Three coaches, two athletes and one administrator make up the 2012 induction class for the Louisiana High School Sports Hall of Fame, according to a news release from the Louisiana High School Athletic Association.
Former Jesuit High and Major League Baseball star Will Clark and ex-Catholic High-Baton Rouge and NFL player Travis Minor are the athletes.
Port Barre High softball and girls basketball coach Claudia Blanchard is joined by two legendary New Orleans area coaches, the late Edward J. “Skeets” Tuohy, who coached Newman to basketball prominence and Otis Washington, who built St. Augustine into one of Louisiana’s top football powers in the 1970s.
Longtime Lafayette Parish Athletic Director James Simmons is the administrator who will be part of the induction set for 6:30 p.m. Jan. 25 at the Crowne Plaza.
Clark helped lead Jesuit to the Class 4A baseball title in 1980 and lettered three years for the Blue Jays.
Clark hit .560 as a senior in 1982 and also had 81 career runs batted in and 71 career runs scored.
After high school, Clark won the Golden Spikes Award given to the top collegiate player while at Mississippi State. He went on to play 15 seasons in the majors after being drafted by the San Francisco Giants.
Catholic’s Minor was voted the Gatorade National Player of the Year for football and also was Louisiana’s Mr. Football as a senior in 1995. He ran for 2,649 yards and 33 touchdowns as a senior and posted career totals of 4,706 rushing yards and 52 TDs.
Minor, who also was a top track sprinter, played collegiately at Florida State and played eight NFL seasons, six with Miami and two with St. Louis.
Washington coached 18 years at St. Augustine and was
head coach from 1969-79,
compiling a 113-17-1 record that included seven district title and Class 4A state championships in 1975, 1978 and 1979, along with a runner-up finish in 1971.
His Purple Knights were the first team to win back-to-back 4A titles and the 1975 squad posted Louisiana’s first 15-0 finish.
Tuohy coached at Holy Cross-New Orleans from 1956-59, then at Newman from 1960 to 1975. He served as Newman’s head football coach from 1960-68 and was head basketball coach from 1960-75.
Tuohy’s Newman teams made nine Top 20 tournament appearances and won Class 1A state championships in 1961, 1963 and 1964, while also garnering a runner-up finish in 1966.
Blanchard was Port Barre’s girls basketball coach from 1981-1997 and head softball coach from 1982-2002. She also was a softball assistant from 2003-06.
Blanchard coached the Red Devils to four parish titles, five district titles, a Class 2A runner-up finish in 1985 and the 2A title in 1987.
In softball, Blanchard coached Port Barre to a 2A state title in 2000 and runner-up finishes in 1985, 1986, 2001 and 2002.
Simmons, who coached track and cross country at Crowley High from 1972-84 and Acadiana High from 1984-90, has been the Lafayette Parish athletic director since 1990.
His track teams won seven district titles, four regional titles and were the state runner-up twice.
Simmons was voted Louisiana’s top athletic director in 1993 and 1994. He also was voted the Southern District Athletic Director of the Year in 2007 and has received distinguished service awards from numerous groups, including the Louisiana High School Athletic Association (2005) and Louisiana High School Coaches Association (1999). He also received the Louisiana Track & Field Coaches Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.