Dr. Bobby St. Amant delivered his LM for Coach Faulkinberry's Tribute back on August 13, 2005 for the Faulkinberry Reunion and it represented the sentiments of the 1970 Championship Team. It was submitted to the AN on
Nov. 19, 2017 and posted by Dr. Ed Dugas. It is followed by some family information which Bobby submitted earlier.
Coach Russ Faulkinberry
USL Football Reunion
August 13, 2005
When I was being recruited, Russ Faulkinberry came to my house to meet my parents. We were not the tallest people in the neighborhood. Russ, on the other hand, was the biggest man with the biggest hands that we had even seen. But his smile that night calmed my fears of what this huge man might become on the practice field or in a game situation.
I was never so close to being dead wrong. After reporting for two-a-days, the memory of that smile faded ever so quickly. It wasn’t until the first victory of that season that I saw that smile again as he rolled that cigar from one side of his mouth to the other.
And how many of us trembled the first time his giant hand swallowed our entire face mask as he corrected our mistakes? Getting a very loud and personal coaching lesson while in complete darkness with your feet leaving the ground proved to be a most effective way of breaking bad habits. Coach always believed that fear was the best motivator.
Coach Faulkinberry was quoted as saying, “Desire is the most important trait of any good football team …and good leadership is the foundation of great desire.”
The seniors of the 1970 Championship Team…we were not really great athletes. We were student athletes who were well coached into believing that we could make great plays. And we did, game after game, until we played ourselves into the national spot light in the Grantland Rice Bowl in front of our fans and a television audience.
What a daunting task it must have been for our coaching staff to create a game plan against such a talented Tennessee State team that sent most of its senior class to the NFL!
They were a group of elite athletes who laughed at us while we were being introduced at the pre-game banquet the night before the game.
When the game was over, the Ragin’ Cajuns of USL had fought the Tennessee State team to a one point difference.
On the bus ride home to Lafayette, the pressure of the long season was over, the satisfaction of a job well done was savored, and the fellowship that we all shared – coaches and players and managers and players – was obvious is our laughter and in our tears.
Russ was all business during the season, carefully choosing the moments to pay each of us individual compliments, but always keeping a certain distance from his players.
A couple of weeks after the last game of our senior year, however, when his adrenalin and testosterone had come down to near normal levels, Russ Faulkinberry shed that thick outer skin of the head coach, and showed us the more sensitive side of a man who loved his players.
Russ, on behalf of the 1970 Championship USL Football Team, you and your coaching staff still have our respect and gratitude for all your personal sacrifices and courage. You taught us to let go of our selfishness in exchange for maturity and humility. The rewards of those four years have been greater than you’ll ever know.
The 1970 USL Football Ragin’ Cajuns
Bobby St. Amant
* * * * *
Married to Claudette LeBlanc St Amant since June 16, 1973. Three children: Dr. Brandon and wife Mellisa; Lindsay and husband Brian Seely; and Craig and wife Lacey. Six grandchildren.