Bush High football coach remembers Super Bowl title
By Michael Sudhalter
Bush High head football coach Allen Aldridge makes it a point to wear his Super Bowl ring to school during the week leading up to the Super Bowl.
“The students love it, but I’m still regular Coach Aldridge right now,” Aldridge said. “That was the past, but it’s a chance to talk about some game situations. I don’t really talk about it that much.”
This week’s Super Bowl is extra special for the 43-year-old Aldridge, who starred at Willowridge High and the University of Houston before playing in the NFL from 1994-2001.
The Broncos are looking to win their first Super Bowl in 18 seasons. Back then, Aldridge was a 25-year-old linebacker.
The season was memorable because it was John Elway’s first Super Bowl in four tries.
Now, Elway is the Broncos President, and the team will face Carolina on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.
“It’s great to see the team you played for go to the Super Bowl,” Aldridge said. “I think it’s a great story with Peyton Manning coming back and doing what he’s doing. Hopefully, they’ll pull off the win.”
Leading up to the Super Bowl, Aldridge intercepted a Kordell Stewart pass in the AFC playoffs.
Denver went on to defeat defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay, 31-24, in San Diego. Aldridge registered 57 tackles and a forced fumble that season.
“I remember it being the biggest game of my life and you have to approach it as such,” said Aldridge, who’s been Bush’s head coach since 2008. “It was great, playing with a Hall of Fame quarterback (Elway). He was a total team player.”
Elway and the Broncos went on to repeat as Super Bowl Champions the following season, but Aldridge had moved on by that point, signing a free agent contract with the Detroit Lions.
“It was a good situation for me and my family at the time, and I don’t have any regrets at all,” Aldridge said.
Aldridge finished his career with 469 tackles, 10 sacks and two interceptions.His best season came in 1995 when he had 89 tackles and 1.5 sacks for the Broncos.
DEGREES OF THE SUPER BOWL
Every Fort Bend ISD school has a connection to the Super Bowl, the Broncos or the Panthers – even if some of the connections are a bit of a stretch.
HIGHTOWER — Offensive lineman Herbert Taylor, a Hightower alum, played for the Broncos in 2009 and was on their practice squad in 2011.
AUSTIN — Austin graduate Devard Darling was drafted by the Ravens three years after they won their first Super Bowl in franchise history.
KEMPNER — Head coach Darrin Andrus was hired with Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak as a reference on his resume.
CLEMENTS — Former Rangers quarterback Derek Carr, Oakland’s starting quarterback, handed the Broncos one of their four regular season losses this season.
DULLES — New York Giants wide receiver Rueben Randle joined the franchise the year after they won the Super Bowl. He’s the older cousin of Dulles juniors Marquis and Maurice Franks.
TRAVIS — Tigers head coach Trey Sissom graduated from Texas A&M, the alma mater of Broncos linebacker Von Miller.
BUSH — Seattle offensive lineman Russell Okung started at offensive line in the past two Super Bowls.
RIDGE POINT — The Panthers played three postseason games at NRG Stadium, which will host the Super Bowl next year.
ELKINS — EHS graduate Kevin Matthews played for Carolina last season. His dad, Bruce, played in the Super Bowl for Tennessee in 1999.
WILLOWRIDGE — Thurman Thomas played in four Super Bowls with Buffalo, and Manny Ramirez played in the Super Bowl for the Broncos two years ago.
MARSHALL — MHS graduate Antwon Blake played for the Steelers, who lost to the Broncos in the AFC Divisional Playoffs last month.