Dye-Gest Column: Successful Recruiting Trip

Coach Pat Dye writes about Auburn graduate Michelle McKenna-Doyle as well as the SEC Softball Tournament champion Tigers.

It was exciting to me that Michelle McKenna-Doyle was back on the Auburn campus this week as the featured speaker for the university’s spring commencement ceremonies on Saturday and Sunday. I heard she did a great job and I am not surprised.

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She is the younger sister of Chris Robinette, who we recruited to play center when I was coaching the Auburn football team. She grew up in an Alabama family and Chris ended up going to Alabama and playing football there.

When you go in to recruit a prospect like that you have to change the mindset of everybody in the house if you are going to have a chance and I was successful at changing her mind. She came to Auburn, earned an accounting degree and what a success story she has been.

She was a Tigerette recruiting hostess while she was a student at Auburn and worked in the athletic department the whole time she was here. Michelle did a great job and has been very successful in the business world.

She is a senior vice president and chief information officer for the National Football League and before that did outstanding work in her previous positions.

With Michelle speaking at commencement it reminded me of the outstanding job the students do in groups like the Tigerettes, Tiger Hosts, Plainsman, War Eagle Girls and others who represent the university in a variety of capacities. It is a great, great experience for the young people who are doing it because they meet all different types of people and learn how to handle themselves with poise and confidence.

What they do is important to the university because how they treat other people they come into contact with has a lot to do with how people judge Auburn. My take is that they are great ambassadors for the university. I can’t tell you how many times over the years I have heard high praise for those folks and what an impact they had on high school students, and I am not just talking about athletes, deciding that Auburn is the right place for them to go to college.

It is appropriate to congratulate Clint Myers and his coaching staff for the job they have done with the women’s softball team. Winning the SEC Tournament is impressive in any year, but it is truly an accomplishment doing it as the second-year head coach of the Tigers.

I don’t like the rule that allowed Florida to win the SEC regular season championship by a half-game with the Gators playing one less game than the Tigers due to a game being rained out, but this team was able to come home from Baton Rouge with a hard-earned championship trophy.

Auburn’s comeback in the championship game on Saturday night was impressive. Tennessee was a hot team and its relief pitcher did a great job against Auburn’s hitters, but the Tigers didn’t quit and found ways to win the contest 6-5 in extra innings.

It was no surprise that Emily Carosone scored the winning run in the ninth inning after getting her fourth hit of the night. To me she is the team’s superstar and it was great to see the little freshman, Carlee Wallace, drive her home for the winning run. Wallace is a heck of a catcher and has been a great addition to the team this season.

It is exciting for the program that the Tigers will be able to play an NCAA regional at home this week as the No. 4 national seed. This is a fun team to follow and I wish them continued success.

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