With the exception of one year, Tommy Tuberville was a head coach from 1995-2016. His longest and most famous stint, though, was at Auburn, where he served as head coach from 1999-2008, and now he’s looking to further cement his legacy in Alabama by running for the United States Senate.
CBS Sports reporter Dennis Dodd first reported the story today, and Tuberville then announced his run for the seat currently held by Democrat Doug Jones, who is up for reelection in 2020:
After more than a year of listening to Alabama’s citizens, I have heard your concerns and hopes for a better tomorrow. I am humbled to announce the next step — I will be a @GOP candidate for US Senate. I invite you to join my team. https://t.co/jlW8VdXpoq #TeamTommy #ALSen #MAGA
— Tommy Tuberville (@TTuberville) April 6, 2019
After Tuberville’s final season coaching at Cincinnati, he spent time as a color analyst on ESPN’s college footbal team. Tuberville is actually from Arkansas, but he’s explored entering Alabama politics for years, including reportedly the 2018 Alabama governor race:
Tuberville, a native of Arkansas, kicked around the idea of running for governor of Alabama in 2018, but decided to stay out of politics at that time. He has previously described his life in college football as “being in politics for the last 40 years.”
In a slightly absurd twist, Tuberville has recruited former Trump White House press secretary Sean Spicer to his campaign, according to Dodd’s report.
Instead, he will begin his political career pursuing the senate seat currently held by Democrat Doug Jones. The Republican primary for the seat is March 3, 2020. If Tuberville makes it through, the general election is Nov. 3, 2020.
Jones won the seat vacated by Jeff Sessions in 2017 when Sessions became U.S. Attorney General. In a bitter, contentious special election campaign, Jones finally beat Roy Moore by half a percentage point.
Former Donald Trump press secretary Sean Spicer is working on Tuberville’s campaign.
Should Tuberville win, he’d join a surprisingly long list of former sports figures to hold elected office. Longtime Nebraska head coach Tom Osborne, for example, served multiple terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, but his political career ended after his first run for statewide office in 2006.