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Find an individual who either played a sport or was a member of a support group. Search by last name by clicking on the first letter of the person's last name.

Dr. Albert J. Simon (Deceased)
Nickname: Al



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Health & Physical Education Department Head, 1970-75. Women's Tennis Coach, 1974 and assistant men's basketball coach in 1975.

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Former Faculty & Coach: Former city councilman Al Simon dies at 91

Kris Wartelle, The Advertiser, Dec. 8, 2018

Al Simon, former Lafayette City councilman, local high school coach, and University of Louisiana at Lafayette professor of kinesiology died Thursday. He was 91.

The family said a celebration of Simon's life will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. on Dec. 27 at the Petroleum Club in Lafayette. The public is invited to attend.

Simon had been living and working in Jackson, Mississippi, since the late 1990s but made his name and career in Lafayette for more than four decades as a politician and educator. His daughter, Nanette Cook, followed in her father's footsteps and ran for public office, winning a seat on the Lafayette City-Parish Council in District 7.

Cook said her father was not only a dad but also a mentor to her.

"He was so supportive," Cook said. "He held the Bible to swear me in when I took office and would often call to talk about what we were doing. I would call him and he would give advice."

Simon's career spans most of his lifetime. He began his political career when he was elected to the Lafayette City Council in the 1970s. He served four terms in office from 1976 until 1992.

Former Lafayette Mayor Dud Lastrapes worked with Simon in Lafayette government for more than a decade and remembered him as someone who could get things done.

"I respected that he did what he thought was right," Lastrapes said. "He was well-known in the community and well-respected. I liked being able to approach him and talk freely about the issues and policies with mutual respect."

Al Simon, former Lafayette City councilman, local high school coach, and University of Louisiana at Lafayette professor of kinesiology died Thursday. He was 91.

Simon was also a longtime educator and coach. He began his career coaching at De La Salle High School in New Orleans.

It was there that the legendary story of his near-death experience was born. While coaching track, one of his students threw a javelin that accidentally hit Simon in the neck, piercing him through and through.

"It was a wonder he didn't die then," Cook recalled. "I guess it just wasn't his time."

After that, Simon took a job as the basketball coach at Lafayette High School. He then accepted a position at the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now UL) as a kinesiology professor, where he taught for 30 years. Simon finally retired from teaching at the age of 90. His last job was teaching kinesiology at Jackson State University.

Cook said her father will be remembered for his love of life and positive outlook.

"He was just fun to be around," Cook recalled. "He was always upbeat and positive and was a joy to be around."

Clare Cook is one of Simon's granddaughters. The local dancer and teacher said she will remember how Simon made her smile.

"Anyone that met him couldn’t help but remember his joyful personality," she said. "He made you feel special. I will always carry with me his big smile and his zest for life."

Please click on any news story in the news box, then the archives link in the upper left. Using the December/2018 archives format, click on his story once that page appears. Photos and footnotes are included.
Posted by Ed Dugas on Dec. 8, 2018.
Coaches:  1974, 1975
University Faculty/Staff (current & former):  1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989