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What stands out to you the most from your draft-day experience?
Bob Baumhower: “I went to Palm Beach Gardens High School for three years before I moved to Alabama, and when I lived there the Dolphins were doing their undefeated thing, so I was a huge Miami Dolphin fan. I played in the Senior Bowl and the Dolphins were the coaches for the Southern team and when I got the call from the Dolphins, it was like it was too good to be true. I couldn’t have gone to a better team.”
Where were you on draft day?
Baumhower: “I was in my apartment in Tuscaloosa. We lived in Bryant Hall until the spring of our senior year when we were allowed to move out, so I wound up sharing an apartment with Andy Gothard, a teammate of mine. We were in the apartment together and I had some friends, like Richard Todd (an Alabama grad who was playing for the Jets at the time) and it was a real casual afternoon. I was just waiting on the call. It was a whole different animal back then.”
Was there something about your interviews with prospective coaches before draft day that stood out?
Baumhower: “(Defensive Line Coach) Mo Scarry sticks out. Mo was my position coach at the Senior Bowl. He taught a lot of the same techniques I learned at Alabama, so that was great. And the things I talked to Mo about he seemed to be real interested in – what kind of person you were, your work ethic, things like that. That seemed to matter to him. Being able to work with him on a daily basis at the Senior Bowl probably went a long way to get me drafted by Miami.”
How did you celebrate being drafted?
Baumhower: “I really didn’t celebrate. I was really excited and the first thing I did was call my mom and dad because they were Dolphin fans as well. But I didn’t do anything specifically to celebrate.”
What was it like to know you were going to be coached by Don Shula?
Baumhower: “It was a very, very exciting thing for me just to be going to South Florida, but I can tell you that when I went to Miami, everyone there felt he was the best coach in the NFL and I agreed with that. I remember I was talking to the press and I was talking about coming from a school that had Bear Bryant, who I said was the best coach in football, and I corrected myself really quick. I said “in college football” and added, “Now I get to play for the best coach in pro football.” I remember that like it was yesterday. And I tell people it was a gift that kept on giving – to play for a team like the Dolphins, a man like Coach Shula, and a man like Mo Scarry. It was just the best.”
What advice would you give to this year’s class of draft choices?
Baumhower: “Don’t be intimidated. If you get drafted by a team the caliber of the Dolphins back then, don’t be intimidated. Just work hard and don’t get discouraged. When I joined the team, there were days when I didn’t think I could play in the pros because I was practicing against Jim Langer, Larry Little, and Bob Kuechenberg. I was a pinball going up against them and there were times I didn’t think I could play the game. So my advice is, believe in yourself, don’t get discouraged, and take it one day at a time.”