TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Former Crimson Tide outfielder and current team physician, Dr. Jeff Laubenthal, was honored with the 2014 Paul W. Bryant Alumni-Athlete Award at halftime during Saturday’s home football game against Florida Atlantic University.
“It’s such an unbelievable honor that they’ve bestowed on me,” said Laubenthal. “It means the world to me, because to be included in the same sentence with people like Ozzie Newsome, Bart Starr, Hootie Ingram, Joe Namath and people of that nature, because you know the mark that they have left on the University. It’s really humbling.”
Laubenthal is a prominent physician in the Tuscaloosa area and currently serves as team physician for the Alabama baseball, soccer and softball teams. After earning an SEC postgraduate scholarship, he attended the University of Alabama-Birmingham Medical School. He now specializes in sports medicine and family practice at the West Alabama Family Practice Center in Tuscaloosa. In 2012, he was honored as part of the inaugural class of SEC Legends.
“It’s incredibly humbling to say the least,” said Laubenthal. “It’s one of those things that you think you would be considered for when you’re older. Here I am, in the middle of things I’m trying to do at the University, and it seems that they made a mistake.”
Laubenthal was a member of Alabama baseball from 1990-1993 and was a four-year letterman. He was selected to the SEC Academic Honor Roll (1991-93) and was named the H. Boyd McWhorter Southeastern Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 1992. He finished his career with a .284 batting average in 133 games. In his senior year, he started 51 of the Tide’s 52 games while more than doubling his home run and RBI totals.
“(Being a part of Alabama baseball) is something that I am immensely proud of,” said Laubenthal. “We’re still the winningest program in wins and losses. I know LSU has the National Championship record, but a lot of people don’t realize that we are the winningest program. To have been a part of that for five years, because I was a redshirt, is something to be really proud of.”
The Bryant Alumni-Athlete Award recognizes former athletes and their accomplishments since leaving the University. Candidates are selected based on their character, contributions to society, professional achievements, and service to fellow men. Alumni, faculty, administrators and coaches make the nominations and, traditionally, two athletes are recognized each year at the first home game. However, this year, three athletes were selected. Former football players L.W. “Red” Noonan and Fred Sington, Jr. joined Dr. Laubenthal in receiving this year’s honor.
*Other members of the Athletic Communications staff interviewed Dr. Jeffery Laubenthal and provided transcripted quotes for this article.
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