It is being reported by Pat Smith and Ryan Haney of WJOX Gameday and Cecil Hurt of the Tuscaloosa News this morning that the son of former Alabama head football coach Gene Stallings, John Mark Stallings, has passed away. He was 46. It is believed he died of complications due to Downs Syndrome.
John Mark became a beloved figure in the Alabama family during his father's tenure as head football coach with Alabama. Despite his condition he was a very high profile figure around the program and obviously a huge fan of Alabama football. Many fans remember the television footage of he and his mother, Ruth Stallings, excitedly watching as his father coached Alabama to it's first and only college football national championship against the Miami Hurricanes in 1993 since the retirement of Paul William Bryant.
John Mark far outlived the pronostications of his doctors throughout his life. In an interview on the Paul Finebaum Radio Network last year Coach Stallings was ask about his son by a caller and at that time Coach Stallings admitted John Mark was struggling with his condition like never before.
Rest in peace, John Mark. And ROLL TIDE!