIM.  HE ENTERED THE ‘79 SEASON STRONGER AND FASTER THAN HE HAD EVER BEEN.  144 YARDS IN 27 ATTEMPTS VS. EMORY AND HENRY.  THIS DURABLE SPEEDSTER COULD NOT BE STOPPED.  131 YARDS ON 21 CARRIES AGAINST MILLSAPS.  AND THE FEATURED BACK IN A POTENT MARYVILLE OFFENSE CONTINUED TO RACK UP THE YARDAGE GAME AFTER GAME.  FOR THE SECOND YEAR IN A ROW, HE WAS PRESENTED THE TEAM MOST VALUABLE OFFENSIVE AWARD.  THE TEAM FINISHED THE YEAR AT 7–2, WHICH INCLUDED A WIN OVER CARSON-NEWMAN.  SINCE HIS GRADUATION IN 1979, ALVIN HAS EMBARKED ON A HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS AND GOVERNMENT CARRER IN KNOXVILLE.  HE IS CURRENTLY THE PRESIDENT AND CEO OF THE KNOXVILLE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION.  HE AND HIS WIFE, JACQUELYN ENJOY THEIR TWO CHILDREN AND ARE ACTIVE IN MANY SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS.  FOR AN OUTSTANDING FOUR YEAR CAREER AS ONE OF THE GREATEST RUNNING BACKS TO DON THE ORANGE AND GARNET.  RUSHING FOR 2788 YARDS AVERAGING 5.2 YARDS EVERY TIME YOU TOUCHED THE BALL.  JOIN ME IN CONGRATULATING ALVIN NANCE.