Local coaches and former players are calling former Holden and Denham Springs High boys basketball coach Alton Leggette, a hall of fame boys basketball coach, as a perfectionist who loved his players and the game.
Leggette, 80, died on Sunday, and services were held on Wednesday in Denham Springs.
Though he is best know as the coach of the 1963 Holden team that won the Class C state title and beat numerous other state powers, including 3A Istrouma, Leggette went on to serve as head coach at Denham Springs and also was an assistant for the Yellow Jackets a decade ago when future LSU standout Tasmin Mitchell played there.
“He was a great coach and a better person,” Zachary coach Kenny Almond said. “I remember seeing his teams beat Istrouma when I was in eighth and ninth grade. It was probably the closest thing we had to Hoosiers in Louisiana.
“I’d heard they had to pass the ball 25 times before they shot it, and they did. And they beat Istrouma, too. They were something to watch.”
Leggette started his career as the girls coach Maurepas. The Holden native then became the boys coach at Holden and finished his career as a head coach in mid-1970s at Denham Springs with a record of 498-155. He also worked as an athletic administrator and went on to serve briefly on the Livingston Parish School Board.
In 1990, Leggette was selected as Louisiana’s Mr. Basketball by the Louisiana Association of Basketball Coaches.
“He was tough, but he also had compassion,” former Holden star Ed Green said. “He was the best coach on fundamentals ever. We started with the basics, like how to put your shoes on.
“Coach Leggette knew the game. He was a student of the game. If there was a basketball clinic any where close, he’d be there. More than anything else, he wanted his teams to play the game the right way.”
Almond recalled bringing his teams to the freshman tournament DSHS named in Leggette’s honor.
“We’ve always gone to that tournament and until the last couple of years coach Leggette was there,” Almond said. “I’d make it a point to tell my players about him and make sure they shook his hand.
“Afterwards, he’d tell me ‘You’ve got a good little group there.’ He didn’t say that every year, but I always took it as a compliment.”
Glen Oaks coach Harvey Adger added, “What a great man … just a super person. He always told me he saw some of himself in me and to keep working.”
ACHS, FRA get trophies
The LHSAA released updated scoring for its Division V powerlifting meet held late last month.
The revised scoring gave Ascension Catholic the Division V girls state title with 45 points. False River Academy was the runner-up with 43.
False River was the Division V boys state champion with 46 points and Delhi was second with 37 points.