IT'S NOT that Dwight Stephenson, 50, has overcommitted himself, but the former hard-charging offensive lineman is certainly on the go. When he's not managing D. Stephenson Construction in Fort Lauderdale, he's working with the Dwight Stephenson Foundation, which hosted its first charity golf tournament in April, or Dwight's Computers for Kids, which reconditions discarded computers in South Florida. He's also on the Orange Bowl Committee and in 2007 was appointed to a four-year term on the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Says his wife, Dinah, "I get a little frustrated sometimes because he can't say no."
Stephenson himself was an irresistible force 30 years ago as a center at Alabama, anchoring the line on Bear Bryant's 1978 national championship team. (He would do the same again in '79 as the Tide won back-to-back titles.) In the NFL, Stephenson built on that success with the Miami Dolphins, earning induction to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in '98. The only down note to his NFL tenure was the way it ended: with ligament damage in his left knee during his eighth season.
He worked in construction for a few years, then spent a season as an assistant coach with the Dolphins in 1992—the same year he started D. Stephenson Construction. "I was trying to get involved in the business as well as coach, and you don't do both," says Stephenson. His choice has worked out well; his company now has 50 employees. "When I retired, I wanted not to have any regrets and to just keep on moving," he says. Stephenson's succeeding on both counts.
BILL FRAKES (STEPHENSON NOW)
HARDHAT AREA The force on the Alabama and Miami offensive lines now wears a new helmet.
UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA ATHLETIC MEDIA RELATIONS (STEPHENSON 1978)