Topic: Coach Frank Howard’s Jan 1996 Funeral on Super Bowl Day & Tiger Band’s Solemn Send-off.
Replies: 8   Last Post: Jan 23, 2019 7:30 PM by: TigerSurvivor®
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Coach Frank Howard’s Jan 1996 Funeral on Super Bowl Day & Tiger Band’s Solemn Send-off.

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Posted: Jan 22, 2019 9:47 AM

On a cold murky damp day in Jan 1996 I drove from CLT to Clemson to attend his pre-burial ceromony held in a huge room beneath the Athletic Offices located across from LJ ..(I believe).

The attendance was surprisingly large considering the Super Bowl was being held later that day..so many across the state probably didn’t attend for that reason alone.

With that big nfl sports event in consideration I wanted to pay my respects to Coach & beat a 150 mile path back to a family gathering filled with pre-game food, drink & chatter b/4 the kick-off.

So, afterwards I quickly spoke to handful of Clemson people I knew (SID Bob Bradley being one) and took off but as I drove past Death Valley Hill entrance side I noticed below the cemetary side of the stadium about a dozen Tiger Band members, in full dress, assembling & forming a circle and starting to play something..

so i pulled car over, parked & ran down to hear them play the slowest, softest & most heart-wrenching version of TiGER RAG I’d ever heard..even to this day.

Turned out They were offering a Clemson musical salute & send-off celebration to Frank Howard from below his grave site situated just a dozen yards up on the cemetery hill.

I became emotional (with Confetti as David Hood would say), respectful & reverent as I paused to hear that sweet rag..knowing that the Coach was about to rest where he wanted to be..near & above to watch down on his Boys playing ball, his beloved Clemson Tigers, Forever.

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Posted: Jan 22, 2019 9:49 AM


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When I was a student-athlete at Clemson...

Posted: Jan 22, 2019 9:58 AM

Coach Howard still had an office in Jervey. While he did not maintain regular office hours, he would occasionally make his way down to the training/weight room area and regale anyone within earshot with one of his countless funny stories.

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Re: Anybody at Coach Frank Howard’s Funeral in 1996 on Super Bowl Day?

Posted: Jan 22, 2019 10:29 AM

Thanks for sharing Bill, I do remember seeing and talking to a lot of very sad faced Clemson fan after Coach Howard passed away. He was the first college FB coach I had ever seen along with my first ever college FB game, and it was in Memorial Stadium the day I become a Clemson Tiger FB fan November 24, 1962. It was on my sisters 9th birthday, and 3 days before my 10th birthday, and we beat the coots. Over the years I have had this horrifying thought to cross my mine, and that that thought has been, if the coots would have won that game, would I have ended up being a coot fan bc it was my first ever seeing a FB game. Oh God thank you, that would have been a life long nightmare!!! I thank God for that one coot loss!!!! And that Clemson Tiger win!!!! :)

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Re: Anybody at Coach Frank Howard’s Funeral in 1996 on Super Bowl Day?

Posted: Jan 22, 2019 10:37 AM

I was on vacation at Pawleys Island and when I came back to Greenville I read the paper and saw where his funeral was that day. I would have liked to attended and paid my respects. I am friends with his son, Jimmy, so I went to Clemson the following Saturday and visited him at his business, The Sloan Street Tap Room, and paid my respects. When you're in Clemson, drop by The Tap Room and visit Jimmy and he will love to tell you stories of Coach Howard and all things Clemson. You may even run into Coach Ford in there.

Coach Howard

Jimmy Howard

Re: Coach Frank Howard’s ‘66 Funeral on Super Bowl Day & Tiger Band Send-off.

Posted: Jan 22, 2019 3:15 PM



Posted: Jan 22, 2019 8:16 PM

I drove up from Atlanta for the service in Jervey Gym followed by he graveside service. I vividly recall the raw emotion on so many faces and the devastation of that day. As a boy growing up, one of my fondest memories was the Holiday Inn buffet after church. Every Sunday that I recall, Coach Howard was at the same table and he was so gracious to speak to all of us each week as we interrupted his meal. Sometimes he would make the rounds in the dining room and greet everyone that. He always put a hand on my back or my head and said “Go Tigers”. It meant the world.
By his graveside, with tears flowing unabated, I stood by Senator Thurmond. At one point, the senator lost his balance and I caught him as he fell. He was visibly shaken up and I remember thinking how many state funerals that man had seen, yet he was struggling with grief at Coach Howard’s grave.
My grandparents and several other family members are now buried near Coach Howard’s grave. Each visit brings back the memories of all of us smiling at the roast beef carving station at the old Holiday Inn Sunday Buffett.
Despite the tough exterior, Coach Howard always had time for children. I was one of them and I am so glad for that. He was a great coach, but he was a greater man.

Re: Coach Frank Howard’s Jan 1996 Funeral on Super Bowl Day & Tiger Band’s Solemn Send-off.

Posted: Jan 23, 2019 7:11 PM

Bill, I just shared your post with Jimmy Howard. He really appreciated it. He said he asked the pep band to do that, but really wanted them to play it at regular tempo. However, he understood how they felt.

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Re: Coach Frank Howard’s Jan 1996 Funeral on Super Bowl Day & Tiger Band’s Solemn Send-off.

Posted: Jan 23, 2019 7:30 PM

Lbb, this is a priceless snapshot of a poignant moment in Clemson history. How great that you stopped and ran down to hear that tribute and now to be able to share it. Brought a little confetti to my eyes.

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