Outstanding College Coach, State of Louisiana

The Allstate Sugar Bowl has recognized the top collegiate coach in the state of Louisiana since 1988 – candidates must coach at the collegiate level within the state of Louisiana. The honor is selected by the Greater New Orleans Sports Awards Committee, which has been existence since 1957. In 1961, the group began selecting an overall coach of the year from the state – whether it be from high school, college or professional sports. All of the Sugar Bowl awards were presented on a calendar-year basis until 2009 when the Committee changed to an academic calendar (July-June). The annual awards banquet is typically held in late July or early August. Records from 1991-98 are not available.

Dennis Shaver, who directed the LSU men’s track and field team to the NCAA Outdoor Championship, was selected as the Allstate Sugar Bowl’s Collegiate Coach of the Year for Louisiana for 2020-21. The Greater New Orleans Sports Awards Committee, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, selects annual award winners in a variety of categories; it also selects Amateur Athletes of the Month and each year’s Hall of Fame class.

Shaver, in his 17th year at the head of the LSU track and field programs, directed the Tigers to tremendous success in 2020-21. The pinnacle of the year came at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships when the LSU men’s track team captured its first national championship since 2002 after which he was named the Co-National Men’s Coach of the Year by the USTFCCCA. The Tigers had a dominating performance at the national meet as they tallied 84 points to easily outpace second-place Oregon’s 53 points. LSU won six events at the national championship – the only school to surpass that was Ohio State in 1936 when Jesse Owens snagged four golds himself.

“It means a lot because there have been so many times we’ve been second at this meet,” Shaver said after the outdoor championship. “To be able to win it is pretty exciting. We came out here and dominated the meet in a lot of ways and that made it special for us.”

Shaver’s success was not limited to that one outdoor team – the LSU women also earned a sixth-place national finish despite suffering critical injuries during the national meet. During the indoor season, LSU’s men notched a second-place national finish while the women finished third – the only school with a pair of top-three finishes. He was also recognized as the NCAA South Central Region Coach of the Year for both men’s and women’s outdoor track and field.

The other finalists for Louisiana Collegiate Coach of the Year were Lane Burroughs (Louisiana Tech Baseball), Jeremy Kennedy (Loyola Baseball) and Jeff Willis (LSU-Eunice Baseball). Burroughs, in his fifth season, directed Louisiana Tech to a memorable season which included a division title, an appearance in the Conference USA Championship game and the first hosting of an NCAA Regional in program history. Kennedy directed the Wolf Pack to the best baseball season in program history as it won a program-record 36 games, achieved its first NAIA national ranking (climbing as high as No. 8 in the country) and advanced to the NAIA National Championship Tournament. Willis directed the Bengals to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II National Championship with a thrilling 14-inning victory over Western Oklahoma State – the World Series victory was the seventh all-time for Willis and the Bengals; it also wrapped up the program’s third straight 50-win season.

2020-21 Dennis Shaver LSU Track & Field
2019-20 Ed Orgeron LSU Football
2018-19 D-D Breaux LSU Gymnastics
2017-18 Tim Rebowe Nicholls State Football
2016-17 D-D Breaux LSU Gymnastics
2015-16 Alan Green Xavier Men’s Tennis
2014-15 Chuck Winstead LSU Men’s Golf
2013-14 Tony Robichaux UL-Lafayette Baseball
2012-13 Roman Banks Southern Men’s Basketball
2011-12 Mark Hudspeth UL-Lafayette Football
2010-11 Yvette Girouard LSU Softball
2009-10 Paul Mainieri LSU Baseball
2008 Dobee Plaisance Loyola Women’s Basketball
2007 Les Miles LSU Football
2006 John Brady LSU Basketball
2005 Not Awarded Hurricane Katrina
2004 Pokey Chatman LSU Women’s Basketball
2003 Nick Saban LSU Football
2002 Tommy Tate McNeese State Football
2001 Rick Jones Tulane Baseball
2000 Tony Robichaux UL-Lafayette Baseball
1999 Pete Richardson Southern Football
1990 Tim Floyd UNO Men’s Basketball
1989 Tim Floyd UNO Men’s Basketball
1988 Leon Barmore Louisiana Tech Women’s Basketball
1987 Jim Mora New Orleans Saints
1986 Dale Brown LSU Men’s Basketball
1985 Eddie Robinson Grambling State Football
1984 Ron Maestri UNO Baseball
1983 Bum Phillips New Orleans Saints
1982 Jerry Stovall LSU Football
1981 Sonja Hogg Louisiana Tech Women’s Basketball
1980 Dale Brown LSU Men’s Basketball
1979 Larry Smith Tulane Football
1978 Eddie Robinson Grambling State Football
1977 NA
1976 NA
1975 Ron Greene UNO Basketball
1974 Alvin Dark Okaland Athletics Baseball
1973 Maxie Lambright Louisiana Tech Football
Bennie Ellender Tulane Football
1972 Maxie Lambright Louisiana Tech Football
1971 Jack Doland McNeese State Football
1970 Charlie McClendon LSU Football
1969 Charlie McClendon LSU Football
1968 Babe McCarthy New Orleans Buccaneers Basketball
1967 Tom Fears New Orleans Saints
1966 Jim Pittman Tulane Football
1965 Russell Faulkinberry Southwest Louisiana Football
1964 Joe Aillet Louisiana Tech Football
1963 Leslie DeVall McNeese State Football
1962 Charlie McClendon LSU Football
1961 Paul Dietzel LSU Football
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