Ever the student, Catholic High track and cross country coach Pete Boudreaux said one of the first things he did was scan the program for the National High School Hall of Fame induction.
“It’s amazing to be with such a great group,” Boudreaux said. “You’ve got people who have been inducted in professional hall of fames, and this shows you where they started.
“I knew Steve Spurrier was a quarterback, but I had no idea he was unbeaten as a pitcher or that he averaged 22 points a game in basketball. Joni Huntley was the first American woman to clear 6 feet in the high jump back in the 1970s and went on to the Olympics, just incredible.”
Boudreaux is part of the 12-member group to be inducted Saturday night at the Peppermill Resort in Reno, Nevada.
The induction ceremony closes the 97th National Federation of High Schools Summer Meeting in Reno.
The 74-year-old Boudreaux has won 44 state titles in his 48-year career at his alma mater. The total includes 16 state titles each in cross country and outdoor track & field. His teams also have won 12 indoor track titles and placed second 21 times in the three sports.
“I don’t think of myself as anything special,” Boudreaux said. “I see myself as a guy who goes to work every day and does his job. Besides helping athletes develop their skills, you hope that in some way they become better people along the way.”
Athletes in the NFHS class include Spurrier, who starred at Science High in Johnson City, Tennessee, Huntley, former NFL quarterback-receiver Marlin Brisco, track athlete Tom Southall and the late Ken Beardslee, a top baseball pitcher from Michigan.
Football coach Chuck Kyle of Cleveland, Delaware-based wrestling coach Jack Holloway and volleyball coach Peg Kopec of Wheaton, Illinois, are the other coaches.
Former Mississippi High School Activities Association executive director Ennis Proctor and NFHS staffer Tim Flannery also are part of the group, along with Minnesota track/cross country official Eugene “Lefty” Wright.
Boudreaux, who was inducted into the Louisiana High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2000 and in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 2014, downplays his induction.
“Really, I’m the one who is very fortunate to work not only with a great group of student-athletes, but also some great coaches,” Boudreaux said. “I’m just blown away by this whole thing.”