Atcheson has ‘faith’ in new book

Published 6:25 pm Friday, January 30, 2015

Wayne Atcheson is no stranger to the hard work that goes into writing books.

The Clanton native has penned seven books but said his latest, “Fifty Years of Crimson Tide Faith,” was the most daunting. “I thought I was going to write it in 3-4 months,” he said, with a chuckle. “I spent 12 months researching. Every day I did something.”



The book touches on the leaders of the University of Alabama’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter over the last 50 years, going in-depth in on their careers while playing at Alabama, as well as giving an update on what the players are doing currently.

Atcheson spent 22 years as part of Crimson Tide sports; from 1964-66 he served as a graduate assistant in what was then known as the sports publicity department before becoming the Sports Information Director at Alabama from 1983-2002.

Atcheson also served as the FCA advisor for Alabama from 1985-2002.

He said his years in various roles in the athletic department for Alabama came in handy when working on the book.

“Being the sports information director and being there for almost half of those 50 years, I had met most (of the athletes),” he said. “Everyone likes to be remembered, and I wanted them to tell me about their experience in college and bring (the reader) to what they’re doing today.”

While putting together 50 years’ worth of athletes and their lives might appear to be a tough task, Atcheson said it was a labor of love.

“It was a joy,” he said. “I love history, and the FCA. It’s just been very rewarding.”

Atcheson was also quick to point out that information and photographs from the Bryant Museum and other sources helped make the book happen.

He also said that developments in technology assisted in getting the book out, and that he worked on the project at night after work as a Library Awareness Representative for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in North Carolina.

“Computers make it so much easier,” he said. “My first book, I started writing by hand. A lot of writers have time during the day, but I’ve never had that luxury.”
Some of the stories include prominent names in Crimson Tide history, such as former standouts Jay Barker, Shaun Alexander and Steadman Shealy, as well as other athletes who may not be as well known but whose stories Atcheson said he felt readers will enjoy.

“It reveals stories that have never been told before,” he said.

While Atcheson said he hopes people enjoy reading about their athletic heroes, success on the field is not why he chose to showcase the athletes in the book.

“I don’t consider myself to be a great writer, but I know a good story,” he said. “The reason I wrote the book is that it’s an evangelistic book. It’s not just about (sports), but the Gospel of Christ. For the unbeliever, it’s a way to see the need for salvation.”

The son of a Chilton County preacher, Atcheson was born in Maplesville and lived in Clanton, and said both locations hold a special place in his heart.

“I’ve never forgotten where I came from,” he said. “I think about Maplesville and Clanton every day. I’ve been highly blessed, and I’m very grateful.”
For more information, or to order the book online, visit