A sizable crowd gathered behind the Auburn Museum that afternoon to celebrate athletic trophies from old Auburn High School being returned to public view.
Thanks to the efforts of the Auburn Rotary Club, Colonial House Furniture, Auburn Principal David Ward, and the Auburn Historical Society, trophies that had been stored out of sight are now on display in the museum, which has expanded into the back portion of the library/museum building, which was previously used as a laundromat.
Among those on hand to celebrate the occasion were former Tiger coaches Ronnie Clark, Jim Richards, Howard Gorrell and Larry Jordan. Clark and Gorrell were also principals of the school.
Each spoke about his memories of coaching at Auburn and of living in the city where basketball was king.
Clark went from Auburn to Franklin where he became principal and then a respected banker. He now is a volunteer assistant coach for his son David, who is head coach at Franklin-Simpson. His grandson is the Cats' point guard.
Richards left to go to Glasgow where he coached the Scotties to a state championship. He later became head coach of the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers and alumni director of the school.
Gorrell coached the Tigers to the regional finals twice before becoming the first principal of Logan County High School and then superintendent of his native Todd County Schools.
Jordan coached the Tigers to the 1977 regional finals. He left education to work in the family business and is now vice president of Colonial House Furniture. His son Kelley is one of the best all-around athletes ever at LCHS.
His sister, Colonial House President Carolyn Zimmerman, got the project started after talking with Ward at an Auburn Rotary Club meeting. She asked about the trophies and offered the support of her firm and of the Rotary Club.
Their parents, Ralph and Claudia Jordan, were present and were complimented for their devotion to Auburn sports over the decades.
Both Clark and Richards talked about how much the two guys on the scorer's table meant to the program. “Auburn players didn't foul out when (the late) Bill Howlett was keeping the books, and we always seemed to have as much time as we needed with Bill Gaines on the clock,” Clark laughed.
Gaines and his wife Nancy, who have been life-long supporters of Auburn and LCHS, were present.
Eloise Hadden, the inspirational leader of the Historical Society, welcomed the idea of preserving the trophies and helped find the location for them.
One of the speakers was Kenneth ‘Chico' Harper, the retired judge/executive of Simpson County. He was a starter on the 1951 Auburn team which won the region and went to state, losing to the eventual state champion.
Eric Rogers, one of Auburn's most respected student athletes ever, was master of ceremonies.
Dawn Sams Slaton, who helped orchestrate the event, led the singing of the national anthem. Clark praised her late father, Glenn Sams, for his playing days, his success as a businessman, and his continued support of Auburn and LCHS athletics.
Former cheerleaders Cindy Hall Pawley and Christie Hall Farmer, who are sisters, spoke of their memories.
Afterwards the group toured the museum and admired the trophies.
Hadden said if anyone has some of the team trophies at home and would like for them to be displayed, they would be welcome.
She also encouraged for Auburn High athletes, cheerleaders and fans to make financial contributions to the museum.