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Traditions

 

Auburn Tradition

On Feb. 20. 1892, Auburn played the University of Georgia in Atlanta's Piedmont Park and began the oldest football rivalry in the South. The Tigers 10-0 victory that day set the foundation for an athletic program rich in championship tradition.

As a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the Southeastern Conference, Auburn's nine men's and 11 women's varsity athletic teams post national rankings year after year.

Since Auburn's first football game in 1892, the Tigers have won one national championship (1957) and six SEC titles (1957, 1983, 1987, 1988, 1989 and 2004). And since 1980, the Tigers have averaged eight wins per season and appeared in 17 bowl games.

Auburn baseball has also enjoyed its share of success over the years. The Tigers have appeared in four College World Series (1967, 1976, 1994 and 1997). Auburn has also won four regular season SEC titles (1958, 1967, 1976 and 1978) and three SEC Tournament Championships (1978, 1989 and 1998).

The Tigers have also established a successful tradition in basketball.

In 25 years, former women's basketball head coach Joe Ciampi never had a losing season. He led the Tigers to four SEC Tournament titles (1981, 1987, 1990 and 1997) and three SEC regular-season titles (1987-89). Ciampi's Tigers also appeared in 15 NCAA tournaments, including three Final Four's (1988-90).

The Auburn men's basketball team is also no stranger to post-season play. The Tigers have appeared in six NCAA Tournaments, reaching the Elite Eight in 1986. The Tigers have also won two regular season SEC titles (1960, 1999) and one SEC Tournament championship (1985).

Auburn's swimming and diving teams have also risen to national prominence. Auburn alum and head coach David Marsh led the Auburn men's swimming and diving team to the national championship in 1997, 1999, 2003, 2004 and 2005. He coached the women's team to national championships in 2003 and 2004. Since taking over in 1990, Marsh has guided the Tigers to 10 SEC Championships (1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005).

In addition to its rich tradition in team accomplishments, numerous individual athletes began their careers at Auburn and went on to achieve worldwide recognition.

Charles Barkley, or "The Round Mound of Rebound" as he was affectionately called by Auburn fans, began his career as a Tiger.

From 1982-1984 "Sir Charles" dominated the courts in the SEC. The former 1984 NCAA player of the year was a member of the "Dream Team" that captured the Olympic gold medal in 1992 and 1996. He was also the 1993 NBA league MVP and a member of 11 All-Star teams. Barkley is now a Sports Emmy winning analyst of the TNT award winning show, Inside the NBA.

Other famous Auburn hoopsters include current NBA hoopsters Marquis Daniels of the Dallas Mavericks, Moochie Norris of the Houston Rockets and Wesley Person of the Denver Nuggets.

Auburn football has also sent several players to the professional ranks over the years.

Bo Jackson played football and baseball for the Tigers from 1982-1985 before playing professionally with the Los Angeles Raiders and Kansas City Royals.

Auburn linebacker Mike Kolen was member of the 1972 "No Name Defense" that led the Miami Dolphins to the only perfect season in NFL history.

Most recently, Auburn had five players picked in the 2005 NFL draft with four going in the top 25. Ronnie Brown went second to the Miami Dolphins, while his running mate, Carnell Williams went fifth to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Carlos Rogers went ninth and Jason Campbell went 25th. Both were picked by the Washington Redskins. Jay Ratliff was picked in the seventh round by the Dallas Cowboys.

All totaled, Auburn has sent 198 players to the NFL, with 15 earning 30 All-Pro honors and 23 playing in Super Bowls.

Two-time American League Most Valuable Player Frank Thomas heads a list of former Tigers that have played professional baseball. Thomas finished second in the MVP balloting in 2000.

Bo Jackson earned the 1989 All-Star Game MVP award, and is one of four Tigers to play in the All-Star game. Tim Hudson is the most recent former Auburn player to participate in the All-Star game, pitching a perfect inning in the 2000 All-Star Game in Atlanta. Hudson was the 2000 American League Cy Young Award runner-up and is now the new ace pitcher for the Atlanta Braves.

In addition, pitcher Gregg Olson won the 1989 American League Rookie of the Year award, and was one of 88 former Tigers to be drafted by major league teams.

Former Auburn shortstop, Mark Bellhorn, helped the Boston Red Sox win the World Series in 2004. Playing second base for the Red Sox, he drove in 82 runs and scored 93. He also appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated during the World Series.

Former Auburn Women's Basketball player Ruthie Bolton played for the Tigers from 1986-1989 and won a gold medal in the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games.

Current women's basketball head coach Nell Fortner coached Bolton in both the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games serving as assistant coach in Atlanta and head coach in Sydney.

Her Auburn teammates, Carolyn Jones and Vickie Orr, won the bronze medal in the 1992 Olympic Games. Three-time Olympic gold medalist Rowdy Gaines also began his career as an Auburn Tiger on the swimming and diving team.

The 2004 Olympic Games were also peppered with Tigers. Auburn swimmer Kirsty Coventry took gold, silver and bronze at the Games. Teammates George Bovell and Mark Gangloff also swam for gold.

Auburn assistant coach Dave Durdan also appeared at the Olympic Games coaching Panama's swim team.Former Tiger track stand-out, Coby Miller, is also a 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist.

In the history of Auburn athletics, more than 320 athletes have earned All-American honors, and more than 640 have been named All-SEC.

Auburn also adds two Heisman Trophies to its list of accomplishments. Bo Jackson (1985) and Pat Sullivan (1971) were awarded the Heisman Trophy as the most outstanding college athletes.

Carlos Rogers was named the recipient of the 2004 Jim Thorpe Award, given annually to the nation's top collegiate defensive back.

In addition to having successful athletic teams, Auburn is also home to some of the finest athletic facilities in the country.

In 1994, the James E. Martin Aquatic Center became home to the swimming and diving teams.

This state-of-the-art facility served as home to the teams of China, Japan, Finland, Israel and South Africa as they prepared for the Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta. Hitchcock Field at Plainsman Park, Auburn's baseball facility, was named the third-best collegiate park in the country by Baseball America in 1998.

Built in 1995, Plainsman Park seats 4,096 and mixes some of the best architectural features of Baltimore's Camden Yards, Chicago's Wrigley Field and Boston's Fenway Park.

Most recently, The Strength and Rehabilitation Center has been added to the baseball complex. It is a two-story, 13,274 square foot facility that includes a weight room on the first floor and a research and rehabilitation center on the second.

Jordan-Hare Stadium, which has been the home of Auburn football since 1939, seats 87,451 and is the seventh-largest on-campus stadium in the country.

Named for Ralph "Shug" Jordan, Auburn's all-time winningest coach, and Cliff Hare, a member of Auburn's first football team, Jordan-Hare Stadium becomes the fifth largest city in Alabama when filled to capacity on college football Saturdays.

 


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