Dec. 19, 2011How long have you been a supporter of the Eagle Club?
We joined what was then called The Big Gold Club when Bobby Collins was hired as football coach in 1975. Annual dues were $25.
Where are you currently located?
We live in Lamar County with a Hattiesburg address.
What is your earliest memory of Southern Miss Athletics?
I saw my first Mississippi Southern College football in 1956. The game was a homecoming game vs. Abilene Christian College. MSC won!
Why do you support the Eagle Club and Southern Miss Athletics?
We feel obligated to give back to a program that has provided us with so many positive experiences. Southern Miss athletics has been an integral part of college life not only for ourselves, but for our two sons and one daughter-in-law. Our daughter-in-law played volleyball for Southern Miss. Among us we have seven degrees. Membership in the Eagle Club is a small price to pay for a lifetime of memories.
You have season tickets to what sports?
We have season tickets in football, men's basketball, women's basketball, baseball and softball. Because of our daughter-in-law, Bridget Files Herrin, who was an outstanding VB player at Southern Miss, we would probably have season tickets in volleyball, too. Thanks to Forrest General Hospital, admission is free!
Were you a USM athlete?
If so, how did the experience affect your life? Herman-I could have been, but a lack of size, speed, strength and basic athletic skill held me back.
What is your favorite Southern Miss Athletics tradition?
Winning! And the Pride playing "Amazing Grace" after the last home football game.
Who is your favorite Southern Miss coach or athlete, past or present?
We have liked and have supported all of the coaches who have been at Southern Miss and we like and support the current ones. Corky Palmer would have to rank near the top because he is a genuine person and because of his love for baseball and for Southern Miss.
What are three must-have items for your own personal tailgate?
We gave up tailgating long ago because it became a hassle-too much preparation and cleanup. After Eagle Walk, we stroll over to Po-Boy Express and have some wings and a sandwich. Then we go to The Rock for warm-ups and the game.
What is the best type of food to have at a tailgate?
Anything that someone else prepares!!
Why should more Southern Miss fans and supporters join the Eagle Club?
The Eagle Club's sole purpose is to provide scholarships to our athletes. We take pride in their academic accomplishments as well as their athletic successes. Southern Miss cannot continue its winning tradition without the support of the Eagle Club. Eagle Club membership gives each of us a sense of ownership in the various programs.
From all of USM's athletic success, what is your favorite memory of all-time?
There are so many to recall-wins over Alabama, Auburn, Nebraska, Mississippi, Mississippi State, TCU and Florida State in football plus the recent C-USA Championship win over Houston. We have been to Oklahoma City for the College Softball World Series and we have been to Omaha for the College Baseball World Series. We witnessed Courtney Blades tossing a perfect game against Arizona in the Softball World Series when Arizona was leading the nation in hitting. We still have the score card that she signed after the game. We have been to C-USA men's and women's basketball tournaments in various locations and too many softball and baseball regionals to remember. Maybe the one event we remember the most was the 1970 win over Mississippi, 30-14. Mississippi was ranked #4 in the nation and had beaten Georgia the week before with Archie Manning at QB. The game was played in Oxford and was the first game played on Mississippi's new artificial turf.
What is your favorite part about the game-day environment for any USM sports team?
Eagle Walk before home football games is a must for us. The band, cheerleaders, Dixie Darlings, Seymour, the ROTC squad, coaches and players. We get goose bumps every time.
What is your favorite place on the campus of Southern Miss?
Pete Taylor Park only because so many home games are played there. The people sitting around us have been there for years and the pace of a baseball game allows plenty of time for talking and socializing while still being involved in the game. The Rock would be second. We can't think of any classrooms that we miss.
What do you miss about Southern Miss?
We don't miss anything because we are always on campus for some event. We lived in Slidell, LA for 28 years, but when we retired, we retired not to Hattiesburg, but to Southern Miss. We reside approximately 5.5 miles from campus. We usually get home before the post game radio shows are over.
What piece of Southern Miss apparel can you not live without on game-day?
The university has put so much time, effort and money into promoting "Go Gold" that we must have on a gold shirt or gold jacket. Unfortunately, there are some who still have not gotten the message.
How were you introduced to Southern Miss and USM Athletics?
Hermin: My Dad and Mom took me to my first game in 1956 and I saw one or more games per year through 1965. Sharon: I had always liked athletic events. When Herman and I arrived on campus, we never missed a home football game or a home basketball game.
Tell us what Southern Miss Athletics means to you.
It has become a family tradition. All of the Southern Miss family had different academic and campus experiences. The one common experience we shared, and continue to share, is that of being a fan. Every return visit to campus gives us an opportunity to reconnect with friends and family, to share experiences, and to celebrate victories. Southern Miss athletics is the single, strongest bond that unites its alumni base. Every campus visit to experience an athletic event strengthens that bond and reminds us again of our love for this great University.
What is your favorite Southern Miss cheer?
"To the top!" after "First down, Southern Miss!" It means that the offense is being successful, plus our younger son, Scott, came up with the idea of using the cheer at football games when he was a member of the Alumni Association's Traditions Committee during the time he was employed at Southern Miss.
What is your pregame ritual?
Put on the gold and go! See number 9!
Define Golden Eagle Pride?
It means being confident in who you are. It means, "I'm a Golden Eagle and I'm glad that I am!" Our Southern Miss education allowed us to provide a comfortable living for our family. We found that skills learned at Southern Miss competed well with other nationally recognized and better known schools. A person with a Southern Miss degree takes a back seat to no one. We sometimes talk about how our lives might have been quite different if not for the school we love so much. Our parents never had the opportunity for a college education, but thankfully, we did.
What makes you the most passionate Golden Eagle Fan?
In 37 years we have missed three home football games, two home basketball games, and very few baseball games, despite living in Slidell for 28 of those years. Our family can discuss the hottest, coldest, wettest games we have attended because weather has never kept us from enjoying our Eagles. If Southern Miss is playing, we are there. We can discuss our greatest victories and our most heartbreaking losses. Our support for and love of all things Southern Miss is unconditional.