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Archie L Wade

Ed.D., The University of Alabama, 1974. Physical Education. 

M.A., West Virginia University, 1967. Physical Education.

B.S., Stillman College, 1961. Business Administration. 

Born in Big Cove, Alabama, in 1939, Dr. Archie Wade, associate professor emeritus of the department of kinesiology, served The University of Alabama for 30 years from 1970-2000. 

Wade coached basketball and baseball at Stillman College, his alma-mater, prior to playing professional baseball and earning his master’s degree at West Virginia University. 

Wade was a highly-skilled athlete. He played for legendary baseball coach Sparky Anderson as a minor league player, and he was a starter in a record-breaking, 29-inning game in 1966. That same year, he led the Class A Florida League with a .338 batting average. 

In 1964, together with Joffree Whisenton and Nathaniel Howard, and at invitation of President Frank Rose, Wade integrated the football stadium on the UA campus at the Alabama vs. Georgia football game. 

Wade spent two years as a recruiter for legendary University of Alabama football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant while teaching and working on his doctorate degree at UA. While the narrative of working with Bryant, particularly when the Crimson Tide began to recruit black players, and his coaching and playing career can elicit a book’s worth of stories, it’s Wade’s role as a trailblazer, mentor and professor that he and friends cherish the most. 

Wade was selected by then president of the university, Dr. David Matthews, to break the color barrier and became the first African American faculty member on campus. He made a key contribution to the College of Education and university by successfully integrating the professoriate, and, thus paving the way for other African Americans to join the faculty. 

In 1975, Wade was one of the founding member’s of the University’s Black Faculty and Staff Association. 

In 2010, he was inducted into the YMCA Hall of Fame for significant contributions to that institution beginning with organizing baseball and basketball leagues for African American youths during the late 1950s and early 1960s. In 2013, Dr. Wade was honored for this significant contribution to the institution with a ceremony within the series of celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the university’s integration. 

He has been described as gentle, refined, and gracious. The way he spoke to students, the way he dealt with colleagues and the way he interacted with the public spoke volumes of his love for humanity and attitude of services. 

Archie is a gentleman, an athlete, and a pioneer.