James W. Rane, President
James W. Rane is chairman, president, and CEO of Great Southern Wood Preserving, Inc., the leading producer of pressure treated lumber in the United States, and has been a member of the Auburn University Board of Trustees since 1999. Rane graduated from Marion Military Institute before earning his bachelor of science in business administration at Auburn University. He received a doctor of jurisprudence from the Cumberland School of Law of Samford University. He has also successfully completed the Owner/President Management Program, the Sustainable Marketing Leadership Program, and the Families in Business: From Generation to Generation Program at the Harvard Business School. Rane is actively involved in many civic and educational organizations, and resides in his hometown of Abbeville, Ala.
Clifford Ellis, Treasurer
Cliff Ellis is the head coach of the Coastal Carolina men’s basketball program. Ellis received his bachelor’s degree in physical education from Florida State University in 1968 and earned his master’s degree, also in physical education, from Middle Tennessee State in 1972. Prior to coaching at Coastal Carolina, he worked as a television broadcast analyst from 2004 to 2007. Ellis has been a successful coach throughout his career with head coaching positions at Auburn University (1994-2004) and Clemson University (1984-1994). Ellis is married to the former Carolyn Ratzlaff, and they have three children, Chryssa Rutland, Clay Ellis and Anna Catherine Ellis, and a host of grandchildren.
Winfrey “Wimp” Sanderson, Vice-President
Wimp Sanderson is retired from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He served as the men’s head basketball coach from 1994 to 1999. In 1955, Sanderson went to Abilene Christian College to play basketball. He later transferred to Florence State and graduated with a degree in physical education. Sanderson served as men’s head basketball coach at the University of Alabama from 1981 to 1992. He began his coaching career at the University of Alabama in 1960 as a graduate assistant for one year and then served 20 years as an assistant coach. Overall, Sanderson spent 32 years in the basketball program at Alabama. Sanderson and his wife, Annette, currently reside in Birmingham, Alabama. They have three sons, Scott, Jim, and Barry, and a host of grandchildren.
Larry Blakeney, Secretary
Larry Blakeney retired as the former head football coach at Troy University. Blakeney is a 1970 graduate of Auburn University earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He was a three-year letterman at quarterback for the legendary Ralph “Shug” Jordan. He later earned his master’s degree in education from the University of Montevallo in 1976. Prior to coaching at Troy, Blakeney had a variety of roles over 14 seasons at Auburn University. He began his coaching career at Auburn as the assistant offensive line coach. This was followed by stints with the Tigers’ tight ends and wide receivers coaches. Blakeney is married to the former Janice Powell. They have three daughters, Kelley, and twins, Julie and Tiffany. The Blakeneys also have a host of grandchildren.
Board of Directors