Tiger Fans Remember Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum
Wally Thinker sinks a basket to close Beard-Eaves Wednesday.

Wally Thinker sinks a basket to close Beard-Eaves Wednesday.

March 4, 2010

We had many submissions for fan's greatest Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum memories. Here is just a sampling of those. We hope you enjoy reading them and will join us for new memories with the opening of the Auburn Arena this fall. Thanks again for your participation in more than 40 years of coliseum history.

Andrew Lindsey -- Experiencing Dionne Warwick in concert. Despite suffering from severe pain in her teeth, she insisted that she perform, and what a performance! I hope I never forget it!

Cecil Sowell -- Attending the inaugural game vs. LSU and Pete Maravich in 1969 and sitting a few rows below Coach Ralph Jordan.

Steve Classen -- I attended the 1st game ever versus LSU. I remember that Pistol Pete got his points but that's all they had. We had John Mengelt. Enough said!! I also attended a Kingston Trio concert there, which was great. But my BEST memory is that I received my diploma there on March 15, 1970. WAR EAGLE >>> GO TIGERS !!!!

Judson Blackstock -- My best memory is of the January 14, 1995 game against Arkansas. What a shooting game that was. It seemed at times that Lance Weems for Auburn and Scotty Thurman for Arkansas were shooting the ball from Opelika and making the shots. The Coliseum was nearly, if not completely, packed and it was an exciting a basketball game as I ever saw. In addition, I witnessed the fun and fanaticism of the Cliff Dwellers. I had the privilege of joining them the following basketball season as a student at Auburn. When we were allowed to sit on the portable baseline bleachers and give the opponents such a hard time it was a blast.

Eric Sheffield -- Without a doubt, Auburn beating #1 Kentucky in basketball in January of 1984. Charles Barkley and Chuck Person made it look easy. The second best memory was my graduation ceremony in March of that same year.

Starla Hall -- I like reading about my uncle, Wallace Tinker, and I am so excited that he had a part in the history of Auburn and Beard-Eaves Coliseum. Beard-Eaves was also the venue where I first saw Switchfoot in concert! :)



Johnie Brown -- January 11, 1969 watching Pete Maravich and his dirty, lucky, socks jump for glory against Auburn. It was only because I played in the pep band that night I even had a seat. The band had to sit on the floor since it was a sell-out. Most majorettes did not play in the pep band but I took my turn and my fellow band members found out I was not there just for looks but could actually play a tune. It was a great memory I have of AU basketball and part of why I will be there 41 years later to see it end Wednesday night.

Ben Burnett -- In terms of concerts in the 1990s and 2000s, there was New Kids On The Block, Hootie and the Blowfish, and Brooks and Dunn.

Bill McAllister -- While I was a senior at Auburn I worked part time installing hundreds and hundreds of seats while the Coliseum was being completed. The event I remember the most was my graduation, June 1969.

Larry Strube -- During my time at Auburn, the Arnold Air Society provided ushers for events at the coliseum. I'll never forget the night of the Elvis Presley show. When Elvis stepped on the stage to the screams of the audience, flash bulbs started going off all over the building. It seemed like every person in the audience took a picture at the same time and the building lit up like the lights had been turned on.

Andy Parrish -- Sonny Smith basketball camps, wins over Alabama, women's NCAA games, and Friday night games of hide-and-seek during football season were good times. By far my favorite memory is from one football weekend in the early 1980s. I think I was 11 and my brother 4, and late one night we walked from our RV to the coliseum. It was empty and most of the lights were out...there was one person in the shadows shooting free throws. I got close enough to realize it was Charles Barkley. We sat on the front row and watched him shoot. When he noticed us, he called us out on the floor and tossed me the ball. I took some shots, and my brother wanted to shoot. Charles picked him up and held him up to the basket to shoot.

Seems like it was the fall of Charles' sophomore year. Obviously, we've been fans of his ever since, and it's been a great story to tell for nearly 30 years.

Todd Faulkner -- My sophomore year my team mates and I were sitting right behind the goal closest to the visiting bench. That was the the side where, I believe, Doc Robinson hit the game winning shot with no time on the clock to beat Alabama. The place went nuts! I can remember watching it go in and everyone in the background jumping up in unison! It was kind of surreal, almost like slow motion. I'll remember it forever!! WDE!!

Jim Bagley -- James Taylor, March 2, 1982. A fellow engineering student was one of the chairs of the Entertainment Committee and he borrowed my old Chevy truck to move some furniture - furniture somehow related to the James Taylor show that evening. In the middle of the move the muffler fell off the truck. To atone for the damage, my friend returned two stage passes along with the truck. My girlfriend was working at Carmine's Pizza, so my roommate Dowe, his girlfriend Elizabeth, and I all pooled our change and bought one ticket ($9). Dowe took the ticket and entered through the front of the coliseum and Elizabeth and I took the stage passes and entered at the rear. The show had sold well and the whole place was electric with noise and activity, but security was tight so the two of us were wandering through completely empty halls in the bowels of the building. We were lost and trying to figure out how to get to the front of the stage. All of a sudden Taylor came out of his dressing room about 15 feet away from us vigorously brushing his teeth. He was almost completely bald and when he realized we didn't immediately recognize him, he put his hands in his ears and began flapping and making all sorts of odd faces at us - toothbrush still protruding from his mouth. We didn't know quite how to respond so we waved and said hello and continued to try and find our way out of the labyrinth. We eventually succeeded and saw a very decent concert.

Landon Thomas -- The biggest win in Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum was easily the 1984 victory over top-ranked Kentucky; however my favorite memory occurred a year earlier when Charles Barkley's dunk at the buzzer lifted Auburn over Georgia. With just six seconds remaining, Auburn in bounded the ball with a long pass from under its own goal. Barkley received the ball and then drove to the basket and dunked just before the final buzzer to give Auburn a thrilling 66-64 victory over the Dawgs.

Chris Martin -- I'm a junior here at Auburn. But my BEST memory in Beard-Eaves was the 2009 game between the AU Women's Basketball team and UT. Over 12,000 students and fans "crammed the Coliseum" and cheered the Tigers to huge win. That's something I'll never forget.

Mark Lee -- I remember some of the best dunks ever at Beard-Eaves. Bryant Smith against Ole Miss and Chris Porter flying rebound dunk against LSU. Great wins against Kentucky, Alabama, and watching Charles, Chuck, Frank, Gerald on Sonny Smith's team. I also remember Jimmy Buffett, Charlie Daniels, and others in concert. I will miss Beard-Eaves, but look forward to new memories in the Auburn Arena.

Todd Ishee -- I brought my wife and two daughters to their first SEC women's basketball game last season when Auburn played against the Tennessee Lady Vols. The Auburn team was undefeated at the time and I believe there was a record setting crowd on hand for that Sunday game. The Auburn woman came away with the win and remained undefeated. We have always been Auburn fans, but we became Lady Tiger fans that very day!!

Scott Dunbar -- There were many great ones for AU basketball in the 80's (not to mention some good concerts - I camped out for REM tickets), but I fondly remember going to a Sonny Smith basketball clinic with my younger brother. He was in Charles Barkley's group and I was in Odell Mostellar's group. Barkley covered my brother's eyes with his hand to keep him from looking at the ball during a dribbling drill. My brother said that his one hand was pretty much covering his whole head and face. We got navy blue t-shirts with a white basketball hoop and net on it. I wore mine until it disintegrated.

Frank Charlton -- I was a volunteer usher at opening night for the coliseum. The most anticipated player of the night was Henry Harris, who played well against LSU in the first game played in the new facility, the freshman game. In the second game, the varsity game, Pete Maravich of LSU played pretty well. All in all, it was a very satisfying night.

Will Luker -- My favorite memory was probably Reggie Sharp hitting a half court shot at the buzzer to beat bama in overtime during my freshman year in 2001. The second favorite was probably Kyle Davis setting the record for blocks in a game including blocking the potential game tying shot at the buzzer against Miami in the NIT in 2001. Also coming back from being down 13 points against Vandy with 3 minutes left on Charles Barkley day.

Jimmy Odom -- I ran track and cross country from 1986-1990. My best memories are, believe it or not, heading to the locker room (which was a disaster) after a difficult workout or race. I still go back and walk through when I visit the campus. The old track is obviously gone, but it was nice to come back for a football game, go for a run around campus, and stop into the coliseum for a drink of water. It brings back great memories of a lot of hard work that I am very proud of. My kids are becoming old enough where they enjoy running with me. It is fun to show them where the locker room was, and where dad practiced. I hate to see it go. It is one less tangible reminder of my time in Auburn.

Richard Chambers -- Opening night win in new Memorial Coliseum playing against Pete Maravich & the LSU Tigers. I was a member of the Auburn cheerleading squad that year(my partner was Katie Darity, of Montgomery), and we were very fired up about playing in such a fine new arena (especially when compared to the old H.S. sized "Barn"). It brought Auburn up to par with the other members of the SEC who hard already invested in new, or refurbished, basketball arenas.

Attending the Rolling Stones Concert at Memorial Coliseum in 1969. The show sold out quickly, and another night was added to the schedule to accommodate the demand for tickets. It was my first encounter with ticket scalpers at a rock concert. To think that the Rolling Stones were playing in Auburn was mind boggling at the time, and my friends at other colleges were very envious.

Will Thrasher -- My first Auburn game was during the 1999 season. At nine years of age, I distinctly remember the Cliff Dwellers filling up the rafters. Doc Robinson, Chris Porter, Mamadou N'Diaje, and Scott Polhman led the tigers to a win that night, and I was forever hooked on Auburn basketball.

Steve Byrd -- Going to Bob Davis basketball camp for 2 summers and being able to play on the floor and meet guys like Mike Mitchell. Going to school there from 83 to 86 and sitting courtside during the glory days for Chuck Person and Sonny Smith.

My biggest memory was coming the the Auburn Alabama basketball game in 82 and not being able to get tickets. we came with about 5 guys. Me and my friend Mike walked around the coliseum to where the players entered and got in. We were familiar with the entrances from basketball camp. Since this was pre cell phone we couldn't get in touch with our other 3 guys so we wound up going back out and ate at Godfather's pizza and missed one of the greatest games in history with Charles Barkley bettering Bobby Lee Hurt. I remember beating the #2 rated Kentucky. There are also memories of running the stairs to stay in shape! What a dummy. I saw great concerts... skipped class to get Lionel Richie tickets. Tina Turner, Chicago, Stray Cats, etc... Man I loved the coliseum. I would often see the Eagle trainers in the hallways when running the steps. Oh did I mention the "Tiger Pause" "WAR EAGLE!!

Dwight Yarbrough -- When I was a Sophomore at AU we played Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama in a row in the closing week of the season and won all three games in what was the great week of AU basketball I ever witnessed.

Tied would have to be the 2004 dunk against LSU by Chris Porter as the single greatest individual play I ever have seen made in a basketball game anywhere, anytime, at any place.