Auburn’s Rod Bramblett, wife remembered after fatal crash

Rod, Paula Bramblett killed in car crash

AUBURN, Ala. (WSFA) - Auburn University has released a statement on the passing of Rod Bramblett, the voice of the Auburn Tigers, and his wife, Paula Bramblett.

Rod Bramblett and Paula Bramblett, died Saturday night from injuries suffered in a car accident, according to Lee County Coroner Bill Harris. The crash happened around 6 p.m. at the intersection of Shug Jordan Parkway and West Samford Avenue in Auburn. Paula Bramblett, 52, died in the East Alabama Medical Center emergency room around 7:50 p.m., according to Harris, and Rod Bramblett, 53, was transported from East Alabama Medical Center to UAB Hospital in Birmingham and died there.

According to the university, Bramblett had broadcasted Auburn baseball since 1993 and took over as lead announcer for Auburn in 2003, serving as Auburn’s voice of football, men’s basketball and baseball. He was named National Broadcaster of the Year by Sports Illustrated in 2013 and was also a three-time winner of the Alabama State Broadcaster of the Year, presented by the National Sports Media Association, in 2006, 2010, and 2013.

“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!’"

Rob Bramblett at Auburn AMBUSH on Wednesday, May 1, 2019 in Dothan, Ala.
Rob Bramblett at Auburn AMBUSH on Wednesday, May 1, 2019 in Dothan, Ala. (Source: Todd Van Emst/AU Athletics)

Bramblett was also Auburn Sports Properties’ Director of Broadcast Operations. He served as the host for Tiger Talk, the Auburn Football Review and Auburn Basketball Review television shows.

“The Auburn Family and Auburn Sports Properties have lost two of our own. We are all shocked, saddened and at a loss with the sudden passing of Rod and Paula,” Auburn Sports Properties Vice President/General Manager Chris Davis said. “Rod’s work speaks for itself. He was the best in the business and spent tirelessly long hours devoting himself to his alma mater and the school that he loved. He was not only a co-worker but our close, dear friend.”

Paula Bramblett was an employee of the university, working in the Information Technology Department. The two are survived by their children, daughter Shelby, an Auburn University student, and son Joshua.

“While Rod loved Auburn and his co-workers, it was his family that he loved the most,” Davis said. “He married his high school sweetheart, Paula, and loved her unconditionally, just as he did his daughter, Shelby, and son, Joshua. Rod and Paula have left us too soon. We love them and we will miss them. We ask that everyone keep the Bramblett family, especially Shelby and Joshua, in your continued thoughts and prayers.”

A service celebrating the lives of Rod and Paula Bramblett will be held Thursday at 2 p.m. at Auburn Arena, and the public is invited to attend. Visitation will begin at noon. A private burial service for family will follow.

The Rod and Paula Bramblett Family Memorial Fund has been set up to help support the pair’s children. You can donate here.

Statements from Auburn coaches

Gus Malzahn, Auburn Football Head Coach:

“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.”

Bruce Pearl, Auburn Men’s Basketball 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.”

Butch Thompson, Auburn Baseball 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.”

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