Bobby wrote his Living Memorial for Coach Shipley for the 2001 Shipley Reunion and it was updated in February, 2012. It will be used as his LM for the Shipley Tribute. Posted by Dr. Ed Dugas on Oct. 3, 2017.
Basketball Team Member, 1959 - 1963.
Married to former Jane Courmier of Lafayette in 1963. We have two sons, John and Kevin, who both live with their families in the Houston area. We get to spoil our four granddaughters real often.
I visited Louisiana Tech and Northeast State before trying out for the SLI team. The trip to SLI was arranged by a man who had formerly lived in Marion, Louisiana, my hometown, and had watched me play high school ball.
I started my recruitment trip to Lafayette on a Greyhound bus but missed the connecting bus to Lafayette in Lebeau, so I had to hitch hike the rest of the way. Arriving on the SLI campus, I had no idea where to find the Athletic Office. I asked a couple of guys, Melvin Joseph and Chocky Kassem if they could tell me where I could find the Athletic Office. As luck would have it, they happened to be football players and offered to drive me to the basketball office where I met Coach Shipley and Coach Curtis for the first time. After the tryouts Coach Shipley offered me a scholarship. I took it because I believed it would be better for me to go to school farther away from home than Ruston or Monroe, which were close to my hometown of Marion. I did not know at the time that I was one of about 25 signees but I hung in and finished in 1963.
I enjoyed meeting, working and playing ball with all of the basketball players during the four years I attended SLI/USL. I wonder if anyone still remembers the Columbus, Georgia practice in 1962 or the longest Thanksgiving Day practice in modern history that same year. Those practices didn't kill us, but came close. We worked hard, but looking back it wasn't all bad. We not only prepared for basketball games but for life. Coach Shipley would drive up on Sunday morning and take all that wanted to go to the First Baptist Church. I guess he figured we could give a couple of hours to the LORD because the rest of the week we were his. If you had the discipline to run the "Shuffle Offense," you could handle anything that life had to offer.
I remember the long road trips to Kentucky and Tennessee and being away from school sometimes a week at a time. Being on the bus all day and sometimes all night was exhausting, but Coach Reinhardt, the team trainer, Ron Gomez, the radio announcer, and Smitty, our bus driver, helped to make those trips as enjoyable as possible. I ended my basketball playing in 1963 and made First Team All-Conference my senior year.
I graduated in 1963 with a B.S. in Accounting. I worked for Amoco Production for 31 plus years and retired in 1994. I went back to work in 1996 as the Controller for a Wholesale Nursery Grower and retired again in 1998. I went back to work in 2000 at St. Anne Catholic Church & School as the Parish Administrator. So far I'm failing retirement.
I haven't seen very many fellow players since I left Lafayette in 1963. I am looking forward to seeing everyone and catching up on the last 38 years. Thanks to Dr. Ed and all of the people working to pull this reunion together.