Philip Lutzenkirchen Remembered by Sports Personalities


By Ashley Thompson

Tonight we have more on the death of Former Auburn University football stand out Philip Lutzenkirchen. He died in a car wreck yesterday at the age of 23. Teammates, sports personalities and football fans everywhere are now paying tribute to the football star.

Philip Lutzenkirchen is being mourned and remembered for not just his athletic ability but for who he was off the field. Those who knew him best say it was his heart and his personality that will be missed most.

Philip Lutzenkirchen was a fierce competitor, setting records as a tight end at Auburn University and helping the Tigers win a National Championship in 2010. Sports Analyst John Longshore says number 43 was a very hard worker.

"He certainly made a name for himself," he says. "I like to characterize him as a blue-collar player. Brought his lunch pail to work everyday. He was there to work, worked hard and his hard work paid off."

But it wasn't just his performance on the field that Lutzenkirchen is being remembered for. It was also what he did with his time off the field. Recently, he volunteered his time at St. James School in Montgomery, coaching tight ends and full backs. Former Auburn Quarterback and sports radio personality Charlie Trotman says Lutzerkirchen was someone to look up to.

"Over the last three or four or five years, there's no one that Auburn people loved any more than Philip Lutzenkirchen," Trotman says. "And that includes Cam Newton. Cam was kind of the face of the Auburn national championship team but Philip Lutzenkirchen was kind of the heart of the team."

And some say it was his big heart that Lutzenkirchen will be remembered for. Ric Smith, who announces the football games in Jordan Hare, says fans gravitated toward him.

"Football was a big part of Philip Lutzenkurchen, but there was so much more. So many of the comments you hear and the stories you read, it's not so much about football side, which of course that's part. It really comes down to who he was as a human being. That's the greatest testament of all to him."

School leaders from St. James School have released a statement saying,  "Our football players are better people because of Phil Lutzenkirchen. Just last Tuesday evening, Phil was a vital part of Jalen Harris's decision to commit to Auburn University, and was there celebrating with him."He was so excited to be working with our student athletes, and even indicated he might think about a career in coaching. We all encouraged him to follow his heart.  Phil displayed a maturity beyond his years. We looked forward to him coaching with our coaches this fall. He loved being a part of the Saint James family and we will miss him terribly. Our thoughts and prayers from the entire STJ community go to his family and friends as well as to the Auburn community. What a loss this is for so many people.”

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