FLORENCE — Decatur native Bobby Joe Pride, who helped integrate college football in Alabama, has been selected to join the University of North Alabama Athletic Hall of Fame.
Pride and teammate Leonard "Rabbit" Thomas became the first African-Americans to play football at a predominantly white college in Alabama when they played on the first integrated UNA team in 1968. Pride also played on the first integrated football team at Decatur High in 1966.
Pride, a 1977 UNA graduate, was a four-year letterman in football. He finished his career in 1971 with 3,655 all-purpose yards. Pride played running back and receiver and returned kicks. He finished with 854 rushing yards, 799 receiving yards, 1,525 kickoff return yards and 477 punt return yards.
Pride scored seven career touchdowns, including two on kickoff returns — 67 yards vs. Jacksonville State in 1968 and 100 yards vs. Tennessee-Martin in 1970.
Joining Pride in UNA’s 30th Hall of Fame class are Mike Klug for baseball, Renae Cody for women’s basketball and Justin Regan for men’s golf. The inductees will be formally inducted in a ceremony on Sept. 28 as part of UNA’s homecoming celebration.
Pride was inducted into the Morgan County Sports Hall of Fame in 2018.