Tribute to Track ‘Em Tigers Auburn Football Hall of Fame – 2018 Class
Kevin Greene one of the best players in Auburn history didn't start till the end of his senior year (photo: Auburn media file)
Auburn University has a football heritage that is one of the richest in all of college sports. In fact, some of the greatest ever to play the game have worn the Orange and Blue. The Tigers have had four College Football Hall of Fame coaches, three Heisman Trophy winners, and are the twelfth winningest program in Division I history.
In addition Auburn teams have been recognized as national champions nine times, although the school only claims two of those. The Tigers have won outright twelve conference championships.
So every year, we at Track ‘Em Tigers look back over that history and the men who have made an enduring impact on the program. The Tigers have produced 74 first-team All Americans and over 250 first-team All-SEC players. So when we attempted to put together another Auburn Football Hall of Fame class, we once again asked our readers for help.
During the July 4th week, members of the TET community selected a ten-member class that features six All-SEC players, five of whom made All-American; another is only the second player in school history to be selected for the pro football Hall of Fame.
The following is a brief tribute to the members of this year’s class.
Joe Childress (RB) 1953–55: A two-way player at running back and linebacker, Joe Childress was the SEC’s leading rusher in 1954 and 1955. He was named the league’s Back of the Year his junior season. Twice he was named the Most Valuable Player in the Gator Bowl. The two-time All-American was a first round draft pick by the Cardinals in ’56. He spent the rest of his life either playing or coaching in the pros.
Antonio Coleman (DE) 2006–2009: A two-time first-team All-SEC player in 2008 and 2009, Antonio Coleman ranks third all-time in Auburn history for career sacks with 24.5. He led the Southeastern Conference in sacks his senior year and was second in tackles for loss.
Brandon Cox (QB) 2004–2007: A three-year starter, Cox led the winningest senior class in Auburn history, winning 50 games. He threw 42 touchdowns in his time under center and finished his career second all-time at Auburn in pass attempts (927), third in passing yardage (6,959), passing yardage per game (158.16), pass completions (550) and pass completions per game. He joined Jason Campbell in his last Iron Bowl as one of only two Auburn quarterbacks to be undefeated against Alabama.
Reese Dismukes (C) 2010–2013: An All American and team captain on the 2013 SEC Championship team, Dismukes led a senior offensive line that had the nation’s top rushing offense (328.3 yards per game). He started all 50 games he played in and was a team captain in his final 27 starts, grading 90 percent or better in each start during his final two seasons. The man whose position coach J.B. Grimes called, “The smartest offensive lineman I have ever coached, by far,” went onto win the Rimington Trophy as the best center in college football.
Kevin Greene (LB) 1983–1984: After playing intramural football for three seasons at Auburn, Kevin Greene became a walk-on special teams player on the Tigers’ 1983 SEC Championship team. Despite not starting until the final four games of his senior year, he led the SEC in sacks, a performance that won him the 1984 Zeke Smith Award as the Defensive Player of the Year. He was notorious in college and the pros for the intensity with which he played the game. Perhaps his biggest accomplishment came on the professional level when after a 15-year career the two-time All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowler became only the second Auburn player in history to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Pat Dye said, “The thing that set him apart is what he had inside of him. He played the game with every molecule in his body.”
Bob Harris DB 1980–1982: Along with Tucker Frederickson, Bob Harris is recognized as the best defensive back in Auburn history. Like Frederickson he was always around the ball. He made 118 tackles in 1981 and 94 in 1982. But he saved his best game for the ’82 Iron Bowl when he intercepted two passes. The first one set up a touchdown, and the second preserved Auburn’s first win over Alabama in 10 years.
Lionel “Little Train” James (RB) 1981–1984: He was one of two great backs on the 1983 SEC Championship and Sugar Bowl Champion team, the other being Bo Jackson. James led the team in rushing in 1981 and led the team in all-purpose yardage for two consecutive years. He went onto a five-year NFL career with the San Diego Chargers where in 1985 he had the most productive season in the history of the NFL with 2,535 all-purpose yards.
Mike “Captain Crunch” Kolen (LB) 1967–1969: Kolen received one of the coolest nicknames for a football player when he was given the name “Captain Crunch” during his playing days on the Plains. The All American played a significant role in Auburn’s 49–26 Iron Bowl victory in 1969 when he made one of his trademark hits on Bama QB Scott Hunter, causing a fumble and Tiger touchdown. He went on to be a part of what has been termed “The Greatest Team in NFL history”—the 17–0 undefeated Miami Dolphins.
Reggie Torbor (DL) 2000–2003: An All-SEC defensive end, he recorded 120 tackles, 32 tackles for loss and 19.5 sacks in only 22 career starts at Auburn. His 9.5 sacks in 2003 rank at the top in Auburn history for a single season. He went on to have an eight-year NFL career with the New York Giants where he was a member of the 2007 Super Bowl champions.
Caleb “Tex” Warrington (Center) 1942–1944: The All-SEC center was known for his hard hitting ability on both sides of the ball as he also played linebacker in his time on the Plains. In 1944 he became Auburn’s second center to garner All-American honors.
So there you have it—the 2018 class of Track ‘em Tigers Auburn Football Hall of Fame.
We want to express our appreciation to everyone who participated in the process of nominating and or voting. Selecting 10 names from a storied program like Auburn is a very difficult task. After all, there have been hundreds of other worthy nominees to play for the Tigers, including 74 All-Americans and over 250 first-team All-SEC players. So this class, just like Auburn Football, is in a class by itself.