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Thoughts On My Friend Beryl Shipley by Ed Dugas

Thoughts On My Friend Beryl Shipley by Ed Dugas

Anyone who knew him will always remember him. He was the genuine article. As an agent for change, he raised the bar for everyone, including himself. All who knew him has had their lives enriched by him in various ways.

Although we became acquainted while I was an SLI/USL student, it was my honor and good fortune to work closely with him over the past 15 years on a variety of projects...the early years of the Top 28 beginning in 1997, the Shipley Reunion in 2001 followed by two other basketball reunions, and two Beryl Shipley Mended Hearts endowed scholarships. Probably most importantly in our interactions were his attitude and words on "Forgiveness" - his gift to me was a CD on the subject and his hand-written worksheet.

For those of you who did not know Coach Shipley, there is much information on the Athletic Network to assist you if you wish to learn more about his coaching career. You may visit his years and the reunions in the Men's Basketball Photo Gallery and you may also type in Shipley in the last name box (upper left), then click on his name to view his extensive profile.

Click here for the Shipley Footnotes of the Men's Basketball Reunion 2011. It provides information and pictures of recent years, including the Beryl Shipley Mended Hearts Scholarship at UL and the Slam Dunked cover. Click on an image to enlarge and, again, to reverse.

Those who knew him were reminded during the recent men's basketball reunion that he ALWAYS gave his best effort. While seriously ill the day of the half-time recognitions, he made a serious attempt to attend the ceremony. He came as close as the edge of the parking lot of the Cajundome, when he had to return home, and later be admitted to the emergency room.

Click here for the Shipley Greeting video which was played on the Cajundome scoreboard in lieu of his attendance that evening.

At the recent "Basketball is Back" Men's Basketball Reunion, Coach Shipley was to receive a special memento from UL President E. Joseph Savoie. It was scheduled to be presented on Jan. 22 at the half-time recognition of those who were part of the first 100 years of men's basketball at UL; however, battling lung cancer and treatments side effects, Coach Shipley was unable to attend.

Click here to view Dr. E. Joseph Savoie presenting memento to Coach Shipley at his home on Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011. 

On Thursday morning (April 14) it was my pleasure to bring him 400 copies of the Shipley Mended Hearts Scholarship Flyer. He had given it his utmost attention during the past few months and was pleased with the final document. Although he was weak, he still wanted to discuss distribution strategies and ideas on how to provide more assistance for UL students who had experienced or were having cardiovascular problems.

He loved to be engaged with those items which were in need of his nurturing attention, no matter how weak his condition. On Friday afternoon, he met with the team creating the Shipley documentary so he and Dolores could be updated.

My phone call to him on Friday afternoon was to inform him that Sport Illustrated had contacted the Athletic Network seeking permission and possible use of some of the pictures of him and his teams which were posted on www.athleticnetwork.net 

Our condolences are extended to his family and friends, as we mourn the loss of our dear friend.