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Weightlifting Milestones

Email Dr. Ed Dugas athleticnetwork@louisiana.edu if you have a Milestone/Ragin’ Cajuns First to submit. Please include sport, date, event, etc., source, along with your contact numbers.

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The start of the Weightlifting program at the university and the Acadiana area is attributed to Mike Stansbury, member and coach of the first team. He had the vision, passion, leadership and personality to develop potential lifters and guide them toward their goals.   

Click here for the Weightlifting Photo Gallery which has 14 years of photos and information about the 1956-73 teams and two years of the 2006 and 2016 recognitions and reunions.

Click here for the Athletic Network profile of Mike Stansbury. 
In 1956, with the support of SLI Dean Glynn Abel, four members of “Mike's Gym," who were SLI students, qualified for the National Collegiate Weightlifting Championship in Columbus, Ohio. Team members included: Mike Stansbury, Stafford Palombo, Cliff LeBlanc and Walter Imahara. The following year, with the addition of Louis Riecke (who later set a world snatch record of 325 pounds), the team was successful in winning the first National Collegiate Weightlifting Championship for the university. Later, the weightlifting teams at USL won seven additional National Collegiate Championships in 1963, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1970 and 1971.
(Source: Mike Stansbury by Warren Perrin, Acadian Museum of Erath http://www.acadianmuseum.com/
December 1, 2006).

Walter Imahara set an unbelievably high standard of performance in his years on the team. In addition to placing 3rd in the bantam weight class in 1956, he placed 1st in 1957, 1959, and 1960.
The three-time All-American led the 1957 team to its first National Championship in Weightlifting.  
Please click here for Walter's Athletic Network Profile.

Click here for Walter winning the 1959 Individual Championship at the NCAA Weightlifting Nationals.

Please click here for information on Walter Imahara's recently published autobiography,"I Am An American: Japanese American, Asian Cajun"  

Click here for the 1960 Athletic Administration Photo Gallery which includes Walter's recollections about the relationship between Mr. Whitey Urban, the Athletic Director, Bonnie Maillet, his administrative assistant, and the Weightlifting Team.

Click here for the 1964 Athletic Administrative Photo Gallery where Mr. Urban is cited for his expansion of the Athletic Program to include Bowling, Gymnastics, and Weightlifting.

Please click here for the Athletic Network profile of Dr. Joseph "Joe" Murry, Jr., who lettered four years in Weightlifting and Track & Field.  Joe was a member of four consecutive national championship Weightlifting teams (1965-68) and set numerous national records during those years.
The Track & Field teams won four consecutive Gulf States Conference titles (1965-68).

In 2018, Joe authored, "Coming of Age: A Journey of Growth, Culture,, and Spirit in Cajun Land" where he documented his years at the university as a two-sport letterman. His profile provides additional information about his book, contains his tribute to Coach Bob Cole and includes wonderful information about his most interesting career in athletics and education.   

Please click here for the 1963 National Championship Weightlifting Photo Gallery.

Click here for the 1971 National Championship Weightlifting Photo Gallery.

Click here  for the 2006 Reunion and Recognition of the championship weightlifters. (extensive gallery - patience to upload).

Click here for the 2016 Reunion and Recognition of the championship weightlifters.

Click here for the profile of Edward Mouton, basketball and baseball letterman and Head Baseball Coach in 1967. He was coached by Mike Stansbury, had classmates who were on the weightlifting team, and also had shared experiences with Mike Stansbury, Red Lerille and Walter Imahara.
Viewers will enjoy information presented by Eddie, as he was a primary source to several unique events.  

Viewers are encouraged to have those who were part of the Weightlifting Program contact the Athletic Network at athleticnetwork@louisiana.edu  and provide email addresses for those who may not be connected with a current email address in their Athletic Network profile. Thank you.

Also, friends and family of former members of the Weightlifting Program are encouraged to email athleticnetwork@louisiana.edu to receive the complimentary electronic newsletter so they may learn more about our former athletes.

The Weightlifters were a significant thread of the university fabric and an important part of our history and the Athletic Network endeavors to keep that memory alive for them, their family and friends, and our history.  

Peace, Dr. Ed Dugas