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Dennis Waldron Selected as 57th Sugar Bowl President
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Dennis Waldron, a longtime New Orleans judge and a lifetime resident of the city, has been named the Sugar Bowl Committee's President for the 2014-15 year. Waldron, a graduate of the University of New Orleans and Loyola Law School, is the 57th president of the organization. He will oversee the January 1, 2015 Allstate Sugar Bowl, which will also serve as a national semifinal in the new College Football Playoff which is being implemented this year with the Sugar Bowl being an integral part of the system.
Over the next 12 years, the Sugar Bowl is guaranteed to remain among the elite of college football postseason games as it will host national semifinal games in four of those years, including following the 2014 season, as well as the top teams from the Southeastern Conference and the Big 12 Conference in the other eight years. The Sugar Bowl is also contracted to be played at primetime on New Year's Day every year (except for 2017 and 2023 when New Year's Day falls on a Sunday, moving the game to Jan. 2 to avoid NFL conflicts).
The Allstate Sugar Bowl will also continue its prominent position in the community by hosting and sponsoring 25-plus amateur sporting events each year. Included in those events are the Crescent City Classic, a nationally-recognized road race featuring over 20,000 participants; the Manning Award, which honors college football's top quarterback; four basketball tournaments; two volleyball tournaments; two soccer sponsorships; and events in bowling, sailing, lacrosse and high school football.
"I'm very honored to have the opportunity to serve as the President of the Sugar Bowl Committee as we begin a new chapter in the organization's history," said Waldron. "Not only are we beginning a new 12-year alliance with the SEC and Big 12, but this year's game will be the first of four national semifinal games that we will host over the same 12-year period. We will also continue our efforts to secure college football national championship games while remaining committed to hosting and sponsoring top-notch amateur events in accordance with the original mission of the Sugar Bowl."
The Sugar Bowl Committee was founded as the New Orleans Mid-Winter Sports Association in 1934 for the purpose of promoting amateur sporting events that would stimulate tourism and have a positive economic effect on the New Orleans metropolitan area. Over the last decade, the Sugar Bowl has had an economic impact of over $2 billion for the city and state.
Since being elected to the Sugar Bowl Committee in 1995, Waldron (pictured with fellow Sugar Bowl Committee member Archie Manning) has served in several officer positions and has been involved with numerous Sugar Bowl committees, including serving as chairman of the organization's Team Liaison Committee; he was also a key figure in the re-drafting of the organization's by-laws in 2007. Waldron succeeds Jay Batt, who directed the organization through the past year which included the bowl's successful hosting of the 80th Allstate Sugar Bowl as well as its significant role with the 2013 NCAA Women's Basketball Final Four. Waldron will serve with T. Carey Wicker, President-Elect; G. Charles "Chuck" Lapeyre, Vice-President; Stanley J. Cohn, Treasurer; and Roderick K. West, Secretary. Furthermore, the Sugar Bowl's 55th President, Jack Laborde, was elected Chairman of the Executive Committee, and joining the 18-member Executive Committee for 2014-15 are Thomas Beron; J. Lee Moss, M.D.; and Ashley Melius Zito.
A product of the city's Irish Channel neighborhood, Waldron served eight years as a prosecuting attorney before a 27-year career as a criminal judge. After graduating from Redemptorist High School, he earned his bachelor's degree from LSU-New Orleans (now UNO) and then his law degree from Loyola.
Waldron and his wife Pam were married on Oct. 5, 1973, the same day he was sworn in as a lawyer. They have three sons, James, who has been a member of the Sugar Bowl Committee since 2009, Matthew and Andrew. The retired judge is also a diehard baseball fan and has seen every Major League team play in its home park.