April 4, 2013
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN -- Linda Godby grew up in basketball country, lives in basketball country, is a member of a basketball Hall of Fame -- and knows just where to take her basketball-loving friends in the fall.
Road trip? There's only one place for Linda Godby.
"I remember bringing them to Auburn for the first time and saying, 'You guys won't believe this. You're going from basketball country to football country,'" Godby says. "You're trying to explain to them what all goes on game day during football season at Auburn, and then you see how big their eyes get when they see Tiger Walk and all of that. They love coming back whenever I do."
Godby isn't just an Auburn football fan living in Indianapolis. You can find her in the Auburn women's basketball record book from her playing days from 1987-90. She is a member of the basketball Hall of Fame in Indiana. She is as an assistant coordinator on the championships staff in the NCAA national office.
It was in that role that brought Godby close to Auburn again last week at the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships in Indianapolis. One of her responsibilities was to ensure athletes and coaches had the proper credentials.
"I'm supposed to be impartial, but when I handed those out to Auburn, I had to give them a little 'War Eagle,'" she said.
Godby heard that a lot in her Auburn career. She is still third in the Auburn record books for blocks with 199, fifth in field goal percentage at .550 and is tied for the most games played at 132.
She says she tries to make that football trip to Auburn once a year. She has a plan for the weekends she doesn't journey back.
"We have an Auburn club here in Indianapolis, so we'll have watch parties for football," Godby said.
But basketball isn't too far away, either. She took a road trip this year to see the women's team play at Kentucky.
Basketball has always been close. She was a star at Warren Central High, which ultimately became her ticket to the Indiana basketball Hall of Fame. She played on three teams at Auburn that made it to the NCAA title game. She played professionally in the United States, France, Sweden, Switzerland and Austria.
And she's still in athletics, and now in her 14th year with the NCAA.
"Right after I graduated I played overseas for about five years, and I did get a job in sporting good sells to schools," she said "I thought that was cool, that I was still involved in sports in a way. But I still didn't think about having a career in sports. So I played in the ABL for a couple of years, and then I was looking at marketing jobs. I did look up the Indians, the Colts, the Pacers for any job openings there. But, as it so happened, the NCAA was moving from Kansas City, and only about a third of the employees moved, so that worked out well for me."
Besides men's swimming, her championship responsibilities include, among others, field hockey, women's tennis, men's volleyball and women's swimming.
And when she's not doing that, she'll take one of those road trips to Auburn.
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