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Mr. Herbert Eugene Stein
1435 DeBattista Place
New Orleans, Louisiana 70131
Gulf Coast Bank and Trust.
200 St. Charles Ave
New Orleans, LA 70118
|The Living Memorial(LM)for Coach Bob Cole's Tribute was originally sent by Herbert E. Stein – Track & Field 1968 & 1969 on Jan. 17, 2007 and updated on Aug. 14, 2017.
Additional information on Herb is included below the LM for the Coach Bob Cole Tribute. Posted by Dr. Ed Dugas Sept. 3, 2017.
I only competed for USL and Coach Cole for two years (1968 & 69) as I had started my college track career at Furman University in South Carolina and ran there as a freshman and sophomore. When things didn't work out there on a number of fronts, one of which was too cold a weather to suit me and to sprint in, I decided to transfer closer to home (New Orleans) and had to make a decision between LSU and USL. In retrospect, I am eternally grateful that I chose USL and got to run for Coach Cole for those two years.
He allowed me to walk on and during the year I had to sit out (due to transferring), I was allowed to practice and train with the team. As Stewart Blue told me as we discussed Coach during the days following his passing, "he gave everyone a chance." He definitely gave me mine and I was able to improve dramatically under his guidance in both the long jump and in sprinting (I actually didn't compete much in the open sprints, but was mainly a relay runner) from the level I had been before coming to USL.
I had the privilege of being on some really good relay teams that won conference titles and placed in the national (NAIA) meet while I was at USL and also being a member of the overall 1968 Gulf States Conference champion and runner-up (1969) teams. I will always treasure the friendships I developed with my teammates during those long-ago days and the memories that we still share whenever we talk about those times. Coach Cole made all that possible for me by giving me a chance to be on the team. I wasn't the only one that he gave that chance to - Lou Lenfant immediately comes to mind, with his dramatic improvement in the javelin from 160' as a high school senior to over 240' while at USL. There were a number of others who walked on who Coach decided were "keepers".
Coach Cole was a master at getting the sprinters and those in other events into condition. Those 550s on Mondays (giving a whole new meaning to the old Fats Domino tune "Blue Monday") really paid off at conference meet time even though they sometimes induced bad cases of "butt lock" (those who ran the quarter for Coach will know what I'm talking about). Coach Cole was also a master motivator who excelled at instilling a team spirit into a sport that is often viewed as purely an individual one. He always had us really primed the week before the conference championship meet and knew how to give us just the right workouts to bring us to peak condition for those meets.
Another aspect of Coach Cole was that he was a stern, sometimes gruff, taskmaster. He reminded me of one of my high school basketball coaches, John Brown, who was out of the same mold. Coach Brown also went to then-SLI in the late 40's when Coach Cole was also a student and I wonder if they knew each other and this rubbed off on each other. In any case, competing for them was good preparation for Sergeant Roland, who was senior drill sergeant in my basic training company at Fort Polk in the fall of 1970.
I can't close without telling my favorite Coach Cole story (if I told them all, this e-mail would be 10 pages long). After the last event of the 1968 Texas Relays, Coach took the team to a cafeteria at the edge of Austin to eat supper. I had run the last event, the mile relay, and since it was a pretty warm day and I was parched after running the relay, I drank 2-3 glasses of ice tea with my meal, as did others who had competed late in the meet. We had gone up there in 3 university cars, with Coach driving one and I think John McDonnell and someone else driving the others. When we got ready to leave the cafeteria to return to Lafayette, he said "follow me and don't stop unless I stop". The other drivers took him at his word, but after about 160-80 miles/3-4 hours on two lane roads and going thru Houston in the days before Interstate 10 ran all the way thru town (no 610-loop back then, either), everyone was wondering if coach would stop soon for a pit stop as that iced tea was working its magic. Finally he did, at the Baytown, Texas exit on I-10 (about four hours after we left Austin) where there was an Esso station with a restroom. Needless to say, everyone made a beeline for it, as Coach laughed and said something about some weak-bladder wimps (or whatever was the 1968 equivalent of wimps).
Vaya con Dios, Coach - thanks for the memories.
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Update on September 14, 2018 -
On July 27, I competed in the age 70-74 javelin at the USATF National Masters meet at Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Washington. I got 3rd with a throw of 31.93 meters (104'9"). I also got 7th in the 70-74 discus on July 29 with a toss of 25.03 meters (82'1"). Both marks were worse than what I threw in the National meet last year at LSU but I guess that's what being a year older will do for/to you. I'm pretty sure I was the only former USL/Louisiana-Lafayette athlete competing.
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Member of Gulf States Conference champion track and field team - 1968.
Member of conference champion 4 X 110 relay 1968 and conference champion 4 X 440 relay, 1968 and 1969 - set a new conference record in 1968 and broke it by a 1/10 second in 1969.
Other members of those teams were Galen LaBauve, Stewart Blue, Aaron Thompson, Charles Beazley and Harold Landry.
5th in long jump in NAIA national meet, 1968. Our 4X110 relay, consisting of (in order of running)Galen LaBauve, myself, Stewart Blue, and Aaron Thompson, got 6th in the 1968 NAIA meet. We probably would have been 3rd or 4th but we messed up every exchange - woulda, coulda, shoulda. Although we weren't recognized as All-Americans at the time, I believe that both the 4X110 relay team and myself in the long jump would be All-Americans under the current protocol of recognizing as All-American 1st place on down to 8th place in national meets. The team of Stewart Blue, myself, Harold Landry, and Jimmy Evans (order of running) also finished 1st in the college division 4X440 relay in the 1st USATF national indo0r championship held at the Astrodome in January 1969.
Married to Rebecca (Becky) Baker, USL '71, for 40 years. Her dad, Ivan Baker, who died about 4 years ago, was a USL track letterman in 1938, pole vaulting around 13 feet at a time when the world record was around 15 feet.
Becky teaches adult education in Jefferson Parish. We have two sons, Billy (married to Amy Campbell) and Richard, and two granddaughters(Caitlin -5 and Lauren/"LaLa"-3). Becky and I both have Masters' Degrees (Education and Business Administration, respectively)from Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas and I am a Certified Public Accountant licensed in Texas and am also a Certified Management Accountant.
I worked for the entire time (except for a 3-year stint in the Army 1970-73 see below)) since graduation in 1969 to early 2008 in accounting and finance in the electric utility industry, first with
Gulf States Utilities in Beaumont, Texas and then following the 1993 acquisition of Gulf States by Entergy, with Entergy Services in New Orleans. I was fortunate enough to have been involved in many challenging projects and issues during my accounting career. I have now retired from Entergy and am now working part-time as a contractor accounting consulant for Gulf Coast Bank and Trust, doing financial reporting and accounting work.
Soon after graduation from ULL, I received greetings from Uncle Sam and was in the U. S. Army from 1970-73. I spent two of those years in Germany, where I was able to meet-up with some distant cousins, and reached the rank of Specialist 5th Class.
I have continued to compete in track and field (Masters and Senior Olympics) since graduation, but for the last 7 years have been unable to compete in runnning events due to very little cartiliage left in my left knee, I'm now limited to throwing the weights (where I used to sometimes bump heads with one-time USL thrower Pat Arceneaux, Class of '64) and have achieved some success in the javelin, having qualified in it for the National Senior Olympics in Louisville, Kentucky in 2007, where I finished 8th out of 19 competitors. I'm really not big enough to do very well in the shotput and discus but I try anyway.
Update July 21, 2019
I threw the javelin on July 12 at the USATF National Masters Championships at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa and got 5th in the 70-74 age group with a throw of 30.35 meters.
|Cross Country, Track & Field - (M&W):|| 1968, 1969|
|Military Veteran:|| 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973|
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