Dye-Gest: Lutzenkirchen A True Auburn Man

College Football Hall of Fame coach Pat Dye writes about former Tiger Philip Lutzenkirchen.

I knew Philip Lutzenkirchen as a football player and casually as a young man who I would say hello to around the athletic complex. I never heard anybody say one word about him in a negative way. That was the way it was with his head coaches, Gene Chizik and Gus Malzahn, Athletic Director Jay Jacobs, former athletic director David Housel, sports information director Kirk Sampson, his teammates and all of his student friends.

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Everybody loved him. He was the kind of individual who was going to do more than his part in a relationship and that is why so many people are sad what we lost him in a traffic accident on Sunday.

The thing that also comes to mind about his life and his time with us was his high character and what he stood for as an Auburn man. Sometimes people on the outside looking in don't understand what Auburn is about, but Philip Lutzenkirchen did.

He was a high school football star who could have chosen to attend college almost anywhere he desired before he decided on Auburn. As a person he was a great young man before he headed off to college. He had to get that from his momma, his daddy and from the coaches who spent a lot of time with him as he was growing up.

When you can recruit kids like that, when kids of his character choose to come to Auburn, that is why Auburn can field competitive teams and have a chance to play for SEC and national championships.

Something I have observed about Auburn is that there are a lot of high character young men and women who choose to come to Auburn whether it is to compete in swimming, equestrian or other sports or just be a part of the general student body. Philip Lutzenkirchen fit in nicely in that environment and prospered.

Not having grown up in an Auburn family and coming here at the age of 41, after being a part of Auburn for more than 30 years now I have been totally impressed by the type of kids who choose to come to here and Philip was the ultimate in being one of those kind of people.

It is a sad, sad time losing Philip, especially at such a young age, but he left a big mark at Auburn and will be remembered for a long time. As impressive as he was with the records he set on the football field, I would say the mark he left at his alma mater as a man of outstanding character outweighs the mark he made as a football player and that is saying a lot.

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