'Voice of the Auburn Tigers’ Rod Bramblett, wife killed in vehicle crash on Shug Jordan Parkway

'Voice of the Auburn Tigers’ Rod Bramblett, wife killed in vehicle crash on Shug Jordan Parkway

AUBURN, Ala. (WTVM) - The Auburn community is mourning after Rod Bramblett, the voice of the Auburn Tigers, and his wife, Paula Bramblett, were killed in a vehicle accident on Saturday night.

On Saturday at approximately 6:00 p.m., Auburn Police, Fire, and paramedics responded to a motor vehicle crash on Shug Jordan Pkwy at the intersection of West Samford Avenue.

Authorities say A 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee struck the rear of a 2017 Toyota Highlander in the intersection.

Rod and Paula Bramblett, who were in the Highlander, were transported to East Alabama Medical Center.

According to Lee County Coroner Bill Harris, 52-year-old Paula Bramblett died in the emergency room around 7:50 p.m.

53-year-old Rod Bramblett was transported from East Alabama Medical Center to UAB Hospital in Birmingham and later passed away from injuries sustained in the accident.

The 16-year-old driver of the Jeep, whose name hasn’t been released, was transported to East Alabama Medical Center. His injuries were not considered life threatening.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation by the Auburn Police Division but they confirm alcohol was not a factor in the accident.

Rod and Paula Bramblett were both Alabama natives, Auburn Alumni, and beloved figures in the community.
Rod and Paula Bramblett were both Alabama natives, Auburn Alumni, and beloved figures in the community. (Source: Wade Rackley)

A MEMORABLE CAREER

Rod Bramblett was a beloved community figure and sportscaster who served as radio play-by-play announcer for the Auburn Tigers football, basketball, and baseball programs.

Rod Bramblett, a Huguley native, graduated from Auburn in 1988 and began working at the university in 1993. He was in charge of the day-to-day radio operations at Auburn and also served as the host for Tiger Talk, the Auburn Football Review and Auburn Basketball Review television shows.

“All of us in the Auburn Family are devastated by the tragic passing of Rod and Paula Bramblett,” Auburn Director of Athletics Allen Greene said. "A nationally recognized broadcaster, Rod’s love for Auburn was fervent. You could hear it coming through the radio loud and clear each time he exclaimed “Touchdown Auburn!”

Rod Bramblett was named the Alabama State Broadcaster of the Year in 2006, 2010 and in 2013, and he was also named National Broadcaster of the Year by Sports Illustrated in 2013.

His most memorable play call, known as the “Kick Six,” came in Auburn’s 2013 win against undefeated rival Alabama in the popular Iron Bowl.

A FAMILY MAN

“As much as Rod loved Auburn and enjoyed working with his broadcast partners, his greatest affection and devotion were reserved for his family: his wife Paula, and their children, Shelby and Joshua,” Greene said. “The Bramblett children and Rod and Paula’s extended family and friends are in our prayers as we mourn the loss of this uniquely special Auburn man.”

Paula Bramblett, of Valley, was also an Auburn alumni and long-time university employee, working in the Information Technology Department.

The couple is survived by their two children, daughter Shelby, an Auburn University student, and son Joshua.

A service celebrating the lives of Rod and Paula Bramblett will be held Thursday, May 30, at 3 p.m. at the Auburn Arena. The public is invited to attend. A private burial service for family will follow.

A HEARTBROKEN COMMUNITY

Following the crash, many Auburn community members as well as state officials and sports fans across the country have expressed their sadness over the tragedy.

“I’m heartbroken by the loss of Rod Bramblett and his wife Paula. Rod was a true professional and was always a pleasure to work with. He loved Auburn and it showed in his work. As much as he loved Auburn, his family came first and foremost. This is a difficult time and we will continue to pray and offer our support to the Bramblett family, especially their children Shelby and Joshua.”
Gus Malzahn, Auburn Football Head Coach
“It won’t be the same without Rod. Ninety minutes before the game and 20 minutes after it, we spent time talking Auburn basketball. He loved Auburn, the student-athletes and the coaches and it showed every time he called a game. As good as he was at what he did, he was a better man. He was kind, considerate and selfless among so many other great qualities. Selfishly, I’ll miss my friend and his wife Paula. I just pray for their family.”
Bruce Pearl, Auburn Men's Basketball Head Coach
“I was proud to call Rod and Paula friends. What I think of most...Rod was often proud to say he was from Valley, Ala. He often spoke with pride about his loving wife and amazing children. He and Andy (Burcham) took pride in knowing the best places to eat around the SEC and always had an ‘open invitation’ for the coach. I cannot imagine a man more proud to be the Voice of the Auburn Tigers. Finally, what I BELIEVE the most....Let peace reside with us today knowing that his next broadcast will be in heaven. Eternal rest Rod and Paula Bramblett and thank you for 27 years of telling the story of Auburn Baseball.”
Butch Thompson, Auburn Baseball Head Coach

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