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County Auburn club holds annual meeting at casino

Auburn Athletic Director Jay Jacobs, Equestrian Coach Greg Williams, Edie Jackson, Gretchen VanValkenburg and AU Baseball Coach Butch Thompson pose for a picture at the banquet. |                Andrew Garner/Atmore Advance

Auburn Athletic Director Jay Jacobs, Equestrian Coach Greg Williams, Edie Jackson, Gretchen VanValkenburg and AU Baseball Coach Butch Thompson pose for a picture at the banquet. | Andrew Garner/Atmore Advance

By Savannah Peak

The Escambia County Auburn Club held their annual meeting at Wind Creek Casino last Tuesday night.

The special guest speakers were Director of Athletics Jay Jacobs, Butch Thomas head baseball coach, and Greg Williams, equestrian team head coach.

“We got a great environment and we are not going to do anything that takes away from our student athletes being successful,” Jacobs said. “We are going to provide our coaches everything they need to be successful.”

Jacobs gave a list of five goals the Athletics Department works on every year — compliance, academics, budget, game day experience and winning.

“Auburn means as much to me as anyone, I am going to do what I think is right for Auburn,” said Jacobs.

Jacobs said the atmosphere at Auburn helps with athletic success.

“The Auburn experience for a student athlete is the best in the nation, because that is important to me and it is important to you,” he said. “We were recently ranked number one in the SEC for game day experience.”

Jacobs attended and played for the university under Pat Dye as a walk on for the football team in the 1980s.

Thomas said coaching for Auburn was the most challenging and rewarding experience of his life. He said family, faith and Auburn baseball, are the major subjects of his life.

According to Thomas, 46 major league players have came out of Auburn.

The equestrian team’s head coach spoke of how much he has seen the sport grow at the university.

“Auburn is a special place,” Williams said. “We started the year off with uncertainty, but I have a great staff.”

The Escambia County Auburn Club’s silent auction raised $2,698. The money goes toward scholarships for recent local high school graduates.

Flomaton’s Victoria Roe and Jarelle Hooks were awarded with the club’s scholarships.