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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Former Mercer University athletic director Bobby Pope died Sunday afternoon at 75.
“Over the more than three decades that Bobby Pope was associated with Mercer Athletics he touched the lives of hundreds of student-athletes, coaches and fans and was synonymous with the Mercer Bears,” Mercer President William D. Underwood said in a school news release. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Carol, Andy, Krissy and other members of the Pope family.”
Pope broadcasted Mercer basketball games and became Sports Information Director in 1980 before becoming athletic director nine years later, a position he’d hold for 21 years.
“Bobby Pope was a true prince of a man,” Mercer Director of Athletics Jim Cole said. “He loved Mercer and all its students and student-athletes. He gave me a chance to compete back in the early 90’s. I will forever be grateful. He will be truly missed by all the Mercer family.”
According to the release, Pope served two years as president at the Atlantic Sun Conference and was a member of several conference committees, including eight years on the Executive Committee. He served on five NCAA Peer Review Committees.
Pope was inducted into the Mercer Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010, the Macon Sports Hall of Fame in 2006, the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame in 2016 and the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in February of 2020.