A perfect blend of coaches, administrators and competitors is set to join the Louisiana High School Sports Hall of Fame in January.
Notre Dame football coach Lewis Cook Jr., former coach and Louisiana High School Athletic Association assistant executive director Rhonda McCullough Dreibelbis and former LSU and NFL standout Kevin Mawae, who starred at Leesville High, help lead the eight-member induction class.
Also set to be inducted Jan. 28 at the Crowne Plaza in Baton Rouge are former Alexandria Senior High football coach Butch Stoker, longtime Natchitoches Central girls basketball coach Emma Boozman, veteran administrator Gerald Cobb, former West St. John football coach Laury Dupont and softball standout Candace Carnahan Jackson of Barbe High.
Cook surpassed the 300 wins plateau earlier this season and currently ranks seventh on Louisiana’s all-time wins list. His career that began in 1974 includes stints as a head coach at Rayne, Crowley and Notre Dame, along with two stints as an assistant at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
Other highlights for Cook include winning Class 3A state titles at Crowley in 1989 and at Notre Dame in 2000 and 2009. His teams have finished as the state runner-up seven other times and have made 28 playoff appearances. Cook’s teams have posted seven 10-0 regular seasons and two 15-0 overall records. He also served as president of the Louisiana High School Coaches Association.
Dreibelbis became the LHSAA’s first female assistant director in 2007 and served until 2013. A former Pitkin High basketball standout, she also coached from 1991-2007, with successful stints at Carencro and Abbeville. Dreibelbis also served as an assistant principal at Abbeville.
Mawae became one of the state’s top football recruits as an offensive lineman while playing at Leesville from 1985-88. He earned all-state and all-district honors and was inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame and the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.
At LSU, Mawae earned All-America honors in 1993. He played in eight Pro Bowls in 16 NFL seasons and served as president of the NFL Players Association for four years. He is a candidate for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Jackson, a softball pitcher, led Barbe to three state titles from 1989-91 while recording a record of 119-4.
Jackson earned all-state honors four times and set national records for consecutive wins with 107, career shutouts with 85, 50 career no-hitters and had a streak of 393.1 innings without allowing an earned run.
Stoker won over 200 games during a head coaching career that included stints in Arkansas and Louisiana. He coached at Alexandria from 1977 to 2007, compiling a record of 197-136.
Stoker was inducted into the ASH Trojan Hall of Fame in 2011, was voted district Coach of the Year seven times and served as president of the Louisiana High School Coaches Association.
Boozman’s career spanned from 1977 to 2013 and included stops at Fairview and Campti. She finished with a record of 865-370 and is best known for her stint at Natchitoches Central from 1987 to 2013.
Boozman won two state titles at Campti in 1982 and 1983 and another at Natchitoches Central in 2010. Her teams were the state runner-up twice. Boozman was voted state Coach of the Year three times.
Cobb served as principal at Simsboro and Ruston and also as the Lincoln Parish School System Superintendent.
Dupont also coached at E.D. White, Terrebonne, Thibodaux and Vandebilt during a 39-year career. He posted a record of 229-99 as a head coach and won 11 district championships. At West St. John from 1990-2008, Dupont won Class 2A titles in 1998, 2003 and 2004. His teams also had three state runner-up finishes.
Dupont claimed state Coach of the Year honors three times.