Before Susan Nunnelly became “The Nun,” she was the young girl who loved athletics.
“I was a tomboy growing up,” Nunnelly said. “There were two girls growing up in our neighborhood so if we did not do what the guys did, we did not do anything. My generation was before Title IX, so, of course, we did not have competitive sports in the state of Alabama. I played intermural and officiated sports as far back as in junior high.”
“When we lived in what is now Ingram Hall, the desk girl would call for ‘Susan’ and inevitably if Susan Rhodes went down, it was for me,” Nunnelly said. “If I went down it was for Susan Rhodes. We told the desk girl to just call us Rhodes and Nun because of my last name.”
Since her days as an Auburn undergraduate, Nunnelly has become a foundational part of Auburn Women’s Athletics and the City of Auburn.
Despite her humility, Nunnelly’s career is the kind of legendary all coaches and professors dream of. She began coaching Women’s basketball in the mid-70s and taught in the
Not only has she kept her teaching career alive, she also the PA announcer for Women’s volleyball and basketball at Auburn, and has called every game that the SEC has ever sponsored for Women’s basketball.
“I’d really like to do
Her outreach and love for officiating extend farther than the parameters of Auburn’s campus. Nunnelly helps officiate the youth sports in the City of Auburn in part with Auburn Parks and Recreation. Nunnelly said that playing sports almost always has a positive effect on children.
“Unfortunately, I am a little bit worried about the travel teams that are going on now because it is more so the parents than the kids who are so obsessed with it that they’ve pressured the kids into playing year-round,” Nunnelly said. “It becomes a tunnel vision thing and I would hate to see it come to that point. It becomes something that it is not meant to be; sometimes the kids just want to play and have fun.”
Nunnelly’s passion for Auburn’s community does not just end in the Athletics department. She is passionate about getting students to communicate with one another in a way they might not be used to.
Nunnelly encourages students to reach out to others, and said students might not know who could use that communication to make their day better.
“I think the good Lord put us here for one reason and that’s to love one another,” Nunnelly said.