Funeral Services Set for Tiger Walk Director

Auburn, Ala.--<b>Tommy Williams</b>, the man who helped turn the Tiger Walk into a major pre-game event prior to Auburn football games, passed away on Saturday after a long, courageous bout with illness.

A native of Sylacauga, Ala., the 58-year-old Williams owned a heating and air-conditioning business in Auburn, but his passion in life was Auburn football.

Coach Tommy Tuberville issued this statement on Saturday night. "I am deeply saddened to hear of Tommy's passing. He will be greatly missed by our staff, players and Auburn people. He meant a great deal to our program. He was one of our greatest supporters.

"Tiger Walk wouldn't be what it is today with his involvement. Our thanks and prayers are with his family at this difficult time."

Visitation is scheduled for 6-8 p.m. on Monday at Jeffcoat-Trent Funeral Home in Opelika. Funeral services are scheduled for 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday at Auburn United Methodist Church with a burial service to follow at Auburn Memorial Park Cemetery.

Tommy Williams (center in tie) is shown at the Syracuse game Tiger Walk with Auburn fans in New York last season while waiting for the football team's arrival.

Williams worked tirelessly to promote the Tiger Walk and found a strong supporter in Tuberville, who says the tradition is one of the best ones with the AU football program. Driving his Tiger Walk van to all home and road games, with his bullhorn and banners he helped Auburn football fans find the pre-game event, which is popular with fans and players. He also lined up former Auburn football stars to participate in the events.

In an interview with Inside the Auburn Tigers in December, Williams said that despite its struggles on the field down the stretch, the 2001 squad was one of his all-time favorite Auburn football teams. "I wish everybody knew how many great kids we have in this football program and what great people Coach Tuberville has brought in with his staff. There is not a single bad one in the whole bunch. I really love those kids. I truly do. I really hope I get to see them play next year and I am going to fight as hard as I can do it."

Family members have requested in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Brain Tumor Association, 2720 River Road, Des Plaines, Ill., 60018 or to Bethany House, East Alabama Medical Center, 1171 Gatewood Drive, Auburn, AL 36830.

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