His last game at Jordan-Hare Stadium was on Nov. 19, 2005, when Auburn defeated Alabama 28-18.
Current announcer Ric Smith said Stephens was the standard when he became interested in announcing.
“The first time I met Carl I was in school at Auburn and I was working for WEGL and I was covering an Auburn game and I had always admired Carl and his work and style and voice, but we had never met,” Smith said. “So I was in the press box for a game one day and as I’m walking along before the game started, I see Carl walking toward me, so I stopped him and introduced myself and told him that I admired his work and what I’ll always remember about that moment is how kind and gracious he was to me. He had no idea who I was until I introduced myself, but as busy as he was getting ready for the game, he stopped and spoke and was kind and encouraging and I will always remember that.”
Stephen’s style of announcing is something Smith tries to imitate to this day.
“I grew up as an Auburn fan...and so during the time I came to games before being at school at Auburn and during my time as an Auburn student and after, Carl was the standard. I learned to announce by listening to Carl Stephens.”
Stephens also served as the PA announcer for baseball and basketball and Smith said he was more than a voice behind a mic.
“Everyone knows about Carl’s voice, it’s so good and so obvious and so true, but for the people who didn’t have a chance to know the man behind the voice he was a great announcer and an even better human being,” Smith said. “He was a genuinely kind and caring person.”
Smith said he was often able to visit with Stephens during games, but remembers a particular moment while teaching Stephens how to announce at baseball games.
“There was a time when I was announcing Auburn baseball and when Carl retired from WSFA he began to announce some baseball games too,” Smith said. “He’d been doing football for years and basketball for years at that point, but after he retired from WSFA he had a little more time and wanted to announce baseball, so by this point I’d been announcing for a few years.
“There was a game Carl was going to announce, his first baseball game, so I was asked to show Carl how to announce a baseball game, which basically involved showing him which button to push and a quick run through the script. It was so odd to me to show Carl Stephens anything about announcing. I remember saying at the time that me teaching Carl Stephens to announce is like an altar boy teaching the pope to say the rosary, because Carl Stephens is as good as it gets.”
* Updated at 1:25 p.m. to add additional quotes.