Illustration by Mac Mirabile/Design Editor
This year, six new stars will fall on Auburn’s downtown area this spring. The Tiger Trail is Auburn University’s replica of Hollywood’s walk of fame.
Pat Dye, head coach; Willie Smith, track and field; Kenny Howard, assistant athletic director; Rosalind Pendergrast-Council, track and field; Rex Frederick, basketball; and Buddy McClinton, football will be honored as the 2000 inductees of the Tiger Trail.
On Saturday, Sept. 30, the weekend of the Vanderbilt game, Auburn’s Chamber of Commerce and BellSouth will host a breakfast for the inductees.
Ron Anders, chairman of the Tiger Trail and vice president of Anders Bookstore, says the trail gives businesses a way of saying thanks to the athletic department.
“We want to honor former people involved with Auburn athletics,” Anders said.
“They have brought honor to Auburn University and indirectly brought commerce to us.”
Trey Johnston, one of the owners of J&M Bookstore, is one of the former chairmen for the trail and is still actively involved in the project.
“It’s funded by donations from the local community and is a feel-good event. We really encourage people to come to the breakfast and get involved,” Johnston said.
Because of heavy expenses, Anders decided to try to get corporate sponsorship for the event.
“The six plaques themselves cost around $500,” Anders said. “We also give each of the inductees a smaller plaque, tickets to football games and other amenities.
“It really helps if we can set up corporate sponsors. It’s a big burden off our shoulders,” Anders said.
This year, BellSouth, BellSouth Mobility and BellSouth Yellow Pages will be the corporate sponsors, giving $3,000 to help with event.
Ty Fondren is the corporate spokesman for BellSouth. He says helping out with the project will benefit his company as well.
“This is the first year the Tiger Trail has had a corporate sponsor,” Fondren said. “We have been big supporters of Auburn’s Chamber of Commerce and see this as a good opportunity.”
“First, we felt it would help us support the Chamber of Commerce at a high level. It also lets us support
athletic programs in an additional way. Lastly, it’s a good way to expose
BellSouth brands to a great target audience.” he said.
Fondren said sports marketing has proved successful to BellSouth.
Anders sees the event as beneficial to local businesses in that it is “one of the best marketing and economic development tools we have”.
Former city councilman Ken Brown started the trail in 1995, but died a year later.
Gail Alsobrook, president of the Chamber of Commerce, was thrilled with the project.
“We worked with the city to get it established,” Alsobrook said. “It took 18 months to get it rolling.”
“The city was wonderful and most cooperative,” Alsobrook said. “They made great suggestions and it’s been a good partnership.”
Of the six inductees, only Kenny Howard lives in Auburn.
Howard was named NATA Hall of Fame member in 1976. He is athletic trainer certified and has served as an athletic trainer for various events for 29 years.
Howard began his Auburn University career in athletic training and served as trainer for 25 years. He then moved to administration as assistant athletic director for three years.
Howard was a trainer for the 1952 and 1976 Olympics and was head trainer for the World Games in 1977 and 1979.
He is also a charter member of the Alabama Trainer’s Hall of Fame, the DeKalb County Sports Hall of Fame, and served as a city councilman for four years.
Pat Dye is probably the most recognizable of the six. He finished first in the SEC in 1983 and 1987-1989.
Dye coached eight bowl games, made it into the Hall of Fame in 1990 and was named SEC Coach of the Year in 1983 as well as in 1987-1988.
Olympic gold medalist Willie Smith set records in both indoor and outdoor track and field.
Smith qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships in 1976, where he ran as an Olympic relay alternate. He also participated in the championships in 1977 and 1978. In 1974 he ran as a relay alternate and came in first.
Smith participated in the 1979 Pan-Am Games, where he placed third. He also participated in the World University Games in 1977.
He placed sixth in the World Championship Performers in 1983. He was named All-American in 1978.
Rex Frederick, former Auburn University basketball player, was named All-SEC from 1957-1959. He was named All-American from 1958-1959.
Frederick’s rebound average for 1956-1957 was 15.3; in 1957-1958 was 14.8, and in 1958-1959 was 12.9.
Buddy McClinton was a former football player. When Auburn played Arizona in the 1968 Sun Bowl, he was named defense’s MVP.
The most interceptions for his career were 18, from 1967-1969. From 1967-1969, he ran for a total of 208 yards and was named a yearly leader for pass interceptions in 1967 and 1969.
The last of the six inductees, former track and field star Rosalind Pendergrast Council, will be the sixth female on the Tiger Trail
Council was named 1989 Indoor SEC Champion, made the women’s indoor top ten in 1987, and gained track letters from 1984-1987.
Council also qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships in 1986 in the 55 meter hurdles.
The Sat. breakfast is open to the public and will begin at 8:00 a.m. Tickets will cost $25, and Bell South is preparing gift baskets as door prizes.