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Mr. Tom Nolan (Deceased)
Graduated 1976

Home:
103 Copperwood Crossing
Lafayette, LA 70508

Work:
Comeaux High School
100 W. Bluebird Dr.
Lafayette, LA 70508

Home Phone: 337-857-1585
Work Phone: 337-857-1585
Fax: 337-857-1585
Email: tomrnolan@hotmail.com

Tom’s entry;
Jan. 18, 2008 Daily Advertiser “LTFCA Honors Nolan”;
Dec. 31, 2007 Daily Advertiser “Cross Country Area Coaches Give Up Award to Honor a Legend” (Tom Nolan);
Oct. 23, 2007 Daily Advertiser “Remembering Tom Nolan”;
Oct. 22, 2007 Daily Advertiser “Former All-Conference USL Distance Star Passes Away After Battle With Cancer”;
Feb. 6, 2007 Daily Advertiser “Riehl, Nolan Earn LEF Honors”;
Jan. 21, 2007 Daily Advertiser “Inspirational Finalist: Tom Nolan of Comeaux High School”;
Oct. 25, 2005 Daily Advertiser “Nolan Still Boosts Spartans’ Spirit”.

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Tom’s entry:

I was Southland Conference cross country champion in 1973 and 1974. I was also Southland Conference runner-up in 1972.
I was Southland Conference mile champion in 1976.

I won the First Cajun Cup and the first Baton Rouge marathon.

I taught English and coached track and cross country at Lincoln High School in Port Arthur, Texas from 1976 to 1978. I taught English and coached track and cross country at Lafayette High from 1978 to 1980. I also coached cross country and track at USL in 1978-81. From 1980 to present, I have been teaching English and coaching cross country, track, and girls basketball. I also serve as driver education coordinator, FCA sponsor, and graduation committee member. I have been blessed with teams that have won two state titles, ten district titles, and two All-Acadiana titles in cross country and two regional titles, eight district titles, and eight parish titles in track.
I earned my B.A. in English education in 1976 and my M.A. in guidance and counseling in 1995.
I married my wife Mary in 2001. I have two step-children Amy Fountain, who teaches speech communications at Mississippi State, and Brad Bowie, who works for AOC.

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Track & Field: LTFCA honors Nolan

From staff reports

Tom Nolan, long-time Comeaux High track and cross country coach and a former standout at UL, will be honored posthumously with the Louisiana Track and Field Coaches Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award tonight.
Nolan, who passed away in October after a long battle with cancer, will be one of four individuals honored with the award at the LTFCA’s annual coaches awards ceremony at the Holiday Inn Select in Baton Rouge. The social wraps up the organization’s two-day clinic.

Also honored with the lifetime award will be former Mandeville High coach Bob Woodworth, ex-Lake Charles High coach Lawrence Hunter, and LSU official and former prep coach L.J. Raymond.

Nolan was a fixture in Southwest Louisiana track circles for nearly three decades, most of that time spent at Comeaux. His teams won two state titles and 10 district championships in cross country as well as two regional and eight district titles in track and field.

Nolan was a two-time Southland Conference cross country champion and the Southland mile champion in 1976 during his Ragin’ Cajun career.

Nolan joins a distinguished group honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award, including locals Allen Conque, Simon Chiasson, Charles Lancon, Pat Arceneaux and James Simmons. More information on the organization and its awards is available online at www.ltfca.com.

Published in the Daily Advertiser January 18, 2008.

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Cross Country: Area Coaches Give Up Award to Honor a Legend (Tom Nolan)

Tom Nolan Receives Both Boys And Girls COY Award for 2007

Grant Alexander
galexander@theadvertiser.com

Picking this year’s All-Acadiana cross country coach was easy this year.
It was barely up for discussion. It was going to the one man who sculpted the sport into what it is today. It was going to Tom Nolan.
“Everyone in life has someone that touches them, that inspires them to be whatever it is that they dream to be,” Lafayette High cross country coach Kelly Brown-LaMaison said. “Every aspect of Coach Tom Nolan’s life was inspirational.
“He lived for the kids he taught and coached, he lived for his sport, he lived for God and most of all he lived. Coach never wanted the bells and whistles that came along with all of his success through the years … he would always give the glory back to his kids or his colleagues.”
Brown-LaMaison is just one of the coaches who sacrificed their right to be named coach of the year. Brown-LaMaison is one of hundreds of people who Nolan touched and had similar things to say about him.
“Without Tom Nolan, cross country wouldn’t be what it is today in this area,” long-time college Ron Baillergeon said. “When he started in 1979 it wasn’t a big event. He brought it to prominence. He understood that he had to help everyone to make it competitive.”
For most people, the name Tom Nolan is synonymous with dignity and excellence in cross country.
“I’ve never met anyone who had anything but great things to say about Tom,” current University of Louisiana cross country coach Tim LeMaire. “He was just an icon for cross country and there wasn’t a better cross country coach in the state.”
LeMaire said one other important aspect of Nolan’s coaching career was his passion for the sport.
“He wasn’t just one of these football coaches who got stuck with cross country,” LeMaire said. “It makes you wonder why him? We need more people like him out there coaching these kids. He made a difference in a lot of kids lives.”
Before LeMaire arrived at UL, Nolan had been on the last team to win conference in cross country.
“Back in 2004, after we won conference, he came in my office and we just talked about old times,” LeMaire recalled. “That’s something I’ll always remember. He was just a great guy.
“His outlook on training and on life in general was so uplifting. The sport is definitely going to hurt without him, but he’s brought in some new blood and it’s up to them to carry on his legacy.”
For all of the coaches in the area, Nolan was a fountain of knowledge.
“I just wish I could have memorized everything he had to say,” Brown-LaMaison said, adding, “I wish he could have stayed. He was so genuine and true. He’s probably the reason why myself and our colleagues are where we are today.”
It was Nolan’s willingness to help even opposing coaches that made him important to the entire cross country community.
“He understood that for the sport to grow and for competition to get better, he was going to have to help out everyone,” Baillergeon said. “He really embodied the Olympic spirit. It was all about the spirit of competition.”
Baillergeon also admired his work ethic.
“He fought, and worked hard to build this sport,” Baillergeon said. “It’s not fun sometimes, but he was always there to give a helping hand.”
Towards the end of his illness, Nolan wrote one last message to his friends and colleagues.
“I’ve run the good race. I’ve given my all. I tried to be a good son, a good husband, a good teacher, friend and coach. I tried hard to follow Jesus through the gates. I hope I did all HE wanted me to do.
“Thanks for everything everyone is doing and has done for me. Love and peace to all. Keep the Spartan XC program going.”

Story provided by Grant Alexander

Published in the Daily Advertiser December 31, 2007

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Former Distance Runner: Remembering Tom Nolan

Remembering Tom Nolan

Tom Nolan was a beloved track and cross country coach at Comeaux who passed away this weekend. His influence reached much farther than the walls of Ovey Comeaux, though.
Here, some of his companions remember him for the great man and community leader he was.

Kelly Brown-LaMaison, Lafayette High cross country coach

“He’s the most genuine person you could meet. He’s so full of faith and full of spirit. He was the coach I always wanted.
“I’m going to miss our trackside chats. He was an incredible human being. He was mine and a whole bunch of other people’s hero.”

What one word do you think of when you think of Tom Nolan?

Genuine.

Bruce Brown, covered Nolan for The Advertiser for the past 32 years.

“Tom Nolan epitomized what high school coaching should be about.

“Part English teacher, part Pied Piper, his low-key approach was perfect for nurturing athletes who weren’t always college prospects, but who wanted to compete and responded positively to his support.

“His athletes, and his sport, always came first for Tom. Any personal credit was always way down the list of his priorities. His athletes loved him and loved competing for him.

“His courageous struggle with pancreatic cancer provided a final statement of his inspirational worth. He will be long remembered for the type of man and educator he was.”

What is one word that comes to mind when you think about Tom Nolan?

Integrity.

James Simmons, Parish Athletic Director

“We not only lost a good coach and a good teacher; we lost a good person. He was about as good as it gets. He had great character.

“He genuinely cared about the kids. A lot of people use that term loosely, but he really cared about them.

“After he finished up at UL and went on to high school he did a good job of putting kids out there and making them better.

“This summer he took a trip with the cross country team to North Carolina, even though he knew his health was bad. He taught driver’s Ed., too.

“That’s 10 hours in a hot car in south Louisiana. That’s determination. That’s courage. We just don’t have enough of those people.”

What is one word you think of when you think of Tom Nolan?

Courage.

Tommy Badon, West Minister athletic director and football coach

“I’ve known Tom since 1981 and he’s always been the most respected running coach. He’s just a really good guy.

“He was really instrumental in the growth of cross country in this area. Also state wide he has been recognized as one of the founders of long distance running in Louisiana.

“He was also very helpful any time you needed something. I think everyone who knew him as a coach will miss his support and love for the sport.

What is one word you think of when you think of Tom Nolan?

Faithful.

-compiled by Grant Alexander Daily Advertiser, October 23, 2007

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Tom Nolan: Former all-conference USL Distance star passes away after battle with cancer

Thomas Raymond Nolan

Funeral services will be held on Monday, October 22 ,2007 at a 3:00 PM Mass of Christian Burial in La Chapelle de Martin & Castille for Thomas Raymond Nolan, 54, who passed away on Friday, October 19, 2007 at his residence in Lafayette.

Interment will be in Gates of Heaven Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York.

Reverend Steve LeBlanc, Pastor of St. Pius X Catholic Church, will be the Celebrant of the funeral Mass. Giftbearers will be his parents, Dorothy and James Nolan. Lectors will be Patricia Marino and Amy Fountain. Melody Thibodeaux will sing for the services, “Ave Maria”, “On Eagles’ Wings”, “Here I Am Lord”, “The Shepherd Is My Lord”, and “The Lord’s Prayer”.

Survivors include his beloved wife Mary Alice Weddington Nolan; his parents James and Dorothy Nolan; one daughter Amy Bowie Fountain and her husband, Brent; one son Brad E. Bowie; one grandson, Jack Raymond Fountain; one sister Patricia Marino and her husband, Nino; one brother Kevin Nolan and his wife, Susan; and his nieces and nephews Katie Skinner and her husband, Simon, Kevin and Christine Nolan, and Allegra, Gregory and Celine Marino.

He was preceded in death by his Godson James G. Nolan.

A native of New York, New York, and resident of Lafayette, Louisiana, for most of his life Mr. Nolan was a loving son, husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend to all who knew him. He was an employee of the Lafayette Parish School Board for over 29 years, and a dedicated cross country and track coach at both Lafayette and Comeaux High Schools. He will be dearly missed not only by family and friends but by all of those whose lives he touched throughout the years.

Pallbearers will be Richard Baudoin, Brad Bowie, Al Cain, Brent Cockrell, Brent Fountain, and Lance Songy.

A Rosary will be prayed on Sunday, October 21, 2007 at 7:00 PM in Martin & Castille Funeral Home in Lafayette.

The family requests that visitation be observed on Sunday from 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM and on Monday from 8:00 AM until time of services.

In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to the Comeaux High School Tom Nolan Memorial Scholarship Fund, 100 West Bluebird Drive, Lafayette, Louisiana 70508.

View the obituary and guestbook online at www.mourning.com

Martin & Castille – Lafayette, 337-234-2311
Submitted by Stewart Blue and published in the Daily Advertiser on October 21, 2007

Athletic Network Footnote: Tom Nolan made certain his profile was current and contained athletic, professional and family information. He communicated with the AN on a regular basis and his profile may be viewed at www.athleticnetwork.net

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Riehl, Nolan (Track 71-76) earn LEF honors

Originally published Feb. 6, 2007

Judy Bastien

jbastien@theadvertiser.com

Winning the Lafayette Education Foundation Teacher Awards at the Jan. 25 ceremony came as a surprise to at least two of the year’s top teachers.
“I had no idea,” Angie Riehl said. “It blew me away – I didn’t think I would be able to speak.” The St. Thomas More Catholic High School art teacher took top honors in the high school category.

“I knew I was a finalist,” said Tom Nolan, a teacher and coach at Comeaux High School, “but you never know about those things. There are so many good teachers and inspiring teachers in Lafayette. It’s hard to believe I could actually be chosen at the top of that pile.” Nolan won in the inspirational category.

Their respective principals aren’t quite as surprised, however.
“She’s a fantastic art teacher,” STM Principal Ray Simon said. “She puts her heart and soul into teaching. She’s more than a facts person. She cares deeply about her students.”

Riehl credits her success in part to fellow teacher Kim Thibodeaux.

“We really do work as a team. We’re constantly in each others’ rooms – we have an adjacent door. We share students. If I have time on an off hour, I help her kids, and if she has time, she helps mine.

“Every assignment we do, we talk with each other. I feel like I wouldn’t want to do this job without her.”

Comeaux High Principal Joe Craig had high praise for Nolan.

“He loves the kids, he loves Comeaux High, he loves education. They couldn’t have made a better choice.

“He’ll work with the naturally gifted, kids who get it if they work at it and with the kids who just want to be involved.”

For Nolan, it’s a labor of love.

“I enjoy what I do. That’s my motivation,” he said. “I thank God every day I have the opportunity to teach and to coach.”

In Craig’s opinion, the award has found its proper home.

“I know LEF has a difficult choice each year, but they made the right call.”

Originally published Feb. 6, 2007

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Inspirational Finalist: Tom Nolan of Comeaux High

Originally published Jan. 21, 2007

What made you become a teacher?
I consider becoming a teacher a vocation I always seemed to have. As a young boy, I would teach my brother how to ride a bike, how to play ball, guy stuff. I was fortunate to have a thirst for knowledge and to have the desire to share that knowledge. God has certainly blessed me to meet the challenges of his process.

What do you like about teaching?
Teaching allows a person the opportunity to make a difference in the live of children. This difference may also affect the larger community, not only now but into the future. Teaching is an awesome responsibility with tremendous rewards. What better reward is there than to have a student say thank you for making a difference in my life.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by the colleagues I have had the privilege of working with over the years. The experienced teachers lend tried-and-true methods, the novice teachers the new ideas and enthusiasm. I am also inspired by the students I teach and the athletes I coach. Their hard work and dedication makes me want to work harder and do all that I can to make a difference in their lives.

About the finalist

Grade level: English

School: Comeaux High School

Experience: Thirty one years teaching, 27 at Comeaux High

Education: Graduate of Sacred Heart High School, Yonkers, New York, 1971

Bachelor of Art in English education, UL, 1976

Master’s in guidance and counseling, UL, 1995

Originally published in the Daily Advertiser Jan. 21, 2007

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NOLAN STILL BOOSTS SPARTANS’ SPIRIT

Bruce Brown
bbrown@theadvertiser.com

When the Comeaux Spartans look for leadership among their ranks, they look to senior cross country captain Ben Spell.
When they need the voice of deeper experience, they still call on Coach Tom Nolan.
The former distance stand-out at the University of Louisiana has been waging a successful battle with cancer this semester, and has missed time with a hopital stay, but Nolan was in attendance at last Saturday’s Ragin’ Cajun Invitational at Acadiana Park.
“I was really surprised to see him there, and it was nice,” Spell said. “I wasn’t expecting that at all. I think it helped everybody run. It was not easy for him to be out there, I’m sure.”
“It was great to see him out here,” Catholic High – New Iberia Coach Ken Conner said. “We take our teams to the same running camp in the summer and he was kidding then, saying this wasn’t the way he wanted to bet back to his college weight.”
Comeaux’s Craig Daily has taken over many of Nolan’s duties during his illness, including the administaration of this Saturday’s Spartan Invitational, but Nolan is never far from the team’s thoughts.
“We talk to him every day, and that picks us up a lot,” Spell said. “He tells us stories about his experiences and all. He can tell us what he did right or wrong. It helps us to know what we should and shouldn’t do.”

Exerpts taken from story published in the Adveritser, October 25, 2005.

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