Gerald Hebert – Health and Physical Education, 1973
1973 – Health and Physical Education
Dear Dr. Dugas:
I appreciate the opportunity to share some of my USL memories and to be a participant in this historical Book of Letters. When I graduated from Abbeville High School in 1962, I had not given much thought to attending college. No one had contacted me or attempted to recruit me, so it just wasn’t in the picture for me. One Saturday morning my high school coach, Sam Selfo, drove me to talk to Sonny Roy at USL and my life suddenly had some direction. Sonny became a very special person in my life from that moment on.
I loved life at USL because I could focus on athletics, a top priority for me in my first two years. My freshman year was most enjoyable because of the great friendships which were developed with guys like Leonard and Lionel Klienpeter, Harry Stelly, Leslie O’Neal, Pat Richard, John Devillier, John Jeffcoat, Ashton Chaisson and Beverly Ford.
One memory I treasure is hitting a double off Cecil Upshaw, the 6’8″ pitcher from Centenary College, in my first at-bat. Fortunately, we won the game 2-1, although I did not get another hit the rest of the season. I also had two perfect games going into the late innings, but both ended as one-hitters (McNeese and Northwestern).
Although I started USL in 1963, I did not graduate until 1973. After my sophomore season, I joined the New York Mets organization and stayed 6 1/2 years. At this point in my life one of my fondest memories occurred. My daughter Michelle was born and that was very special.
When I returned to USL, I found Coach Shipley had developed a great basketball program. It started with players like Dean Church and continued to blossom with the likes of Bo Lamar and Marvin Winkler. Attending the games at Blackham Coliseum was so exciting. The enthusiasm exhibited by the students, staff, faculty and community will always be a memory.
After my return to USL, Don Lockwood, Baseball Coach, offered me an opportunity to serve as the Freshman Baseball Coach. Again, I had another great experience which I had not planned.
Upon graduation, I taught and coached at Scott Middle School and later served as Athletic Director for the Lafayette Parish Recreation Department. Later, I accepted a position with Coca-Cola in Lafayette and remained there for 10 years.
I must say that my USL degree continued to open doors for me. At age 50, I left Coke and started my own business, the Liberty Card. Although very successful, I sold it recently and started “Victory Sports and Entertainment” where I serve as a sport agent. Additionally, I am executive producer of the TV programs for USL football and basketball.
One of the things I learned and developed in college was a sense of community … of giving back. One of my major accomplishments in this area was to direct an effort which resulted in the A granting Lafayette the Top 28 State Basketball Tournament for Boys for 1997 and 1998 and, in 1998 for four more years. I am thankful for the many volunteers who help make it a super success and claim this accomplishment on behalf of the Acadiana community.
One person I must acknowledge is Mr. Tigue Moore, Acadiana’s Mr. Baseball, who was like a second father to me and a great role model for people of all ages. He was an involved community leader and a great friend of the University.
Again, my thanks to USL for helping me shape my attitude and philosophy of life. I am proud to be a USL graduate and hope I can be a positive agent for the major strides I envision the University making in the new millennium. I feel it is poised to do special things. The first 100 years certainly created an excellent foundation, and I hope to be an involved partner in that bright future.