TRM M Club meets Thursday, plans made for Rotch
By Adam Robinson
While most of the planned events for Thursday and Friday were cancelled at T.R. Miller and even at W.S. Neal after Rotch’s death, one event did not get postponed—the T.R. Miller M Club.
The newly formed M Club at T.R. Miller met as David Jennings, founder of the club, said that is the reason behind the M Club..
“This is when the M Club is needed most,” Jennings said.
In just their second meeting, the club saw attendance grow in their from around 25 the first time to around 40 Thursday night at the T.R. Miller fieldhouse.
“Obviously the last 24 hours have been pretty tough around here,” Jennings said as he opened the meeting fighting back tears.
After getting a word of encouragement from friend and former Tiger Michael English, Jennings turned and asked Tiger head coach Jamie Riggs for help.
“Well, he’s (Jennings) right,” Riggs said of the last 24 hours being tough. “We survived today and we will go again tomorrow. He (Rotch) would have been the first one to inform us that that is what we were going to do.”
The Club decided Thursday they would plan to meet again next Thursday at 7 p.m. after Tiger Talk resumes their schedule. Tiger Talk will also be held at The Oaks.
Tiger Talk has been rescheduled for next Thursday at 5 p.m. and the whole show is going to be a special show dedicated to Coach Rotch, organizers said. Many guests are planned to be there telling stories of the late coach.
“Donnie touched many generations of people,” Riggs said. “Look at all ya’ll old ‘farts’ here tonight. I got many phone calls from former players today and the one thing that kept coming today that I kept feeling was the amount of respect people had for him. He never did anything half way and if you did not agree with what he was doing, he was doing it wide open and you better get out of his way.”
Riggs said Rotch was a big reason behind what made T.R. Miller what it was.
“It was an honor to work with him,” Riggs said. “He was the best to be around when something was not going right, he would figure out a way to fix it.”
Riggs and others shared stories of when Rotch first came to Brewton and he had an old pickup truck and would drive his two Irish Setter dogs on the back of it—Red and Coach.
“Everyone in town would know their names because they would have to help get them back in the truck,” Riggs said. “They would get out and he would be all over the neighborhood chasing them down. Say your prayers for the family. That is what this club is about. We all have T.R. Miller and he was always following the football program and asking me what was going on and would come to practice.”
One last thing Riggs told the crowd after saying how much Rotch loved football, was when he was recently in need of a coach, he asked Rotch if he wanted to come back as offensive line coach.
“I walked into his office and asked him if he wanted to come back and coach,” Riggs said. “He looked up at me and said ‘yeah I think so!’ He would have jumped back in there if he could have.”
The club is sending a special “M” floral arrangement to Rotch’s service. The group is also planning something special in his memory for this season’s homecoming event.
“Something nice needs to be done for him because he was a good one,” Jennings said.