Mayor honored at ‘Bama game

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The Paul W. Bryant Alumni-Athlete Award recognizes two former athletes whose accomplishments since leaving The University of Alabama are outstanding.  The criteria include character, contributions to society, professional achievement and service. The 2018 award recipients are Bob Baumhower and Eddie N. Lowe. The recipients were honored Sept. 8 at the Alabama vs Arkansas State game.

From 1973 to 1976, Baumhower played football as a defensive tackle, helping lead the Crimson Tide to two SEC Championships. During his time at the Capstone, Baumhower was selected as a first-team All-Southeastern Conference Selection in 1975 and 1976, named a member of Playboy’s 1976 All-American Defense and was invited to play in the Senior Bowl after the 1976 season. In 1977, he was selected in the second round of the NFL draft by the Miami Dolphins, where he received awards for Rookie of the Year, Outstanding Lineman and Defensive Player of the Year. He was selected for five Pro Bowls and was a starter in two Super Bowls during his 10-year career with the team.

In 1981, Baumhower opened his first restaurant, Wings and Whiskers, in Tuscaloosa. He is the president and CEO of Aloha Hospitality, which operates 14 restaurants around Alabama.

Lowe played football at the University from 1980 to 1982, where he was a defensive linebacker and a captain of Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant’s final team. After graduating from UA with a degree in finance, Lowe played in the Canadian Football League for the Saskatchewan Rough Riders, where he won the 77th Grey Cup in 1989 and was named a CFL All-Star. He retired from professional football in 1991 and returned to his hometown of Phenix City, where he works in the banking industry and volunteers at Central High School in Phenix City and United Way.

Lowe also served on the Phenix City Board of Education and in 2012 was elected the first African-American mayor of Phenix City. As mayor, Lowe created the Mayor’s Education and Charity Ball, which has raised more than $190,000 for youth assistance.