Former Auburn linebacker promotes Bentley

By CHRISTINE BOATWRIGHT / Staff Writer

MONTEVALLO – After his career as an Auburn linebacker, Quentin Riggins found his calling in the political arena and now spends his time with Alabama’s high rollers.

Riggins was the guest speaker at the Montevallo Chamber of Commerce lunch meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 19. Presently, Riggins is the senior vice president for governmental affairs with the Business Council of Alabama. He also stays in touch with his Auburn roots by working as a sideline reporter for the university.

He began by speaking about his impressions of Alabama Governor Bentley, and rounded out his speech by answering questions about Auburn’s future football season.

“I’m very impressed with Bentley as he’s building his cabinet,” Riggins began. “There’s been no bickering, last-minute appointments or fights. You see some brother-sister fights, but they’re not the Hatfields and McCoys. He has a lot of smart people around him.”

Riggins spoke highly of the new governor and his future in Alabama politics, but warned that this season may be too good to be true if Bentley isn’t able to deliver what he’s promised.

“Is this a honeymoon for this governor? Yes. Bentley is coming in with a huge thing Alabama is hoping to see – jobs,” Riggins said. “The governor’s focus is on existent industries and jobs for people already in Alabama.”

Riggins’ presentation took a lighter turn when Chamber of Commerce President Mary Lou Williams asked about Riggins’ thoughts on Auburn’s upcoming football season without its prized quarterback.

“No one at Auburn had a clue how special Cam Newton was going to be and what kind of year they were going to have,” Riggins said. “When you bring in a junior-college player, you never know if the team is going to accept him.

“The national spotlight is now following the team. Auburn got the national focus before they even won,” he said. “Coach Chizik, if he wasn’t so level-headed and laid back, the team would have reacted (to Cam Newton) differently. I think we’ll be OK (next season), but not 14-0.”

In other news, the nominating committee met Dec. 1, 2010 in order to propose the following officers and directors for the 2011-2013 term: Susan Fulmer, chair; David Pritchett, vice chair; Debra Payne, secretary/treasurer; John Kirby, director; Martha Lewis, director; Cheryl Patton, director; Travis Reed, director; Nathan Stamps, director; Christine Taylor, director.