Spirit Tamir

At 40 years old, Tuscaloosa native Tamir Ross has accomplished a lengthy list of lifetime experiences. A lifelong Alabama fan and Army veteran, Tamir is turning his experiences into life lessons for Holt High School students.

A Holt alumnus himself, Tamir served four tours in the United States Army and now volunteers as an announcer for Holt High’s girls and boys basketball games. Now, he has turned into a sort of mentor for kids in the community.

His efforts to give back have not gone unnoticed, though. Out of 700 applicants, Tamir was named ESPN’s biggest Alabama fan for the 2019 college football playoffs. His prize included a 12-day trip to live on a billboard in Santa Clara, California.

When he told his wife Tiffany Ross about the news, she was stunned.

“She was like, ‘Let me research this,’ because she thought I was playing,” he said. “She went online to look it up and she was like, ‘This is for real, they already got your name on here.’”

Tamir had the chance to meet ESPN’s hosts and became friends with the other fans who won their respective team’s contest. He said he will never forget the once-in-a-lifetime experience and the people he met along the way.

“It feels great and I represented us well on the billboard,” he said. “And man, if I had to do it again, I would do it again. I still communicate with some of the other fans from the other teams and we still have that bond now because we’re the first ones to ever do something like that.”

During his 13 years of active duty in the Army, Tamir was deployed four times. But, Tiffany said no matter where her husband was in the world or whatever time it was, he always watched Alabama games.

“He had been deployed multiple times and so he would just stay up because of the time difference,” she said. “That was his dedication and that was his relaxation and connection to home, to stay up and watch the Alabama games and cheer for them while he was there.”

Tamir always wanted to help kids; he said he was inspired by his mother, who was a daycare teacher. As the volunteer announcer for the girls and boys varsity basketball teams, he said he teaches his life lessons to the student athletes. He is able to keep that parental bond through mentoring his son TJ Ross, a University of Alabama senior.

“One word I would say [describes Tamir]is ‘enthusiastic’ about everything,” TJ said. “No matter what it is, he is always going to be that person who encourages you. He is never that Debby Downer who gives up. Like, he is always going to find a way to push through and find a way to make something happen.”

Now, after three years of volunteering with the Holt Ironmen, Tamir’s dream of being a head coach has come true. He is the new Holt head baseball coach, his team begins their season Tuesday at home against Central High School.

As ESPN’s biggest Alabama fan, a four-tour Army veteran, a mentor and now a coach, Tamir will continue what he loves to do. That’s the spirit of Alabama.

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