Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Meeting Coach Jordan the night the 1957 National Championship was announced

Originally posted by IV on www.habotn.com on September 8, 2009

I was fortunate to have met Coach Jordan twice in my lifetime. I am going to tell about the first encounter. The night in 1957 that it was announced that Auburn was the AP National Champion, there was quite a celebration at Toomer's Corner as I am sure you can imagine. This was before I-85 was built and all of the through traffic such as New Orleans to Atlanta came right up College Street and Toomer's Corner. A large crowd gathered but no toilet paper. This was before the tradition of rolling the trees. I would bet that there was about as many folks there that night as a present day Toomer's Corner gathering, the only thing was Auburn had an enrollment of about 9,000 in those days.

For awhile, 18 wheelers were unable to get through until the Auburn Police got bright and re-routed traffic off of College Street. It was interesting for a period of time as no 18 wheeler got by without the driver blowing his horn loud and strong and learning how to yell WAR EAGLE. There was even a Volkswagen that got picked up, occupants still inside and lifted over a post in the center of the walkway leading to the campus from Toomer's Corner. I don't know if that post is still there and I don't remember how the driver of the Volkswagen got out as he had been put down on the sidewalk that goes past the lathe and Samford Hall.

After celebrating for a good while, someone in the crowd got the idea of going to Coach Jordan's house to get him to speak to the crowd. So off we went. Some drove, but most went down the street singing and shouting WAR EAGLE. We got to Coach Jordan's house and his wife came to the door to see what all the commotion was about.

Of course, we started to yell "we want Coach Jordan, we want Coach Jordan". He finally came to the door and I along with a guy I had no idea who was, lifted Coach Jordan up on our shoulders and carried him out to where most of the crowd was. We then put him down and he was very gracious in what he had to say, giving his players, assistant coaches and others all of the credit. That was the kind of man he was. When he got through speaking, I introduced myself and told him that I was from his hometown of Selma. This brought a big smile to his face and he was so glad that a fellow Selmian had been there to share in the celebration with him.

He thanked me and asked how were things in our hometown. I told him alot better after Selma's favorite son had just coached Auburn to a National Championship. That is the kind of memory that I can never forget. Thanks Coach, I will never forget you.


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