Former Bearcat Rice honored at Auburn

Published 2:48 pm Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Bainbridge High School alumnus Ken Rice, who went on to earn All-America honors as an offensive lineman with the Auburn University Tigers, recently was recipient of the highest award the Auburn athletic department gives to former athletes.

Rice was a running back and defensive lineman for the Bearcats. After an outstanding career at Auburn, Rice went on to earn All-Pro honors with the Buffalo Bills, who took him in the first round of the American Football League draft.

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Rice received the 2010 Walter Gilbert Award, which is given annually in memory of Auburn’s three time All-America center, who went on to become vice president of Texaco’s European Oil Operations.

Rice played under Coach Spencer “Onion” Davis with the Bearcats and for Ralph Jordan with the Auburn Tigers. Rice lettered at Auburn from 1958 through 1960. He was also with the Tigers in 1957, when freshmen were ineligible to play with the varsity.

The presentation to Rice was made during halftime of the Saturday, Oct. 23 game between Auburn and the Louisiana State University Tigers at Auburn’s Jordan-Haire Stadium.

As a sophomore at Auburn, Rice, who started on the offensive and defensive line, helped lead the Tigers to a 9-0-1 overall record and a 6-0-1 Southeastern Conference record.

Following his professional football career, which included stints with the Oakland Raiders and Miami Dolphins, Rice began a career as a contractor and developer. He eventually created Kenneth E. Rice Construction Company where he currently serves as president and CEO.

Rice has also been a major civic contributor to numerous organizations and remains actively involved in the community of Big Canoe, Ga. where he currently resides with his wife Billie Ann.