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Former Auburn linebacker Craig Ogletree dies

Former Auburn linebacker Craig Ogletree has died at age 53.
Former Auburn linebacker Craig Ogletree has died at age 53.(Source: Auburn Athletics)
Published: Aug. 9, 2021 at 8:34 PM EDT
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AUBURN, Ala. (WSFA) - Auburn University has announced the death of one of its former All-American athletes.

Craig Ogletree’s family said he died following complications from COVID-19. He was 53 years old.

Ogletree was an All-American linebacker who helped lead the Tigers to three straight SEC championships from 1987 to 1989. He led the team with 11 sacks in 1989 and was co-captain of Auburn’s SEC champions that year. Of his 113 tackles that year, 14 were behind the line of scrimmage.

“He was the kindest person you’d ever meet,” said Pedro Cherry, a former teammate and corporate colleague at Southern Company. “He had a spirit about him that always made people feel good. You won’t meet anybody who didn’t love Craig Ogletree.”

Known as “Tree” to his teammates, the four-year letterman came to Auburn from Barnesville, Georgia, rooming for three years with fellow linebacker and co-captain Quentin Riggins.

“Great linebacker, great leader,” Riggins said. “He’d make play after play. What most people don’t know is that he was also an excellent student, a brilliant person. Great dad and husband. We just clicked. He was a very special person.”

All-American: Craig Ogletree helped Aubrn win three straight SEC championships (1987-89)
All-American: Craig Ogletree helped Aubrn win three straight SEC championships (1987-89)(Source: Auburn Athletics)

Ogletree briefly played in the NFL with Cincinnati before returning to the Plains to complete his degree in business management. After football, Ogletree had a three-decade career in sales, marketing and management with Georgia Power. He was also a pastor at Greater Spring Hill Missionary Baptist Church in Milner, Georgia.

Ogletree is survived by his wife Sherrelle and their three children, Austin, Dallas and Olivia.

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