‘A true prince of a man’: Former Mercer AD Bobby Pope dies at 75

Bobby Pope (Photo: Mercer University)
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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.

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(478) 745-4141 ext. 310 Tucker Sargent joined the 41NBC news team in April 2012. He's from Alabama, but you won't catch him saying "Roll Tide!" Tucker grew up near Auburn before moving to north Alabama. He graduated from Danville High School in 2007 and loves to return to the Tennessee Valley any chance he gets. He moved back south to Troy, Alabama after high school, where he graduated from Troy University in 2011 with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism. He interned in Huntsville at WAAY-TV before joining 41NBC. His passion is sports, and his favorite teams are the Auburn Tigers and Troy Trojans. On the weekends you can catch Tucker watching college football on Saturdays and NASCAR on Sundays! He's proud to call middle Georgia home for now and could always use a story idea from you, so don't hesitate to get in touch with him!