April 10, 2012
Auburn, Ala. - Kurt Crain, an All-American linebacker at Auburn in 1987, passed away Tuesday at the age of 47. Crain had served as linebackers coach at South Alabama since 2008 and was the program's associate head coach the last two years.
Crain was a two-time All-Southeastern Conference selection after leading Auburn in tackles in 1986 and 1987. In his two seasons on the Plains, the Tigers were 19-3-2, won the 1987 Southeastern Conference title and finished in the Associated Press top-10 both season. During his All-America campaign, he recorded a team-leading 168 tackles and five interceptions.
"The entire Auburn family is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Kurt Crain, who was a great man, husband, father, coach and friend," Auburn Director of Athletics Jay Jacobs said. "Kurt was a fierce competitor who loved the game of football as much as he loved Auburn. He was a tremendous player and an outstanding leader who was an integral part of the success that Auburn football achieved during his career. More importantly, Kurt was an incredible individual who I was blessed to be friends with for over 25 years. He will be deeply missed, and our thoughts and prayers are with Kurt's wife, Susan, and their three children, Jake, Blain and Shelby."
Crain finished his Auburn career with 324 tackles, four sacks and seven interceptions. Crain transferred to Auburn after playing two years at Memphis.
A native of Birmingham, Crain was drafted by the Houston Oilers. He played two seasons in the NFL, spending time with both the Oilers and the Green Bay Packers.
He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Auburn in the early 1990s before moving on to Troy, where he coached linebackers during the 1991 season under Larry Blakeney. Crain spent the 1992 season at Texas Christian with Pat Sullivan, coaching outside linebackers.
Following his stint at TCU, Crain returned to Auburn, coaching the Tiger defensive line from 1993-95, and outside linebackers in 1996. During his time as an assistant at Auburn, the Tigers were 36-9-1, finishing all four years ranked in the AP's final top-25 poll, including a perfect season in 1993.