Ric Smith, who was the public address announcer at Auburn baseball games from 2000-04, will take over as the PA man at Jordan-Hare Stadium for the 2006 season. He is an AU professor who is the Director of Experiential Learning for the Auburn Department of Communication and Journalism.
"I've had a great 43-year association with Auburn starting with the football review show and then as public address announcer," Stephens said. "There comes a time when it is the right time to move on and for me this is the right time.
"‘I've truly enjoyed every minute of it, and I am very thankful to Auburn and Auburn fans," Stephens added. "I have made several great relationships along the way and look forward to continuing those in the years to come. I also can't say enough about Roger Thomas, who has been my spotter during my time. He has been a great asset and made my job easy."
Stephens, who has also worked as the voice of the Southeastern Conference at men's basketball tournaments including this year's event in Nashville, has been a PA announcer for Auburn basketball, baseball and for the university's marching band as well as the SEC Baseball Tournament and the NCAA Basketball Tournament. He has been the PA announcer for every SEC Football Championship Game.
"From his days as host of the Auburn Football review, to his time as a PA announcer at Auburn football and other athletic venues, Carl Stephens has been an outstanding ambassador for Auburn Athletics and this University," said Auburn Athletic Director Jay Jacobs.
"Carl is a true professional and an even better person. His presence at Auburn athletic events will be missed, and we thank him for everything he has done and meant to Auburn."
In addition to his work for Auburn, Stephens has been the public address voice for all 13 Southeastern Conference Football Championship games, the past 14 SEC Basketball Tournaments and six SEC Baseball Tournaments. Stephens has also done public address work for NCAA Basketball Tournament games in Birmingham.
Smith, Auburn's new PA announcer, worked as play by play radio voice for the Auburn baseball team for the 1988 and 1989 seasons. "I'm extremely flattered at the opportunity and very humbled to follow in the footsteps of someone like Carl Stephens," he said. "Carl can not be replaced, but I hope that I can carry on the tradition that Carl started. The fans will notice a difference in voice, but the delivery and message will be the same."