April 26, 2013
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN -- Gus Malzahn was calling out bingo numbers Friday just like he calls out plays.
The first game may have been an NCAA record for a head football coach on a community service day. There was a winner in six numbers.
"That's a War Eagle!," the Auburn football coach said when somebody yelled "Bingo!"
Numbers rolled quickly. Pace was the key. Games were won. And it looked as if there was a good time had by all at the Azalea Place Retirement Living in Auburn.
"I tested them a little bit," Malzahn joked. "We ran the hurry-up, no-huddle bingo today, and they did a good job keeping up with it."
Malzahn and 114 other Auburn athletic staff members participated at 13 sites in the fifth-annual Tigers Give Back Community Service Day in Auburn and Opelika. Gymnastics coach Jeff Graba summed up the thought of the athletics department.
"I think it's rewarding for us and everybody in the department to come back and give a little bit back to the community that supports us so much," Graba said.
Malzahn agreed after no-huddle Bingo.
"Anytime you have a chance to get out in the community and meet people and try to give back, that's a special feeling," Malzahn said.
Malzahn called the numbers and awarded the prizes. The winners also won the ''oohs and aahs" from the other players.
"They have a little age on them, but they still have that competitive edge," said Azalea Place marketing director Sybil Haughery.
She said working with Malzahn was "really easygoing and ready to play Bingo and he did what we wanted. He enjoys so much interacting with the residents."
Basketball coach Tony Barbee dropped in at Dean Road Elementary to read The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Green Eggs and Ham.
Barbee asked if any of the students ever had green eggs and ham? He was trumped. "You're the coach of the Barbie Dolls?" someone asked.
Barbee smiled. Later, he summed up his day.
"It's always fun to inspire kids to read," Barbee said.
Follow Auburn on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine