Troy community mourns loss of TV personality

Published 3:00 am Saturday, May 30, 2015

Former Troy University fundraiser/consultant and local cable TV personality Travis “Bud” Casey died Thursday at Arbor Manor, the long term care facility in Opelika where he had been a resident following a massive stroke three years ago.

“All of us who knew Bud are saddened by his death,” said Mike Amos, who co-anchored the “Bud and Amos Show’ with Casey. “There were a lot of tears shed when Bud died yesterday. Not only by his family and close friends but also by those at the nursing home who had become family. The nurses cried their hearts out and the residents lost a good and dear friend.

“Bud had the knack of making everybody feel special. He let every resident know they were important. He’s going to be missed is so many ways. When God made Bud Casey, he threw away the mold.”

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Amos and Casey were together as the TV talk show hosts for nearly 12 years.

“Bud never ran out of anything to say,” Amos said. “He could always keep the conversation going. I won’t ever forget the morning he had that massive stroke. He called me about 4 o’clock the morning of April 4, 2012, and said he had an awful headache and wouldn’t make the show. I told him he needed to go to the emergency room and he kind of brushed me off. He told me later he should have listened to me.”

Amos said Casey’s family was given little hope of his surviving the stroke but, being the tough guy Casey was, he pulled through.

“Bud had three more years given to him and, in those three years he brought a lot of joy to a lot of people,” Amos said. “He had the ability to touch people’s lives. He was fun to be around. To know Bud was to love him.”

Casey was an All-American football player at Dothan High School and was a member of Paul “Bear” Bryant’s first recruiting class at Alabama.

“Bud and Bill Rice from Troy went to Tuscaloosa to play for Coach Bryant,” Amos said. “Bud played for two years but had a knee injury. He transferred to Northeastern State University in Oklahoma and played and coached there. He’s in the Hall of Fame out there. He was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in 1966.

Amos said Casey coached at the University of Tampa and then Georgia Tech.

“He then went out to Lubbock, Texas and coached at Texas Tech before going to Auburn, where he and Coach Larry Blakeney coached under Pat Dye.”

At Auburn Amos said Casey coached star running backs, including Bo Jackson, Brent Fullwood and Lionel James.

“Bud was called ‘Blood on the Saddle’ because he believed in hardnosed football,” Amos said. “He was a dominant kind of guy. He was tough on the field but he had a good heart and a soft heart.”

After Casey left Auburn, he went to Texas Christian and coached with Pat Sullivan.

“In 2000, Casey came to Troy and enjoyed being involved with Troy University,” Amos said. “He loved to fish and to just sit around a talk with anybody that would talk with him. He had a lot of interests. He loved his family, his kids and grandkids. Bud was the kind of guy that would give you the shirt off his back. There will never be another Bud Casey. I’m glad I got to spend time with him every morning for all those years. I know I won’t ever forget him. He was just that kind of guy.”