Tom's Fond Memories for Coach Blanco's Tribute was submitted on March 29, 2021 and posted by Ed Dugas.
I met Coach Blanco in January, 1967 when he came to my high school in St. Louis to tell me about the University of Southwestern Louisiana as it was known at the time.
There was snow on the ground and it was blustery 10 degrees…a bit different than the balmy winters he was used to. He questioned how anyone in their right mind could live in weather like this.
It was finals week and I needed to study so he invited my parents to go out to dinner.
When my mom and dad returned home, they had basically decided Coach Blanco and USL was the place for me to go. His unique, lovable character and his love of USL had won over my parents even before I had the privilege of knowing him and about the school. A subsequent visit to USL sealed the deal.
While I never had him as a coach, Coach Blanco’s impact on me personally made me feel right at home. During the next couple of years, he became a mentor in my life both on and off the field. He made an impact on me in such a positive way. I have such regard for Coach Blanco and all he taught me.
I felt so strongly about the school, the people, and south Louisiana that I influenced my son to attend school there and he loved it as much as I did. Coach Blanco and Edward Pratt were very instrumental in assisting our son in adjusting to university life to which my wife and I will be forever grateful.