*Auburn Media Relations*
AUBURN, Ala. - Former Auburn football player Lee Griffith will be presented the 2013 Walter Gilbert Award prior to the Tigers' game against Mississippi State at Jordan-Hare Stadium Saturday.
The Walter Gilbert Award is given annually to former Auburn athletes who have distinguished themselves through achievements after graduation from Auburn. The award is given in memory of the Tigers' three-time All-America center Walter Gilbert, who later became vice president of Texaco's European Oil Operations.
"The first thing I said was `Wow, I can't believe it!' It is quite an honor, a privilege, and I am very humbled to be included with some very special people," said Griffith after learning he would be the award's recipient. "It was an exciting honor and privilege to get the phone call."
Griffith lettered at center for Auburn in 1960 as the Tigers went 8-2. Knee injuries and eventual surgeries ended the Long Island, N.Y., native's playing career. After graduating from Auburn in 1962 with a bachelor's degree in economics, Griffith stayed at Auburn as a graduate assistant coach to earn his MBA in management and finance in 1964.
"I saw Coach "Shug" Jordan at the field house, and when he stopped what he was doing and spent 30 minutes with me, I was just blown away," said Griffith describing his recruiting trip after traveling 975 miles from home. "Auburn back in those days would usually sign two or three guys from the New York-New Jersey area. All of us that came down, just loved it. The weather was great, the people were great, and the University was outstanding.