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Released March 4, 2003

SOUTHERN MISS GRAD PASSES THE MIC
AFTER DECADES OF COVERING AUBURN ATHLETICS

HATTIESBURG - After spending the last 38 years as a trusted source of information about Auburn University's athletics, Phil Snow is ready for a change.

The University of Southern Mississippi grad will step down from his duties as sports director at WSFA radio in Montgomery, Ala., the station where he has broadcasted scores and game highlights to sports fans throughout the state. Snow admits that even though he is "semi-retiring," Auburn fans will not be left out in the cold. He will continue to do his weekly football show, Auburn Football Review, which he has done for more than 25 years.

"I just reached a point where I didn't want to do regular work, but I didn't want to give up everything," said Snow, who graduated from Southern Miss in 1959.

Sports broadcasting was a field to which Snow was naturally drawn. The former high school football and tennis star loved sports and followed athletics during his college years at Southern Miss.

"I was a member of Kappa Alpha fraternity, where Sam Tusa was a member and a big player for the football team," he said. "He always took care of us. I have some really special memories of my time at Southern Miss. That's where I met my future wife, Carolyn."

Although Snow was not directly involved in covering Golden Eagle athletics during his college years, he received some training that helped him develop his journalistic skills. As a student, he worked at WBKH, a Hattiesburg radio station, as a top 40 disc jockey and hosted a radio record show. Snow also started doing some sports coverage for the local station. After graduating from Southern Miss with a degree in journalism, Snow landed a job covering sports for WKRG, a television station in Mobile, Ala.

Later in his career, when he began working in Auburn broadcasting, Snow discovered a fellow Golden Eagle – former quarterback Doug Barfield, who was Auburn's head football coach. Barfield was a year ahead of Snow at Southern Miss, and although the two didn't know each other in college, they developed a friendship through their association with Auburn football. Snow said that experience added to the fulfillment he enjoyed while covering Auburn athletics.

"I guess the best part of doing the Auburn football shows and season reviews has been the chance to get to know all of these players and coaches, and to make some really good friends," he said. "I've gotten the chance to become very close to about five football coaches and about the same number of basketball coaches."

Snow is an elector for the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, host of the Alabama High School Hall of Fame and a Heisman trophy elector. He also received the International Special Olympics broadcasters award for his work with the George Lindsey Celebrity weekend, which is more than 17 years old, and has raised $1.5 million for the Alabama Special Olympics program.

Besides receiving accolades for his work, Snow also receives much respect from those who know and work with him. "Phil Snow is the epitome of the words ‘class' and ‘professionalism,'" said David Housel, Auburn's athletic director.

"And, on top of that, he is an outstanding human being, a man who goes about trying to make the world a bit better, wherever he is. As a professional, he walked the tight line of being an objective sports director and, at the same time, host a coach's TV show."

(The original story on Phil Snow was written by Judy Smith for The Talon, a quarterly publication of the Southern Miss Alumni Association.)

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July 16, 2003 9:27 AM

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