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franklin county times

Sullivan speaks at UWA dinner

By By Jeff Byrd / staff writer
August 3, 2002
LIVINGSTON, Ala. Former Heisman Trophy winner Pat Sullivan was the featured speaker Friday night at the University of West Alabama Kickoff Dinner.
The event held at UWA's Wallace Student Union Building acts as the official opening of the 2002 Tiger football season. West Alabama opens its season on Aug. 31 at Belhaven College in Jackson. Players begin reporting to campus for preseason drills next Friday.
Sullivan, who is currently the offensive coordinator at Alabama-Birmingham, came to Livingston as a favor to second-year Tiger head coach Randy Pippin.
Pippin said he learned a valuable lesson from Sullivan on how to hire assistant coaches.
Sullivan, who won the Heisman Trophy in 1971 as a quarterback for the Auburn Tigers, spoke about the importance of building relationships.
Sullivan told the story of John Washington, a player he had recruited out of a poor east Texas home to play football at TCU. When Sullivan was fired from that job, he met with Washington urging the marginal-at-best student to get his degree.
When Sullivan was leading Auburn to its great season in 1971, his coach was Shug Jordan. Jordan had a motto of the seven "Ds" that Sullivan still believes in. The Ds include discipline, dedication, desire, desperation and when all else fails, just do something.
Afterwards, Sullivan spoke briefly about the upcoming season for the UAB Blazers and Conference USA.
He said the C-USA should have another solid year.
Pippin said he is counting on better days for the West Alabama Tigers. UWA was 1-10 last year.
Guests were able to bid on various sports memorabilia in a silent auction that will benefit the Tigers Athletic programs. One of the highest bidded items was an autographed copy of a 1971 came program from the Alabama-Auburn game. Alabama was ranked No. 3 in the country but Sullivan led Auburn to one of the biggest upsets in that storied rivalry.