Auburn Public Address Announcer Carl Stephens To Retire
March 14, 2006
Auburn, Ala. - Carl Stephens, the voice of Jordan-Hare Stadium for the past 27 Auburn football seasons, has decided to retire from his duties as Auburn's public address announcer at Auburn football games. Stephens, who was also Auburn football's PA announcer from 1973-75, called his last game at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Nov. 19, 2005, when Auburn defeated Alabama, 28-18.
Stephens' replacement will be Ric Smith, who served as public address announcer at Auburn baseball games from 2000-04. Smith, an Auburn University professor, is the Director of Experiential Learning for the Auburn Department of Communication and Journalism.
Stephens, who has been involved with Auburn football since the days of legendary coach Ralph "Shug" Jordan, first as the host of "The Auburn Football Review", then as public address announcer, has provided a vocal presence at numerous Auburn and Southeastern Conference athletic events through the years.
"I've had a great 43-year association with Auburn starting with the football review show and then as public address announcer," Stephens said. "There comes a time when it is the right time to move on and for me, this is the right time. I've truly enjoyed every minute of it, and I am very thankful to Auburn and Auburn fans. I have made several great relationships along the way and look forward to continuing those in the years to come. I also can't say enough about Roger Thomas, who has been my spotter during my time. He has been a great asset and made my job easy."
Stephens has previously served as the PA announcer at Auburn basketball and baseball games and as the voice of the Auburn Marching Band at football games.
"From his days as host of the Auburn Football review, to his time as a PA announcer at Auburn football and other athletic venues, Carl Stephens has been an outstanding ambassador for Auburn Athletics and this University," said Auburn Athletic Director Jay Jacobs. "Carl is a true professional and an even better person. His presence at Auburn athletic events will be missed, and we thank him for everything he has done and meant to Auburn."
In addition to his work for Auburn, Stephens has been the public address voice for all 13 Southeastern Conference Football Championship games, the past 14 SEC Basketball Tournaments and six SEC Baseball Tournaments. Stephens has also done public address work for NCAA Basketball Tournament games in Birmingham.
As Sports Director at WSFA-TV in Montgomery from 1963-75, Stephens also served as the producer and host of Coach Shug Jordan's weekly one-hour television show. It was there that the popular Auburn phrase, "You're so right, Carl" was born. Following Stephens' opening comments of each show, Coach Jordan would respond with, "You're so right, Carl."
Prior to the 1973 Auburn football season, Stephens was asked to take on additional responsibility with Auburn as its public address announcer at then Cliff Hare Stadium. Stephens held the PA duties at Auburn football for three seasons before moving to Columbia, S.C., to serve as Program Director for WIS-TV for two years.
Stephens returned to Montgomery in 1978 as Program/Promotions Manager for WSFA and resumed his PA duties at Jordan-Hare Stadium for the 1979 Auburn football season, which he has held ever since.
A native of Gadsden, Stephens began at WSFA in 1957 and with the exception of a two-year stint in Columbia, S.C., spent his entire professional career with the station until his retirement in 1998. He and his wife, Mary, reside in Montgomery.
Smith, who for two seasons (1988-89) served as the play-by-play radio voice for Auburn baseball, coordinates media and public relations practicum experiences and supervises undergraduate internships. He also is the faculty advisor to Eagle Eye Television and WEGL-FM.
"I'm extremely flattered at the opportunity and very humbled to follow in the footsteps of someone like Carl Stephens," Smith said. "Carl can not be replaced, but I hope that I can carry on the tradition that Carl started. The fans will notice a difference in voice, but the delivery and message will be the same."
"We are excited to have Ric as a part of our team," Auburn Athletics Director Jay Jacobs said, "Ric has done an outstanding job in past with his duties with Auburn baseball, and we know he will continue the tradition that Carl established at Jordan-Hare Stadium."
"I'm very excited for Ric, and I'm sure he'll do a great job," said Stephens.
A native of Fairfax, Ala., will begin his duties this weekend at Auburn's annual A-Day game. Smith is a 1982 graduate of the University of South Carolina and holds Master's of Communication (1985) and Master's of Education (1994) degrees from Auburn.
Smith and his wife Carole, have a 14-year old son Harry.
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