Longtime Denham Springs football coach/principal Butch Wax and other colleagues were eager to pay tribute to Lloyd deGeneres on Wednesday.
Any questions about deGeneres’ impact on the only school he ever worked for are answered by his funeral arrangements. Visitation for the deGeneres, who died Tuesday night, is set for 4 p.m.-8 p.m. Friday at the school’s Grady Hornsby gym.
Visitation continues from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. Saturday when services begin at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. DeGeneres was 73.
“He was a great coach and just a great person to be around,” Wax said. “We probably worked together for 45 years and were friends for 50.
“Lloyd was a very successful head track coach. I think he won six district titles. He was an offensive line coach in football, and he was tough. But he was one of those coaches who could be tough on players and they still loved him. He got the most out of them.”
DeGeneres was hired by the late Louis “Loody” Carlisle as an assistant coach at Denham Springs in 1965. Wax said deGeneres was a teacher/coach for 25 years and spent another 20 years as an administrator. He was an assistant principal when he retired in 2010 and was inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012.
Current football coach/athletic director Dru Nettles, a former DSHS athlete, said he considers Carlisle, Wax and deGeneres to be among the most influential coaches in the school’s history.
“I’m sure people will say ‘He (deGeneres) wasn’t a head football coach, so how important was he,’ ” Nettles said. “I’m telling you he made a huge impact on our school. Coach deGeneres was a taskmaster and wanted things done his way whether it was on the field or in the hallway. We’re all better because of that.”