The somber mood at Lee Roy Selmon’s memorial service Friday morning at Idlewild Baptist Church in Tampa was broken by a standing ovation while USF President Judy Genshaft addressed the crowd.
The ovation was in response to how USF would honor its former athletic director – by renaming the Athletics building that was built during his tenure as director in his honor. It will now be known as the Lee Roy Selmon Athletic Center at the University of South Florida.
Since Selmon’s death Sept. 4, USF had announced tributes of a more temporary and small nature. The football team will continue to wear decals of Selmon’s number “63” on its helmets. All USF teams have had patches reading “LRS” attached to their uniforms for the duration of this school year. USF created a flag with both “63” and “LRS” on it that will be carried onto the football field prior to all games. In addition, the field at Raymond James Stadium had Selmon’s “63” painted in two locations.
Genshaft used Friday’s memorial to announce USF’s permanent tribute to Selmon.
“He was truly a pillar of our University and our community,” she said. “We can’t imagine the campus without him, and that is why (Thursday), the (USF) Board of Trustees (BOT) unanimously approved my request to rename the USF athletic center as the Lee Roy Selmon Athletic Center at the University of South Florida. And while we do not know how we will fill the great void created by his loss, we know Lee Roy Selmon’s legacy carries on at the University of South Florida. It lies in the young men and women who achieve more than they ever believed they could – not just on the field of play, but in life.”
Athletic Director Doug Woolard, who missed kickoff of USF’s game against Ball State while flying back to Tampa from Selmon’s memorial in his native Oklahoma, thanked Genshaft and the BOT for their decision.
“We’ve had over 3,500 student-athletes, as well as coaches, staff, parents, media and visitors enter this building since its inception,” he said. “Lee Roy Selmon stands for everything we desire in our student-athletes – integrity, academic excellence, compassion and competitiveness.”