Hall of Fame honor tops Casey’s career

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 23, 2000

Features Editor

Jan. 22, 2000 10 PM

Bud Casey thought being named high school All-American in football at Dothan High School was the greatest honor he could ever receive.

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Then, he thought being awarded a football scholarship to the University of Alabama to play for Paul "Bear" Bryant freshman class at the Capstone might be an even greater honor.

Now, he’s even topped that.

Casey was inducted into the Hall of Fame at Northeast Oklahoma State University in Tahlequah, Okla. Saturday and that’s the greatest athletic honor of them all.

"After being involved in athletics all these years, this is the greatest honor that could be bestowed on me," Casey said. "It represents my days as a player and as a coach and my career in athletics. This is a truly great honor and I am humbled by it."

Casey played football two years for "the Bear" and then transferred to Northeast Oklahoma State University.

There he played offensive and defensive tackle for the Okies and was named to the Oklahoma Collegiate Conference All-Conference team in 1964.

"The next year our record wasn’t as good but we had four players off that team to sign contracts to play professional football," Casey said. "I was fortunate enough to be one of those. I signed with the Miami Dolphins as an offensive lineman. None of us four made it big but we did sign pro contracts and that was a pretty big thing for me."

After stints with the Dolphins and the Florida Brahmans of the North American Football League, Casey returned to Oklahoma where he coached high school football.

A year later, in 1968, he returned to Northeast Oklahoma State University where worked as a graduate assistant and earned a master’s degree. He then served as defensive coordinator for his alma mater for three years.

"The best team we had when I coached there only lost one game and was ranked third nationally in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics," Casey said.

Casey’s coaching career included many top notch football programs – the University of Tampa, Georgia Tech, Texas Tech, Auburn University and Texas Christian.

He is best known locally for his role as assistant at Auburn from 1981-92. On the Plains, Casey coached the Tigers’ running backs which included Bo Jackson, Joe Cribbs and William Andrews.

He still ranks Bear Bryant as the best coach he has ever been associated with but adds, "Pat Dye is mighty close."

In 1997, Casey came to Troy State University where he is director of ticket sales and operations and co-star of Channel 52’s Bud and Amos Show.

Casey said his experiences in athletics have been like a roller coaster ride, up and down, but he wouldn’t trade them for anything.

Bad memories dimmed by time and good memories are magnified, Casey said, and he has enough good memories to keep him occupied and satisfied for many years to come.

"Playing and coaching at Northeast Oklahoma State are among my fondest memories," he said. "But the one thing I remember most about going there was that Indians were everywhere. An old boy from Dothan wasn’t used to that but I learned from my experience there, that they were no different from me. There, I learned that people are the same no matter where you go and I’ve found that to be true everywhere my career has taken me. Northeast Oklahoma State University will always be a special place to me and I am honored to be named to their Hall of Fame."