2017 Hall of Fame Inductees
Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame
2017 Induction Class – Competitors
CALVIN BOREL -- A St. Martin Parish native, Borel is a three-time Kentucky Derby-winning jockey who briefly retired in March 2016 with 5,146 career wins (27th all-time in North American racing history) and more than $127 million in purse money from 34,915 mounts. As of August, he has resumed riding. A fan favorite known for his colorful personality, Borel, who started what would be a 25-year riding career at Delta Downs, earned the nickname “Bo-rail” because of his penchant for settling in along the rail in a race in order to cover the shortest distance possible. Borel recorded an unprecedented feat in piloting three Kentucky Derby winners in a four-year span -- starting with Street Sense in 2007 and winning in back-to-back tries aboard 50-to-1 shot Mine That Bird (the second-biggest upset in Derby history) in 2009 and Super Saver in ’10. He has spent much of his riding career in Kentucky, where he has won numerous racing titles. All told, he has brought home 1,189 winners in 20 years at Churchill Downs -- including the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile on Street Sense in 2006 and ranks second all-time at the venerable oval behind Pat Day (2,482 wins). Borel put together the ultimate racing “double” in 2009, when, the day before riding Mine That Bird to a 6¾-length win (the largest margin of victory in the Kentucky Derby in 63 years), he won the Kentucky Oaks (the female version of the Kentucky Derby) aboard Rachel Alexandra -- becoming only the seventh jockey to do that. Borel guided her to a win over the boys two weeks later in the Preakness and was also in the saddle when Rachel Alexandra became the first distaff winner of the Grade I Woodward at Saratoga. Borel, who won 2010 George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award in a vote of his peers, earned his 5000th career win on March 7, 2013 -- the 26th North American jockey to reach that plateau. That same year, he was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. Born 11-7-1966 in St. Martin Parish.
D-D BREAUX -- The “Dean of Coaches” at LSU, Breaux has carved out a solid career in 40 seasons as the Tiger gymnastics coach. Breaux has posted a 740-418-8 overall record (.638) during a period of sustained success that has seen LSU make 33 consecutive NCAA regional appearances. LSU has been to the NCAA national semifinals -- which includes 12 teams -- 12 of the past 13 years with six Super Six appearances (the equivalent of the national championship game) in the past 10 seasons. LSU athletes have also won 12 individual titles since 2002, including a school record three in 2017. Breaux has led her team to a program-best runner-up finish the last two seasons at the NCAA Championships, including posting the second-highest score ever at the meet in 2017. A USA Gymnastics Region 8 Hall of Famer, Breaux was voted the National coach of the Year, Central Region Coach of the Year and Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year in 2017. Over her illustrious career, Breaux has been voted national coach of the year two times, region coach of the year nine times and the conference coach of the year eight times. A former gymnast long before Title IX, she has for four decades tirelessly worked to bring attention to the sport and at least twice resisted desires of the LSU athletic administration to shut down the program -- earning her respect and admiration from rival coaches around the country. The 2017 season was won for the record books as the squad swept the league’s conference and tournament championships. Once again, fans packed the PMAC in record numbers as LSU broke the 10,000 average attendance mark for the first time in school history. LSU averaged 10,050 fans per meet to set a new attendance record for a fifth-straight season and check in at No. 3 in the national attendance rankings. More than 10,000 fans attended meets against Texas Woman’s, Missouri and Florida. The three meets with 10,000 fans or more matched the school record set in 2016. Five of the six meets in 2017 ranked in the top-10 of the best gymnastics attendance figures in school history. The third-largest crowd in school history (12,609) witnessed No. 2 LSU defeat No. 3 Florida to clinch the SEC regular season championship. Born 1-19-1953 in Donaldsonville, La.
C.A. CORE -- Core is the icon of Southeastern Louisiana basketball, the most decorated player in Lions history. Nearly 50 years after his final college season in 1967-68, he’s still the school’s all-time leader in scoring and rebounding. He also still holds several single season records. He led Southeastern in scoring and rebounding all four years, averaging a double-double each season (22.3 ppg/12.3 rpg as a freshman, 20.0/15.9 as a sophomore, 21.1/15.0 as a junior and 21.7/18.5 as a senior). For his career, he averaged 21.3 points and 15.4 rebounds per game in finishing with 2,046 points and 1,475 rebounds. He earned NAIA and AP All-American honors in 1966-67 and was an NAIA All-American in 1967-68. He was drafted by the NBA and ABA, but went into the service instead of playing pro ball. He is the only basketball player in the school’s history to have his jersey retired. A native of Noblesville, Ind., he died at the age of 41. He was a teacher and coach in the St. Tammany Parish school system at the time of his death.
RAYMOND DIDIER - He touched three different sports programs in the state prominently and coached Nicholls State to the Division II College World Series 1970 finals -- the first Louisiana school to seriously challenge for a national baseball championship. Didier started coaching at Southwestern Louisiana Institute (now Louisiana-Lafayette) in 1948. In nine seasons there, Ray’s SLI teams won five Gulf States Conference baseball championships. He also coached football at Southwestern for six years, winning one league title. In 1957, Didier moved to LSU where the Tigers went 104-79 in baseball under him and won the 1961 SEC title. He also served as an assistant on Paul Dietzel's 1958 national championship football team. In 1963, he went to Nicholls State where he coached the Colonels to 217 baseba;; victories between 1964 and 1971, including that run that brought the Colonels to the precipice of a national Division II title. Didier retired from coaching after the 1971 season with an overall 458-311-3 (.647) baseball record and remained as athletic director until he passed away. The Colonels’ baseball stadium is named for him. Born 1-7-20 in Marksville, La., died 3-9-78 in Jefferson, La.
EDDIE KENNISON -- Former LSU two-sport star lettered in track, where he was a six-time All-American and NCAA champion in the 4x100-meter relay, and football before going on to a 13-year NFL career as a wide receiver/kick returner. A first-round draft pick of the St. Louis Rams (18th overall) in 1996, he played with four other teams -- including the Saints in 1999. For his career, he caught 548 passes for 8,345 yards, averaging 15.2 yards per catch, and had 42 TDs with a long of 90 yards. He also returned three punts for scores while averaging 10.0 yards per return in his career. Kennison played in 179 games with 154 starts and averaged better than 16.0 yards per catch in six of his 13 seasons. His best years were with the Kansas City Chiefs with whom he caught 321 passes for 5,230 yards with 25 TDs, playing seven seasons there (2001-07). In 2004, at the age of 31, he had 62 receptions for 1,086 yards and eight TDs and followed that in ’05 with 68 grabs for 1,102 yards and five TDs. As a 33-year-old in 2006, Kennison had 53 catches for 860 yards and five more scores. He had 800 or more receiving yards in seven seasons. Born 1-20-1973 in Lake Charles, La.
JUAN PIERRE -- A two-sport standout in basketball and baseball at Alexandria Senior High, Pierre was a leadoff hitting outfielder who played 14 seasons in the majors with the Rockies, Marlins, Dodgers, Cubs, White Sox and Phillies. Compiled a career .295 batting average with three 200-hit seasons and led the National League in hits in 2004 (221) and ’06 (204). Pierre had 2,217 career hits (225 doubles, 94 triples, 18 homers) -- and 517 RBI. Pierre also had 614 stolen bases, good for 18th on MLB’s all-time list, and led the league three times. He is one of only four players in MLB history to have at least 100 career steals with three different teams (Marlins, Rockies, Dodgers) and was the active leader in career stolen bases when he retired. Pierre played in 821 consecutive games, but thanks to an arcane MLB rule, his consecutive game streaks were broken into 386 and 434 games due to a pinch-running role in one game. Pierre was the only player in baseball to play every inning of all his team’s games in 2004, and was only the third player to do it since 1971. He was named the 2003 team MVP of the World Series as a member of the Florida Marlins after hitting .305 and stealing a league-high 65 bases that season. In the World Series, he was the catalyst in leading the Marlins past the Yankees, hitting .333. He had a 16-game hitting streak to start his career, the second-longest streak to begin a career in MLB history. Born 8-14-1977 in Mobile, Ala.
ED REED -- During a distinguished 13-year NFL career, 12 of which were spent with the Baltimore Ravens, Reed was voted first-team All-Pro five times and nine times was elected to the Pro Bowl. Reed was arguably the league’s top free safety for more than a decade after leaving the University of Miami following his junior season. He had 64 career interceptions (seventh on the NFL’s all-time list), returning seven for touchdowns, and broke up 141 passes in 174 games played. He had nine more interceptions in 15 postseason games, helping the Ravens win Super Bowl XLVII in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. His 1,590 career yards on interception returns is the most in NFL history -- more than 100 yards better than the old mark set by Pro Football Hall of Famer Rod Woodson. Reed returned an interception 106 yards against Cleveland in 2004 and went 107 yards with another one four years later against Philadelphia. Reed had at least five picks in seven of his 13 seasons, getting nine each in 2004 and ’08 and eight in 2010. He also had 13 fumble recoveries and 11 forced fumbles as one of the game’s top ball-hawks. A Destrehan High star in football and track, Reed was born 9-11-1978 in St. Rose, La.
DAVID TOMS -- A two-time first-team All-American at LSU in 1988 and ’89, Toms, a Monroe native and Shreveport resident, is one of the best golfers to ever come out of Louisiana. Toms has completed his 24th season on the PGA Tour this fall and has 13 career victories plus two more on the Web.com Tour. He ranked 10th on the PGA Tour’s all-time money list with a little more than $41.8 million -- winning more than $2 million in a season 10 times -- including six years with at least $3 million. His top earning season was in 2005 when he piled up $3,962,013 on 11 top-10 finishes. Toms was in the top 10 of the Official World Golf Ranking for 175 weeks between 2001 and 2006, rising as high as fifth in 2002 and ’03. His PGA Tour wins include the 2001 PGA Championship and 2001 Compaq Classic of New Orleans when he became the first Louisiana native to win the Tour’s annual stop in the Crescent City. He took the PGA Championship by one stroke over Phil Mickelson after outlasting “Lefty” by two swings three months earlier in New Orleans. Toms also has 16 runner-up finishes on Tour while making 411 cuts in 611 career starts.. While not an extraordinarily long hitter off the tee, he makes up for it from the fairway in with pinpoint shot-making. As a result, he’s excelled on golf’s biggest stages, making a World Cup (2002), three U.S. Ryder Cup teams (2002, ’04, ’06) with a 4-6-2 record and four Presidents Cup squads (2003, ’05, ’07, ’11). He was 4-0-1 in helping the USA win the ’07 Presidents Cup. Toms has a sparkling record in golf’s four majors, making the cut in 37 of 61 career starts with six top-five efforts and 11 top-10s -- including three Masters and three U.S. Opens. In addition to his win at the 2001 PGA, his top major finishes were a tie for fourth at the U.S. and British opens and a tie for sixth at the Masters. Built the David Toms Academy 265 in Shreveport, a world class instruction and training facility to help local youths, and is active in golf course design. He shared the 2006 Golf Writers Association of America’s Charlie Bennett Award with fellow Louisianans Kelly Gibson and Hal Sutton for helping raise $2 million toward the Hurricane Katrina relief effort. Born 1-4-67 in Monroe, La.
Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership Award
SUE DONOHOE -- A Pineville native and former Louisiana Tech graduate assistant basketball coach who remains one of the college game's most accomplished administrators of all time. Currently, she is past president of the board of directors for the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tenn., served as the NCAA's vice president for women's basketball for 12 years, and also directed the men's basketball NCAA Division I championship. She was on the coaching staff for the Lady Techsters' 1982 NCAA championship team.
Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism
JIM HENDERSON -- He spent 34 years (1978-2012) as sports director of WWL-TV in New Orleans, has been the radio play-by-play voice of the New Orleans Saints since 1986 (except for the 1990 season, when he called NFL games for CBS-TV). Henderson replaced New Orleans legend and 1990 DSA winner Lloyd "Hap" Glaudi as WWL's sports director, and helped the station produce one of the highest-rated local news broadcasts in America. As a reporter for CBS Newspath, he regularly covered major events like the Super Bowl, the Masters and the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. His play-by-play career has allowed Henderson to be the soundtrack for memorable moments in Saints history, including their first playoff victory in 2000 ("Hakim dropped the ball!"), the NFC Championship Game win in January 2010 ("Pigs have flown! Hell has frozen over! The Saints are on their way to the Super Bowl!") and, two weeks later, the Saints' victory in Super Bowl XLIV ("Get ready to party with the Lombardi, New Orleans!"). After retiring from WWL in January 2012, he has remained in his play-by-play role with the Saints. His TV "retirement" did not last long. Six months later, he returned to the airwaves to provide commentary and analysis on the Saints for WVUE-TV. He is a 13-time winner of Louisiana's Sportscaster of the Year honor as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.
DAN MCDONALD --In a career dating to 1974, McDonald continues to pile up LSWA writing awards and remains involved in sports media relations in the private sector. He stands alongside state sports information legends Louis Bonnette, Paul Manasseh and Ace Higgins as inductees in the College Sports Information Directors of America’s Hall of Fame (June 2011). In 26 years as an SID at Northwestern State (1975-80) and Louisiana-Lafayette (1980-99), McDonald became an industry leader in many aspects.Among those who benefited first hand from McDonald's guidance include former assistants Herb Vincent, the associate commissioner of the Southeastern Conference; Greg Sharko, the media relations director for the Association of Tennis Professionals; and Pat Murphy, the head softball coach at the University of Alabama, who came to work as a graduate assistant SID for McDonald in Lafayette. After graduating in three years from Northwestern, the Jonesboro native spent one year as a sportswriter at the Alexandria Town Talk before Northwestern hired him - at 22 years old - to be the SID of what was about to become a Division I athletics department. In 1980, he moved to UL-Lafayette. McDonald won numerous CoSIDA awards for writing and media guides at both institutions, including national honors at NSU, and served two years on the CoSIDA Board of Directors. He was a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee media relations staff for two Olympic Games (Seoul, 1988 and Atlanta, 1996) and six U.S. Olympic Festivals. He also served two years as president, after a two-year term as vice president, of the LSWA and remains a key member of the LSWA Executive Committee and Hall of Fame Committee. McDonald retired from then-USL to become senior sports writer at the Lafayette Daily Advertiser and spent nine years in that role. Now a freelance journalist, he has won dozens of writing awards from the LSWA, including three 'Writer of the Year' awards in a five-year span, and was the 1999 recipient of the LSWA’s coveted Mac Russo Award recognizing members who remarkably represent the ideals of the organization. At the Advertiser, he captured a “Best of Gannett” national award for his coverage of the Little League World Series. McDonald has also done extensive broadcast and television work, including currently anchoring annual webcasts of Sun Belt Conference baseball, softball and golf tournaments. He and his wife of 28 years, Mary Beth McDonald, operate the Lafayette-based McD Media marketing/public relations firm with an emphasis on sports PR.
FOR INFO ON THE HALL OF FAME, CONTACT:
Doug Ireland, Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Chairman, DougIreland@LaSportsHall.com, 318-288-6388
LOUISIANA SPORTS HALL OF FAME FOUNDATION CEO:
Ronnie Rantz, RonnieRantz@LaSportsHall.com, 225-802-6040
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