August 1, 2019

Former Auburn coach, Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville talks to Rotary Club

Tommy Tuberville may be new to campaigning, but he feels it’s not much different from what he did as a coach.

“This is recruiting on steroids,” Tuberville said, receiving a lot of laughs from those in attendance at the Gadsden Rotary meeting Thursday at the Gadsden Country Club.

The former Auburn coach has certainly done his fair share of recruiting after serving as a head football coach at Ole Miss, Texas Tech and Cincinnati. Tuberville is now as a Republican running for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Democrat Doug Jones.

Tuberville feels his coaching background would help him if he wins the seat.

“I’ve been over a $100-million budget,” Tuberville said. “I’ve had 150 employees. I had 120 knuckleheads (laughs). I’ve had to deal with mental health problems every day. Drug problems every day. I’ve been in rich homes, poor homes and middle-class homes all across this country — many in this state.”

Tuberville said he would not take on a salary if elected.

“I’m a politician’s worst nightmare,” he said. “I don’t need this job. I don’t need the money. … And I’m not going to be politically correct. I’m going to tell it like it is.”

It wasn’t all political talk Thursday when he also shared stories related to his coaching days.

Tuberville recalled one of what he called his biggest disappointing days as a coach in Etowah County. And it was because Etowah great Carnell Williams decided to commit to the University of Tennessee.

“We worked for Carnell real hard and we knew we were going to beat Alabama because y’all just had a change in coaches,” Tuberville said. “I tell you I didn’t sleep for 24 hours.”

Then Tuberville sent in for reinforcements.

“I had everybody in the world call him — Charles Barkley, Bo Jackson — everybody,” Tuberville said. “But we got through to him through his mother.”

He pulled a first in his coaching career when it came to recruiting Williams.

“I also took every coach on the staff,” Tuberville recalled of visiting ‘Cadillac’. “We had two (vans) and we took both. We filled them up with 14 coaches, and we all walked into his house. That was a fun time and fun visit.

“Then we all know what happened. He ended up on that visit committing to us and coming to Auburn.”

That was right before Auburn started its six-year win streak over Alabama in the Iron Bowl, which lasted from 2002-2007. It’s no coincidence that the Crimson Tide turned to Nick Saban to take over their program in 2007.

“For all you Alabama fans in here, you have to vote for me,” Tuberville joked. “Because if it wasn’t for me, you wouldn’t have Nick Saban.”

Read the original article posted by the Gadsden Times here.


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