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Beryl Shipley Profile

Mr. Beryl Shipley (Deceased)

300 Claymore Drive
Lafayette, LA 70503

Home Phone:
Work Phone:
Email: 337-984-1708


Beryl Shipley

LAFAYETTE – Beryl Shipley, 84, peacefully slipped away after a fight with lung cancer late Friday evening, April 15, 2011, at his home in Lafayette, LA.

A memorial service of celebration will be held at noon on Good Friday, April 22, 2011, at First Baptist Church of Lafayette, LA. Visitation is from 9 am until the time of noon service. Pastor Steve Horn and Associate Pastor Luther Burney of First Baptist Church, Lafayette, will lead the celebratory service.

Music will be provided by Luther Burney and the Men’s Quartet of First Baptist Church.

Pre-service gospel music will be played by Huey Miller and friends. Honorary pallbearers are “his boys,” former players, and coaches.

Beryl was interred on Monday, Apr 18, at a private family graveside service at Lafayette Memorial Gardens Cemetery. Pallbearers included Beryl’s grandsons and grandsons-in-law:

Staff Sergeant Jesse Cowand, Christopher and Matthew Cowand, Wade Watson, Rob Rubel, and Jonathan Joubert.

Beryl Clyde Shipley was the youngest of three sons born to Tom and Blanche Dykes Shipley in Kingsport, TN, on August 10, 1926. He attended Dobyns-Bennett High School where he lettered three years in basketball, two years in baseball, and one year in football. He “joined up” after Pearl Harbor, serving 2 years in the US Navy aboard the USS Zaniah. His annual Zaniah reunions meant much to him. After his Navy service, Beryl attended Hinds Junior College. There he met and married Dolores Gerrard of Yazoo City, MS. They moved on to Delta State College on his basketball scholarship and the GI Bill, graduating in 1951. Beryl earned a Masters degree from Mississippi State while coaching at Starkville High from 1952-57. He brought his young family to Lafayette in 1957 as the head basketball coach at SLI, arriving just before Hurricane Audrey. He coached at SLI/USL for seventeen years. He loved and was embraced by the people of South Louisiana, his adopted home. Beryl eventually went to work in the oil patch for Fluid Dynamics and Drilling Measurements Incorporated, retiring in 1992. An AVID sports fan, he daily followed his favorite teams, players and coaches.

Beryl LOVED people–his friendships and family were sacred to him. Everyone enjoyed his quick wit and sense of humor. He insisted his loved ones know the value of a smile, and of making and maintaining friendships. He kept up with friends and former teachers from his childhood days in Kingsport to his golf, business, and sports buddies in Lafayette and around the U.S. He was cheered throughout his illness with the visits of countless friends and loved ones.

He is survived by his biggest cheerleader and devoted wife of over 61 years, Dolores Gerrard Shipley; three daughters, Marilyn Shipley Watson and husband, Bill; and Patty Shipley, all of Lafayette, and Amy Shipley Cowand and husband, Scott, of The Woodlands, TX; nine grandchildren, Cheramie Joubert, Abbey Rubel, Wade Watson, Jennifer Amorello, Leah Lavern, Staff Sergeant Jesse Cowand USAF, Christopher Cowand, Matthew Cowand, Elizabeth Cowand; great-grandchildren, Madeleine Rubel, and Chloe Watson. His brother, Thomas E. Shipley, Jr. of Birmingham, MI; nephew, T. Doane Shipley of Sewickley, PA; nieces, Ardin Shipley Moenart of Troy MI, and Jackie Shipley of Johnson City, TN ; and sister-in-law Mabel Shipley of Kingsport, TN.

He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Jack Shipley of Kingsport, TN. and sister-in-law Virginia Doane Shipley of Birmingham, MI.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making donations to the Beryl Shipley Mended Hearts Scholarships,which were established after the 2001 Shipley Reunion. Since Beryl and many family members were affected by heart disease, he wanted to help the families of students who have struggled physically and financially due to heart problems. Since 2002, fifteen awards have been provided to students in need. Checks can be made payable to: Shipley Mended Hearts Scholarships and mailed to: UL Development Office, PO Box 43410, Lafayette, LA 70504. Contributions can be made online at www.ullfoundation.org (click Donate, UL Lafayette Endowments). Donors may also use a credit card by calling the UL Lafayette Foundation at (337) 482-0700.

The family would like to thank Hospice of Acadiana, especially Nurse Jenny, for help at the end of Beryl’s illness. We are so grateful for recent caregivers Lance Thomas and Cassandra Alexander, who provided such faithful and skilled care. Also appreciated are the doctors who helped him to live such a long life, especially Dr. Mike Mounir.

Condolences may be sent to the Shipley family via www.delhommefuneralhome.com.

Delhomme Funeral Home, 1011 Bertrand Drive, Lafayette, LA, is in charge of funeral arrangements.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

* List of select team members letters written for the 2001 Shipley Reunion.
1. Letters of Recommendation for Coach Shipley’s induction into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame
2. Military Service by Coach Shipley
3. Slamed Dunk announcement by Coach Shipley
4. Overview of Shipley era
5. Tom Shipley letter and La Louisiane story on Coach Shipley
6. Tribute to Coach Shipley in Daily Advertiser by Rocke Roy
7. Tom Shipley entry

* * * * * * * * * *
* * List of select team members letters written for the 2001 Shipley Reunion.

Dr. Derwood Duke 1954-58

Randy Price 1955-59

Don Church 1957-59

Howard Humphreys 1957-61

Tim Thompson 1957-61

Richard Britton 1958-62

Charles “Mac” Price 1958-59 & 1963-65

Bobby W. Andrews 1959-63

Robert Verlander 1959-63

Ray Jarboe 1960-64

Jim Champagne 1961-62

Ernest Lancon 1961-65

Robert Cutrer 1961-66

Andrew Russo 1962-65

Charles English 1963-68

Rocke Roy 1964-69

Edmond “Bruce” Bentley 1966-69

Allen Van Winkle 1969-73

Additional profiles may be viewed by clicking on www.athleticnetwork.net , “Select a Team” in the upper left, Highligh and click on Men’s Basketball, scroll down to the listing of the 1957-73 teams. Click on a name and whatever the player has submitted is posted. Profiles are submitted by individual former athletes and support group members and may be viewed by visitors to the website.

Questions about the Athletic Network should be submitted to Dr. Ed Dugas at athleticnetwork@louisiana.edu

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1.Letters of Recommendation for Coach Beryl Shipley’s Nomination to the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame

June 30, 2010

Mr. Doug Ireland, Executive Director

Louisiana Sports Writer’s Association Hall of Fame Committee

RE: Letters of Recommendation for Consideration of Beryl Shipley for the LSW Hall of Fame

This letter by Randy Price is being sent on his behalf. Randy was one of the basketball players on Coach Shipley’s original team at SLI in 1957.
Peace, Ed Dugas,
UL Athletic Network www.athleticnetwork.net athleticnetwork@louisiana.edu

Dear Mr. Ireland,

Please find enclosed letters of recommendation from Clyde Briley, Dale Brown, Jerry Byrd, Dr. James Caillier, Dean Church, Jimmy Dykes, Dr. Stephen Horn, Ben Jobe, Don Landry, Mike McConathy, and Patty, Marilyn, and Amy Shipley, Coach Shipley’s daughters.

This letter and the select letters below are an attempt to focus on Coach Shipley’s contributions to basketball and the lives of others. Diverse sources were selected to write letters in hopes of providing a well-rounded perspective of the storied and far-reaching influence of his life.

I was on Coach Shipley’s first team at SLI in 1957and followed his teams through the years. I have known much of what is contained in the letters to be true because I witnessed much of what is written.

Technology has changed the methods and speed of communication, so this cover letter includes alternatives for information on my recommendation:
1. In addition to the electronic information contained in this letter, a hard copy will be sent to you shortly.

2. Beginning on July 1, 2010, one may click on Beryl Shipley’s Athletic Network profile at http://athleticnetwork.net/site.php?pageID=55&profID=2366 and view entries sent by select former team members. These were written in 2001 as part of the reunion of his former players, managers, coaches, athletic trainers, and fans.

3. Viewers may click on http://athleticnetwork.net/site211.php and the Shipley Scrapbook and view information and pictures of the Shipley Reunion, as well as the years prior to 2001. (Many of the links are still operable)

4. Beryl Shipley served in the Navy during World War II and his military information may be viewed by clicking here http://athleticnetwork.net/site.php?pageID=1745 then scrolling down to his name/picture.

The information provided in this letter and the accompanying letters, along with the information posted on the Athletic Network Website at www.athleticnetwork.net are to provide information so you may become more knowledgeable about this deserving nominee.

Thank you for any consideration you may give to this nomination and please contact me at home (830)257-2832, work (830)896-7201 or email kr.price@yahoo.com if any information needs to be clarified or if you wish to discuss this nomination.

Randy Price, SLI Basketball Player, 1955-59

Cc: Letters of Recommendation for Coach Beryl Shipley’s Nomination to the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame

Clyde Briley – May 5, 2010

Dale Brown – May 12, 2010

Jerry Byrd – May 13, 2010

Dr. James A. Caillier – May 17, 2010

Dean Church – May 14, 2010

Jimmy Dykes – June 28, 2010

Dr. Stephen Horn – May 11, 2010

Ben Jobe – May 13, 2010

Don Landry – May 7, 2010

Mike McConathy – May 22, 2010

Scotty Robertson – May 13, 2010

Patty, Marilyn, and Amy Shipley – May 2, 2010

* * * * * * * * * * *
Clyde Briley – May 5, 2010

Please scroll down for the letters of recommendation for consideration of Beryl Shipley to the Louisiana Sport’s Writers Hall of Fame. Thank you.

* * * * * * * * *

TO: Doug Ireland
Louisiana Sports Writers Association

May 12, 2010

Oscar Wilde summed us all up pretty well when he said, “All Saints have a past and all sinners have a future.” With that in mind I ask you to please consider the induction of Beryl Shipley into the LSWA Hall of Fame. I have visited with several members about this possibility and respect their opinions on why they voted against his induction. However, I wonder why the Louisiana Association of Basketball Coaches have named Beryl into its’ Hall of Fame.

Some of you might ask shy is Dale Brown sticking his nose into this. The reason is two�”fold. First, is because Don Landry a man I deeply respect came to my office and asked me to join him in presenting Coach Shipley’s case to the LSWA. Secondly, I sincerely believe that Beryl has been punished enough by what happened and it is time to forgive and forget.

Thank you for your consideration of this matter.


Dale D. Brown

* * * * * * * * *
TO: Doug Ireland, La. Sports Writers Association

Jerry Byrd – May 13, 2010


Count me among those supporting Beryl Shipley’s nomination for the Louisiana
Sports Hall of Fame.

Shipley developed Southwestern Louisiana into a national contender before Dale Brown took LSU from a perennial doormat to the Final Four. While Shipley had problems with the NCAA, as did Hall of Famers Ralph Ward and Scotty Robertson, his primary crime was being ahead of the times in recruiting black players and violating what some considered to be a “gentleman’s agreement” that was actually an excuse for clinging to racist policies of the past.

While I did not have a dog in this hunt and covered USL only when it played schools from North Louisiana, it was obvious that he took the Cajuns to a level no other Louisiana collegiate team had attained at that time.

Shipley and Robertson both used the Auburn Shuffle offense. I was coaching at a junior high that was a feeder school to Byrd when Robertson coached there, and tried to teach it to my kids. It wasn’t easy. When I told one player to set a screen for the high post, count one thousand one and break to the basket, he set the screen and froze for half a minute. When I blew my whistle and asked him why he wasn’t breaking to the basket, he said, “Coach, I’m only up to 56.” Shipley and Robertson did a better job of teaching it to their players.

I’ve been a member of the LSWA since 1957, before the Hall of Fame existed, and feel Beryl Shipley deserves to be inducted.

Jerry Byrd

* * * * * * * * *
Dr. James A. Caillier – May 17, 2010

Doug Ireland
Louisiana Sports Writer’s Hall of Fame

Dear Mr. Ireland:

I am delighted to support Coach Beryl Shipley for induction into the Louisiana Sports Writers Hall of Fame. Beryl Shipley is a man that I deeply admired and respected over the years.

I first met Coach Beryl Shipley when I was an undergraduate student at the University of Southwestern Louisiana (USL) in the early sixties. He was a great coach with an outstanding record of success. Later, when I returned to the university as an employee, I had the opportunity to work closely with Coach Shipley and his basketball players in a tutorial program that I established. Coach Shipley showed deep interest in his student athletes and their academic performance. He cared deeply about his students on and off the basketball court.

Coach Shipley was a great coach before and after desegregation in intercollegiate athletics and in the south. He was a great teacher of the game who packed the arena with fans. They appreciated great coaching and well-disciplined athletes who were always ready to play the game of basketball with great excitement for the game and a commitment to win it.

Coach Shipley had great players who loved him, respected him, and believed and trusted him. He always prepared for competition with a great game plan and highly motivated athletes who displayed great basketball skill and carried out the game plan to perfection.

It is hard to talk about basketball in Louisiana without talking about Coach Shipley’s contribution and his success as a coach. He loved the game and always filled the arena with cheering fans. In return, his fans and community showed great love and respect for him. They wanted to be in his presence and to hear him speak. This is still true today as he remains involved in the community and assists with high school basketball.

Coach Shipley was one of the few coaches of his time that was able to adjust from a slow paced game before desegregation to a fast paced game after desegregation with great success in both. He is a man with strong family values and a great love for his church and commitment. He is a tremendous speaker who can still capture the hearts of his fans.

Because Coach Shipley has had such a profound impact on the game of basketball in Louisiana, I respectfully ask for your endorsement of Coach Beryl Shipley’s induction in the Louisiana Sports Writer’s Hall of Fame. He was truly one of Louisiana’s greatest basketball coaches and his induction would be a just reward and honor for his great career and contribution to the game of basketball.

Respectfully submitted,

James A. Caillier
Executive Director of the Patrick Taylor Foundation
President Emeritus, University of Louisiana System

* * * * * * * * * * *
Dean Church – May, 14, 2010

Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame

Dear Mr. Ireland,

This letter Mr. Douglas Ireland is written in support of Coach Beryl Shipley’s induction into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. After your review of his career, I think you will agree that he is well deserving of induction.

Coach Shipley started his Louisiana coaching career in 1957 when he became the head basketball coach at Southwestern Louisiana Institute (SLI). In 1960, the school changed its name to the University of Southwestern Louisiana (USL). He coached there until 1973.

The following is a list of some of his accomplishments:
Won 296 games
Lost 129 games .696 winning percentage
Winningest coach in USL’s 100 year history
15 winning seasons in 16 year tenure (12-13 record 1962-63 )
Coached three All-Americans
Gulf States Conference Coach of the Year four times; Runner -up two times
NAIA District Coach of the year 1964-65, 1965-66
Southland Conference Coach of the Year 1971-72, 1972-73
Louisiana Collegiate Coach of the year 1972-73
Chosen to coach the South team in Aloha Classic in Hawaii 1972
Coached Louisiana All-Star Team vs. Texas All-Stars 1972
Inducted 1984 into Louisiana Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted 1988 Hinds Community College Sports Hall of Fame

These are all great accomplishments that would merit induction into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. However, his two greatest accomplishments are not listed above. They are the time of his tenure at USL and the lives he changed while there.

At the end of the season in 1965, USL was invited to play in the NAIA District 27 Tournament, with the winner going to Kansas City to play in the national tournament. The District 27 tournament had all white teams but the national tournament would have both black and white players. Before USL committed to play in the tournament Coach Shipley had assurance that if his team won the District 27 tournament that they would be allowed to play in the National Tournament. Based on this, USL played in the District 27 Tournament and won. The team was excited to get to play in the National Tournament. Before they could get packed to go, the President of USL told Coach Shipley that he could not go. This resulted in the student body marching outside of the President’s home at midnight. The next morning the president told Coach Shipley and the student body that they could go to Kansas City. The team played two games in Kansas City winning the first game and loosing the second. Both of the teams USL played had black players.

The following year, Coach Shipley, with the approval of the new president, began recruiting black athletes. Because of this, he lost some friends and created a few enemies who did not approve of intergration of athletic teams. In spite of this, Coach Shipley produced very good integrated teams backed by both the white and black communities in Lafayette. He did this without a single boycott, sit in or riot. That was quite an accomplishment for the only integrated team in the southern United States. Looking back, Coach Shipley was certainly at the head of his class in bringing about the integration of athletic teams.

Finally, the number of lives touched by Coach Shipley in a very positive way is too great to try to calculate. Without a doubt, all of the athletes who played for him had that extra benefit. What is not known is the number of people (non-athletes who never played for USL or Coach Shipley) who benefited from their association with Coach Shipley. I have seen a number of non-athletes whose lives were put on the right track by Coach Shipley.

I would like to end this letter with a short personal story. In 1960, Coach Shipley came to Ashland, Kentucky to recruit me and a teammate. I ended up signing and going to school at USL. I played two years and at the start of my junior year I got homesick, quit school and went home. I got a job at a department store selling toys. It took me about two weeks to realize how stupid I was to quit school. I knew USL was going to play a couple of games in Kentucky. I got in my car and drove to Bowling Green with the intent of seeing Coach Shipley and asking if I could come back to school. I did meet with him and he told me that I would have to work one semester and then I could get my scholarship back. Because he gave me a second chance, I was able to get my college degree.

After graduation, I got married, had three children, worked for 33 ½ years for a shipyard and retired. I have enjoyed every part of my life and would not trade it for anything. All of this was possible because of Coach Shipley. It had nothing to do with him showing me how to shoot a jump shot or throw a pass, it had everything to do with Coach Shipley teaching me the proper values to get me through the game of life.

I would submit to you that no one is more deserving for induction into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame than Coach Beryl Shipley.

Yours Very Truly,

Dean Church
USL Class of 1965

* * * * * * * * * *

June 28, 2010

Jimmy Dykes
1235 Springwater Drive
Mandeville, LA 70471

To: Mr. Doug Ireland, Louisiana Sports Writers Association Hall of Fame

Dear Doug and Hall of Fame Committee Members,

I had the good fortune of having both played under and coached with Beryl Shipley. As the 12th man on a 12 man team, my role was to make certain that the “players” were mentally ready to play on game night. If they weren’t ready, you can believe that I heard about it from Coach.

My point here is to emphasize, what I consider to be, Beryl’s greatest asset as a coach. That being, his ability to get the most out of his players, even those who didn’t play much. The team concept was the trademark of every Beryl Shipley coached team. This team concept has carried through to today with so many of his players remaining close to Beryl and Delores (his wife of 60 years).

His competitive nature and positive spirit pushed him to move USL from the NAIA Division classification to NCAA Division I. In order to do this successfully, it was necessary for him to recruit the black athlete.

And so he started. It was 1965 with Martin Luther King marching into Selma, Alabama fighting for Civil Rights and Beryl Shipley recruiting the black athlete, the first to do so in the Deep South. He experienced many of the racial attacks that were prevalent during those times, both close to home and elsewhere.

Let us not forget that he paved the way for the likes of Dale Brown, Scotty Robertson, Lenny Fant and Ralph Ward in changing the face of the game of basketball as we then knew it.

During his lifetime, Beryl has touched the lives of so many in such a positive way. It would be a tragedy for the Louisiana Sports Writers Association to turn their back on him by not electing him to your Hall of Fame.


Jimmy Dykes

* * * * * * * * * *

Dr. Stephen Horn – May 11, 2010

May 11, 2010

Mr. Doug Ireland
Louisiana Sports Writers Hall of Fame

Dear Mr. Ireland,
I am writing in support of Coach Beryl Shipley’s nomination to the Louisiana Sports Writers Hall of Fame. A word of explanation is in order concerning my relationship with Coach Shipley. First, I am Coach and Mrs. Shipley’s pastor at First Baptist Church in Lafayette. Second, I am a few months shy of forty years old, so I was not yet born during the peak of Coach Shipley’s coaching career and just an infant even at the end of his career. As a result, my letter of support is no doubt different from other letters of recommendation, but no less valuable. My experience with Coach Shipley is based far more on the character of the man than his achievements on the court, which need no further examination.
My first observation about Coach Shipley is as his pastor. Coach Shipley is a very faithful member of First Baptist Church in Lafayette. Moreover, in our congregation, I know of no person who has anything but the very highest regard for him. His constant smile and genuine optimistic outlook on life makes him a friend to all.
A second observation regarding Coach Shipley is his putting down roots in Lafayette long after his coaching days were complete. His ability to remain in the Lafayette community, as a non-native, speaks volumes about the character of this man. I personally have seen him interact with young coaches in our area to mentor them in their career. This has been an especially gratifying part of his life.
The time has come to honor the achievements, both on and off the court, of Coach Beryl Shipley by inducting him into the Louisiana Sports Writers Hall of Fame. To bestow this honor on Coach Shipley would not only mean a great deal to him, but would mean so much to those who played for him. His induction would be a most appropriate way to honor his valuable contribution to the game of basketball not only in Lafayette, LA, but in the entire South.

Dr. Stephen Horn
Pastor, First Baptist Church, Lafayette, LA

SNH: wtd

cc: Dr. Ed Dugas

* * * * * * * * * *

Ben Jobe – May 13, 2010

Ben Jobe
Scout, NY Knicks

Doug Ireland
Chairman, LSWHF
NSU Athletics
Natchitoches, LA 71457

Please be informed that this letter is for the purpose of recommending Coach Beryl Shipley for the Louisiana Sports Writer’s Hall of Fame. In doing this, I consider it an honor and a privilege.

Coach Shipley was not only a great coach who produced great nationally recognized basketball teams, but he was also a humanitarian with great vision and passion for the game of basketball. He, like Martin Luther King, President Lyndon B. Johnson and other civil rights icons believed in “liberty and justice for all.” I have not doubt that our leaders, who fought for the “American Dream”, would agree that his courage and dedication helped to pave the way toward making his state and country free from their definition of justice.

Coach Shipley, who like other great men, must have surely scorned delights and lived laborous days to be successful during his tenure at USL. I recommend him to the LSWA Hall of Fame’s most favorable consideration.


Ben Jobe

Coach Ben Jobe (retired)

* * * * * * * * *

Don Landry

Mr. Doug Ireland
Executive Director
Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame
500 Front St.
Natchitoches, La. 71457

Dear Doug:

I would like to recommend Beryl Shirley for election into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.

In 1959-60, I had the privilege of serving as a student assistant coach on Coach Shipley’s SLI coaching staff. I was able to observe and learn of the desire, knowledge, discipline, and love of the game of basketball that he had.

Beryl was ahead of his time in Louisiana. He taught extremely hard work for his players and coaches, strong man-to-man defense and the Auburn Shuffle offense. He forced opponents to play hard at all aspects of the game.

Certainly at that time, Louisiana was considered as a “Football Only” state. Few schools put an emphasis on basketball, didn’t promote the sport and did not make efforts to promote it in the high schools and junior high schools.

Shipley changed all of this and thus set the standards that the other state colleges had to meet, if they wanted to compete.

His efforts led to increased publicity for the sport, and packed gyms at home and on the road. He created top notch coaching clinics to help the coaches in the state learn better basketball. He and his staff were always available to discuss the sport and assist anyone seeking to improve themselves.

Very few, if any, college coaches in Louisiana outworked Beryl. Once again, rival schools had to hire more qualified coaches who would work as hard, if they wanted to compete.

On a personal note, Coach Shipley was always available to assist me while I was a high school coach. In fact, he was the first person to make me believe that I too could become a college coach. He promoted me for advancement as he did so many other young coaches.

I became a successful high school coach mainly because I used the same system that I learned while working with Beryl at SLI.

When I became a head basketball coach on the college level, the state colleges were still playing under a segregated system. We were not capable of competing on the national level.

Coach Shipley is responsible for changing the system. He fought the political system at that time and changed athletics in Louisiana for all time.

This led to great success for the USL basketball teams but Coach Shipley paid a tremendous price for it. Some people in high places in state government and even on the Lafayette campus would never forgive him for bucking the system at the time.

Did Beryl make some mistakes? Possibly? But haven’t we all made mistakes, whether we are coaches, sports writers, businessmen, etc. Shouldn’t we recognize him for his positive contributions to Louisiana athletics?

I believe that legends of our sport, such as Scotty Robertson, Billy Allgood, Ralph Ward, and Lenny Fant, all members of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, would tell you, if they could, that Beryl Shipley make them better coaches and therefore, basketball in our state, was improved. This was the position taken by the Louisiana Association of Basketball Coaches, when he was voted into the Louisiana Basketball Hall of Fame.

I will not list all of his accomplishments, because they are well known. But we all know that his teams became a national power, rated with the best major college teams in the nation. This led to most of the other state colleges reaching national levels that they would not have dreamed of, before following the lead of Coach Shipley.

I believe that the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame is incomplete until Coach Beryl Shipley is voted into this most prestigious institution. I urge that all voters give their serious consideration to his future election.


Don Landry

* * * * * * * * *
From Mike McConathy
Mr. Doug Ireland
Executive Director
Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame
500 Front St.
Natchitoches, LA 71457

Dear Doug,

I would like to recommend Beryl Shipley for selection into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.

When I was a high school student, I had the opportunity to attend a Louisiana Tech and USL basketball game in Ruston, LA. La. Tech was coached by Hall of Fame coach Scotty Robertson and USL was coached by Beryl Shipley. What an experience to see those two legendary coaches go head to head during the move to prime time NCAA Division I basketball! The talent was phenomenal, led by future Hall of Famer’s Bo Lamar of USL and Mike Green of Louisiana Tech.

Beryl Shipley was ahead of his time in coaching and recruiting! I can remember watching his team run his 1-3-1 trap with Bo at the top and maximizing his entire team’s talent. Coach Shipley was a master at getting the maximum results from his players, and he was so great a coach with a passion for competition that separated him from others in the country.

Louisiana has had many talented coaches over the years. Dale Brown, Scotty Robertson, Fred Hobdy, Ralph Ward, Billy Allgood, and Lenny Fant are among these great coaches; Beryl Shipley belongs in the same company as these fine gentlemen.

Does he deserve to participate in the Hall of Fame Walk across that stage in Natchitoches every June? In my opinion, without a doubt, he does because he took his USL program to heights that were unprecedented and set a standard for all programs of that day. Coaches today strive to bring their programs to the heights that Coach Shipley achieved in Division I basketball.

In closing, beyond his success on the court, coach Shipley was a leader in breaking the color barrier and allowing all athletes an opportunity to attend any state institution; this may be his greatest feat.

I feel it will be a huge injustice if Coach Shipley is never allowed to take that “Walk across the stage in Natchitoches.”

Mike McConathy
Head Men’s Basketball Coach
Northwestern State University

* * * * * * * * * *

Scotty Robertson

May 7, 2010


Every year I recommend Beryl Shipley for induction into the sports writers Hall of Fame.

Beryl brought the first black players into Louisiana Colleges. He should have been rewarded for this because he increased the quality of the sport in our state, as well as the interest in what had always been a football state.

Sorry about my writing, but my computer is on the blink.


Scotty Robertson

420 Forest Circle, Ruston, La. 71270

* * * * * * * * *

Patty, Marilyn, and Amy – Shipley Daughters

901 Alice Drive
Lafayette, LA 70503
May 2, 2010

Mr. Doug Ireland
Louisiana Sports Writers Hall of Fame

Mr. Ireland:

My sisters and I respectfully request that our Dad, Beryl Shipley, be inducted into the Louisiana Sports Writers Hall of Fame. We know that his name has been brought before this board for consideration several times in the past. Today we hope there are fresh faces on this committee who believe, as do we, that he is a deserving man, respected and admired for his contributions to basketball and to his community.

When we were growing up we watched our father give his heart and soul to his career. It was a family affair. He was often gone– practicing with his players, recruiting new athletes, and traveling the country playing basketball games– but we knew where he was, and that his blood wouldn’t flow if he didn’t chase his dreams. We were his biggest fans. Dad was an intense individual. He loved our mother, he loved us, and he loved what he did for a living. Basketball was (and still is) his passion and we knew that was what made his world go round. We admired everything about him. His desire to instill in athletes a desire to perform to the very best of their abilities was obvious. The players looked up to him, and there was an aura of intimidation yet incredible respect. This was clearly present with his players as well as with us. Daddy could scare us, but we knew he loved us to pieces. We knew he always had our best interests at heart. He had an overwhelming presence about him. His ability to communicate with people and enjoy doing what he loved was a gift that many people never know.

As Dad’s daughters, we and our families have had the privilege to observe with awe and admiration people repeatedly, throughout our lives greeting him wherever he goes. Sometimes he knows them and sometimes he doesn’t, but they greet him, often introducing themselves and tell him how wonderful their memories are of “the good ole’ days” speaking enthusiastically and with strong emotion as though their memories occurred yesterday.

We are very proud of our father. He set many an example for us, one of which is a loyalty for family and friends. Daddy instilled in us that family and friends are the most important people here on this earth. He has had so many people remain steadfast and loyal in his life, and we have been blessed to know many of these devoted individuals. The fact that he is still regularly visited by so many former players, coaches, and friends speaks volumes to us. Many former players credit his involvement in their lives as instrumental to their successes. These guys love him and return today to check on him and keep him abreast of their lives. Daddy’s sincere devotion to the people he cares about is an attribute that cannot be learned. It comes from within.

We could continue to toot our father’s horn, list his accomplishments, and remind you that he was the first coach in the Deep South to play black athletes, or tell you that the allegations against him were unjust and never properly defended by the university. Instead we are trying to focus on his character�”his devotion to the University of Southwestern Louisiana and the role that he played building a program that became renowned in this area. We truly believe that Beryl Shipley should be inducted into the Louisiana Sports Writers Hall of Fame. Our desire as his daughters is that this happens while he is still here on this earth with us.

We are sincerely,

Patty Shipley,
Marilyn Shipley Watson,
Amy Shipley Cowand

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2. I served in the Navy from April 1944-July 1946, having joined at age 17.

My basic training lasted 10 weeks and was done in Camp Perry, VA. From there, I was shipped out from Mobile, Al.

I was a “deck ape” on the U.S.S. Zanick, a term given to those seamen who were responsible for the maintenance and up-keep of the ship…splicing lines, painting, etc.

Some of my memorable experiences were (1)riding out three typhoones; crossing the equator (shell back) several times; crossing the international date line several times; served in Okinawa for eight months – was there when the war ended.

I was discharged in Memphis, TN and since then have enjoyed eight of my naval reunions, including those in Niagra Falls, Charleston (SC), Virginia Beach, Williamsburg, and San Antonio.

My shipmates and I were as close as brothers and treasure our times together.

Updated by Coach Beryl in an interview at his home with Ed Dugas on Jan. 13, 2010.

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3. Slam Dunked: Ron Gomez with Beryl Shipley

This announcement provided by Coach Beryl Shipley

Lafayette area folks wishing to purchase Slam Dunked in Lafayette may phone me at (337)984-1708

This announcement provided by Ron Gomez

Below is the entire blog taken from the Wordclay website concerning the book. It gives you a pretty thorough description, author info and an excerpt.

The ISBN # for ordering purposes is 978-1-6048-1124-7

Wordclay Publishing website is www.wordclay.com. Their phone # is 1-877-655-1720

Price of the book is $19.95

Any book store can order it. Book stores, as you know, work on the demand principle and are not going to order the book until they get demand for it. It is also available through amazon.com and should be available within a couple of weeks at all book websites.

Several reviewers are now reading the book and reviews should be coming out in the next several weeks. I’ll try to keep you abreast of those.

Meanwhile, Beryl and I have a limited supply of the books. We will be at a book signing at Barnes and Noble, 1 to 3 P. M. Saturday July 12 and at Jefferson St. Market downtown during art walk that same evening between 6 and 8 P. m.

In 1957, a fiery, red-haired basketball coach named Beryl Shipley arrived at what was then known as Southwestern Louisiana Institute (later Southwestern Louisiana and now the University of Louisiana – Lafayette). The university had peacefully integrated in 1954 when 114 African-American students were quietly enrolled, but athletics were off limits to minority students for many more years. Shipley wasted little time in turning the basketball program into a powerhouse, winning a slew of Gulf States Conference and later Southland Conference championships. Shipley’s Bulldogs — later known as the Ragin’ Cajuns — proved to be one of the most exciting teams in the country, making the leap from NAIA to NCAA Division I without missing a beat. In 1972, Cajuns’ guard Dwight “Bo” Lamar led the nation in scoring.

Despite consistently putting out quality basketball teams and endearing himself to the community, Shipley had to contend with an unlikely opponent — Louisiana segregationists who were hell-bent on curbing athletic integration in Shipley’s program.

“Slam Dunked” reveals for the first time the questionable procedures and allegations of the NCAA. Newly discovered documents, dating back three decades show the NCAA’s actions abetting those of the racially motivated Louisiana State Board of Education and other segregationists who were determined to punish those responsible for integrating athletics in the state.

In 1965, Shipley’s crew qualified for the NAIA National Collegiate Championship tournament. Because the Louisiana State Board of Education did not permit all-white teams to play integrated teams, Shipley sought and received assurances by the university athletic director that the team would be allowed to compete in the tournament. However, under pressure from the state board, the president ordered the team to cancel its tournament trip. A last-minute student protest at the president’s home forced him to buckle, allowing the team to participate in the prestigious, integrated tournamnet.

In 1966 a new university president gave Shipley his blessing to recruit African-American players, USL became the first public college in the Deep South to field an integrated athletic team. The state board immediately ruled that scholarship money for black players was unavailable. Shipley organized a community effort to raise scholarship money specifically for the black players, which violated NCAA rules. Within days, the state athletic commissioner alerted the NCAA to recruiting violations, resulting in the program being placed on probation in 1968.

In spite of the constant harassment, the Cajuns became the cinderella team of college basketball, breaking into the top ten rankings and recording wins over such powerhouses as Houston University, the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, Long Beach State, Texas-El Paso and Marshall.

In 1972, the NCAA again introduced recruiting allegations against Shipley’s program. With neither the university nor Southland Conference officials willing to defend against the charges, the Ragin’ Cajuns were given the so-colled “death penalty” in 1973, not being allowed to field a basketball team for two years.

About the Authors
Ron Gomez spent two decades as the play-by-play radio announcer for the Ragin’ Cajuns. He later served three terms in the Louisiana House of Representatives. He has authored three other books: a memoir, “My Name is Ron and I’m a Recovering Legislator” and two novels “Pelican Games” and “Neat”. He is now the publisher of a weekly newspaper in Lafayette, LA.

Beryl Shipley was head basketball coach of the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now the University of Louisiana – Lafayette) from 1957 to 1973, accruing a nearly 70% winning record during his 16 years at the university. He later coached the San Diego Conquistadors of the American Basketball Association for one year, was successfully employed in the oil and gas industry and is now retired in Lafayette, LA.
Free Preview

For many, it is hard to believe that as late as 1954, schools, universities, buses, water fountains, restroom facilities, restaurants, the whole social structure in the South was segregated. Separate facilities of all of the above were the norm. This was perpetuated on the premise that they were �separate but equal.� The famous 1954 decision by the United States Supreme Court, �Brown v. Board of Education,� changed all of that but the transition to integration did not occur overnight. In fact, the real effects of court-mandated integration were still barely discernible in many areas of the Deep South even a decade later.

The city of Lafayette, Louisiana, located on Interstate 10 roughly between New Orleans and Houston is the home of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (ULL). The current population of the city and its environs is nearing 200,000. Fifty years ago it was more like 35,000.

In 1954 the university was named Southwestern Louisiana Institute (SLI) and its student body numbered just over 6,000. The name was changed in 1960 to the University of Southwestern Louisiana (USL) and again to ULL in 1999. The student population in 2007 was over 17,000.

Under the guidance of some far-sighted and courageous leaders, black and white, SLI was the first all-white university in the entire South to accept undergraduate African-American students. The integration of the student body was achieved quietly and peacefully. Many have credited the relatively calm transition to the demographic makeup of the city and the area around it known as Acadiana. A large majority of the residents are of French, Catholic heritage. Their ancestors were victims of British discrimination, oppression and exile in the 18th century and thus the descendants were more empathetic to the black community than most.

The black population in Lafayette and Acadiana had been fairly well assimilated over the years. Partly responsible was the fact that the poor Acadians, or �Cajuns� as they came to be known, mostly worked side by side with the black laborers in the agriculture based economy of the area. There had also been considerable interracial social mixing over the years that produced many Afro-American families with French surnames and light complexions who practiced the Catholic religion.

In addition, by the mid 1950�s, the oil and gas industry had attracted an influx of hard driving, ambitious drillers and geologists who brought another distinct culture to the area. They too were openly accepted and embraced by the native population.

School integration was not totally without tension, but it was achieved without violence, without sit-ins and without law-enforcement interference.

Still, by 1965 there was not one Afro-American athlete under scholarship or participating in NCAA sports in any of the states of the Deep South. With his roots in the hills of Tennessee, Beryl Shipley, the fiery, red-haired, head basketball coach of the University of Southwestern Louisiana Bulldogs changed all that. Those changes produced some of the most exciting college sports moments ever witnessed in Louisiana. They also produced great resentment and even hatred within the university and athletic community in the state and they ultimately led to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) eliminating the basketball program with an unprecedented suspension, or �death penalty� of two years.

Coach Shipley, aided by the research and writing skills of his older brother Tom, reveals in this book, for the first time, the questionable procedures and allegations of the NCAA. Through newly discovered documents, dating back three decades, they show the NCAA�s actions abetting those of the racially motivated Louisiana State Board of Education and other segregationists in the �60�s and early �70�s who were determined to punish those responsible for integrating athletics in the state.

Beryl Shipley, a robust 81 years old at this writing, with a distinct echo of the Tennessee hills in his speech, has nurtured the burning desire through the years to have this story told as it was never told during the events that transpired.

This is that story. Admittedly, there is a lingering bitterness in what the coach believes to be a miscarriage of justice. Some persons may take exception to the relating of some events in the manuscript, but it is all told based on solid research and corroborated memories.

Athletic Network Footnote: Both Gomez and Shipley have profiles posted in the Athletic Network.

Posted June 20, 2008

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4. Head Basketball Coach, 1957-73, 296-129 record. Winningest coach in school history. Athletic Director, 58-60.
For more information on the Shipley era log-on to www.coachshipley.com
It includes players, coaches, managers, athletic trainers, etc., plus a whole lot more.

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5. You may also click on the Photo Gallery, then Basketball (M), then the various Shipley links located there.

Information provided by brother, Tom Shipley on Jan. 2005. tom@tshipley.cnchost.com

Coach Beryl Shipley Made Integration Work at Southwestern Louisiana University

This article from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, formerly Southwestern Louisiana University, and known as Southwestern University Institute when Beryl began there in 1957, was presented in the last issue of the University�s magazine. It describes the effect on the student body that resulted from Beryl Shipley�s basketball coaching activities there, 1957-1973.
(Fall 2004 issue)
Come Together
A half century later, university�s place in civil rights history re-examined

INTEGRATION AT SOUTHWESTERN Louisiana Institute began in a courtroom, but the color barrier began to dissolve on a court of a different kind.
In 1953, four black high school graduates — Clara Dell Constantine, Martha Conway; Shirley Taylor and Charles Vincent Singleton — sued in federal court for the right to enroll at Southwestern Louisiana Institute. They prevailed; more than 80 black students were admitted to the university in 1954. Unlike some southern universities, whose integration efforts were marred by violence, SLI’s desegregation was peaceful.
But for more than a decade, integration was superficial at best, history shows. It wasn’t until the late 1960s, that a chilly coexistence between black and white students began to melt.
“Perhaps the key factor in this change was the university’s leadership in desegregating college basketball in Louisiana,” said historian Dr. Michael Wade, a 1983 USL graduate and professor of history at Appalachian State University.
Wade was a featured speaker at a fall symposium marking the 50th anniversary of the university’s integration in 1954. He has spent more than a decade studying the event and the university’s standing in civil rights history.
“On the surface, this seems like an odd assertion, but coach Beryl Shipley’s courageous decision to break the color barrier by recruiting three black high school All-Americans for his 1966 team had far-reaching consequences,” Wade said.
Not only was the team integrated, but the racial makeup of crowds watching the games began to change, too.
Blacks and whites united to support the team as its earned national prominence throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s. Players like Dwight “Bo” Lamar and Roy Ebron attracted capacity crowds to Blackham Coliseum, filling the 10,000-seat arena

“with delighted community members and students who came to cheer ‘their’ team,” Wade said. Journalist Jim Bradshaw, a USL student in the late 1960s, remembered the Shipley era in a history of UL Lafayette athletics he wrote for The Advertiser, Lafayette’s daily newspaper.
“Shipley’s teams brought the national spotlight to USL, and his recruiting in those less-tolerant days of the 1960s brought him the scorn of other coaches,” Bradshaw wrote. “The attention and the scorn caused NCAA investigators to take a hard look at the USL basketball program, and that brought big trouble.”
The “big trouble” came in 1973. The NCAA issued a litany of allegations against the basketball team, including improper financial aid for student-athletes and recruiting violations. The basketball program, which had helped ease race relations on the court and off, was suspended for two years.
“But, oh, it was fun while it lasted, when Blackham Coliseum rocked to the rafters during a USL game,” Bradshaw wrote. Speaking at the 50th anniversary symposium, Helen Reaux Gordon, one, of the first black students to integrate SLI, noted the different atmosphere on the university’s campus a half century after integration.
“Without our presence, nothing that followed would have come about.
“Today, we have been validated. As I look around, it is so different. I see a young (white) woman sitting next to an African-American man. I’m so happy to see so many different faces of color. It was worth it.”
– – –
I reviewed the section of Mr. Wade�s book that dealt with these events and noted with alarm his seeming acceptance of the NCAA�s activities during this time without question. This dealt with the �big trouble� mentioned in the article. More on this follows.
The following, which appeared in the Lafayette, LA, newspaper in 1994, describes the situation that existed during those turbulent years. Rocke Roy was a student assistant of Beryl�s before he left Southwestern and enrolled at the University of Louisiana, Baton Rouge, LA.
– – –
Tribute to Beryl Shipley
Aug. 6, 1994
Lafayette, La.
Public Forum
The Advertiser
Open letter to Beryl Shipley:
I tuned in to KPEL radio this morning and was pleasantly surprised to learn that you and Charlie Lenox were the special guests of the Prime Time program hosted by Bob Hamm and Marty Melancon.
I can’t possibly begin to relate to you the memories and emotions racing through my mind as the program progressed.
I am certain there were many like me in the audience who wanted to call but felt inadequate time was available for each of us to express the genuine love and respect felt for you. You were and are one of our favorite heroes � and always will be.
The faceless bureaucrats and institutions who worked so hard to crush the life from your person and program were successful only to the degree that they were able to remove you from their minuscule and pathetic areas of influence. They dismantled the program; they could not bring down the man. The all-out attempts to besmirch your character and your good name died for lack of substantive truth. They stoned you, right into a statue representing all that is held high by those who know you.
Your great and only sin was that you, by your accomplishments, forced those mired in their own mediocrity to face the chilling fact they were zeros. Much like the rising tide that lifts all ships, you were and are a force that raises all about you higher than they are normally able. Those fortunate enough to know you well have been positively and eternally motivated to be better, reach higher, give more. Most of us are still a little short but, because of you, we have the goal in sight and we’re closing fast.
I remember a phone call I placed to you from the campus at LSU some 30 years ago. I was not on good terms with my father then, and you were my salvation. You mailed me the then princely sum of $225 to cover my tuition that semester. Without your help. I would never have earned a degree. With your help and inspiration, I became a man.
You have positively influenced more lives than you will ever know, for your legacy has been passed down to our children and, in time, our grandchildren. Those who sought to destroy you failed…miserably! They were faceless and few. Those who hold you and what you stand for in highest regard are the leaders of our community today. They are the men and women who are better for having known you. We are legion!
I will sign my name a few lines down knowing without a doubt that I represent the sentiments of thousands. We wish you good health and God speed.
Signed — Rocke E. Roy

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7. Tom Shipley

Roy Rocke, as mentioned previously, left USL and enrolled at Louisiana State University (LSU). While there, he had the problem he wrote about and called Beryl for the assistance. LSU was one of USL�s principle basketball competitors.
Rocke has been successful in business and is a principal in a Ford Motor Company distributorship.
All athletic activities of the schools in the Gulf Coast League were ignoring the Civil Rights Act of 1964. An unwritten law of these Southern schools prevented the all-white teams from playing against any team that included black players. Beryl broke that law in 1965 when his team participated in a tournament in Kansas City. That started his troubles. He had an agreement that his team could play, but the University reneged. Outraged students marched on the president�s house and forced him to let the team play. Then in 1966 he brought in the first black players — three of them. The school refused to give them scholarships, and the Lafayette Business League, an association of Lafayette black businessmen, volunteered to supply the funds — precisely equal to those given white athletes by the school — for the scholarships. The black athletes and the fact that his team kept on winning brought on pandemonium. In the fall of 1972, a 32 page official inquiry was presented to USL that detailed allegations of a five-year history of infractions. Beryl has never seen this inquiry; to this day, Beryl has never seen the document. Neither the NCAA nor the University felt it necessary to provide him with a written or oral presentation of the charges of alleged infractions that formed the basis for the NCAA�s case against the school. Accordingly, there was no way that he, personally, could negate the allegations being made.
The true, sordid story of athletics during this period of racial desegregation has never been told. I reviewed the section concerning USL in Dr. Michael Wade�s work, referred to in the first article, and noted the absence of essential information. I wrote him a letter and sent him details which would have allowed him to investigate the NCAA for factual information on its procedures during this time and to reveal the politics of those days and the close political ties between the state government, the University leaders, and the NCAA. Contrary to what Dr. Wade says, the University hierarchy did nothing to desegregate athletics; the University fought the desegregation of athletics during that entire period. I never received a reply to my letter, and Dr. Wade�s comments in the University article leads me to believe he had no interest in pursuing the matter. The La Louisiane article was written subsequent to his receipt of my letter.
The positive elements of the Louisiane article about those early times were the first to emanate from the University during all the intervening years. It is too bad that some historian with fortitude can�t dig into the negative elements and bring the truth of them to light.

Tom Shipley
Administration: 1958, 1959, 1960
Coaches: 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973
Military Veteran: 1944, 1945, 1946