Rondé Barber, the General Chair of the Valspar Championship, has been selected for enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Barber and the rest of the Class of 2023 will be enshrined in Canton, Ohio in early August.
The Tampa Bay area will have a chance to salute Barber at the upcoming Valspar Championship on Thursday, March 16. Tournament patrons that day are encouraged to show their support by wearing Barber #20 jerseys and other Buccaneers gear. The first 5,000 patrons will receive a special commemorative item and there will be additional acknowledgements on the course of his achievements.
All patrons are encouraged to congregate at the 18th green after the conclusion of Thursday’s play (around 7 pm) for a ceremony that will include guests significant in Barber’s career, a special video and remarks from Barber.
Barber played all 16 seasons of his distinguished career (1997-2012) with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and has continued to make the area his home. An avid golfer, he joined the Copperheads, the organizing charity of the Valspar Charity, shortly after his retirement and has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2018. This is his second tournament as the Board’s General Chair.
“We are so grateful for the tremendous involvement Rondé has given us as a volunteer in the last several years,” says Tournament Director Tracy West. “As a player, he was known for his complete dedication to his craft with the commitment and endurance to play 224 consecutive games, a record for an NFL defensive back. With the Copperheads, he has shown a similar zeal, immersing himself in the culture of professional golf, absorbing the business and operations of the tournament and serving as a prime recruiter for players, Copperheads, and tournament partners. We are ecstatic to have this opportunity to celebrate his selection into the NFL’s most prestigious club and to thank him for all that he has meant to the Tampa Bay community.”
Barber, 47, grew up in Roanoke, Virginia and, along with his identical twin brother Tiki, starred in football (three years All-ACC) and graduated from the University of Virginia. Drafted by the Buccaneers in the 3rd round of the 1997 draft, he moved into the lineup in his second season and never left. His career accomplishments include 5 Pro Bowls, a spot on the NFL All-Decade Team for the 2000s, 47 interceptions and 1,251 tackles. His fourteen touchdowns represent the NFL record for a defensive player.
The PGA TOUR’s Valspar Championship will be held March 16th to 19th. Sam Burns, who won in a thrilling playoff last year, is looking to make it three wins in a row on the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort.
Every tournament day offers something different, beginning with Ronde Barber Appreciation Day on Thursday. On Friday, fans are encouraged to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the wearing of the green. Saturday is Valspar LIVE presented by Chick-fil-A where tournament patrons will be able to enjoy country music superstar Darius Rucker with a free 90-minute show after the conclusion of play. And on Sunday, when a champion will be crowned, patrons are being invited to bring canned goods as part of Ameri Life Feeding Tampa Bay Day at the tournament.
Tickets are now on sale at ValsparChampionship.com for all tournament days.