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Mr. James Michael Doyle
8401 River Road
Abbeville, LA 70510
|Jim's Living Memorial for Coach Raymond Blanco was received March 25, 2021 and posted by Ed Dugas. It is followed by LMs for Coaches Faulkinberry and Banna, and excellent biographical information.
The LM for Coach Faulkinberry was submitted on 6/15/2017 and the one for Coach Banna was submitted on 3/28/2017 - both posted by Ed Dugas on each date.
Raymond Blanco's Living Memorial, Jim Doyle - Football 1967-70
I met “Coach” for the first time on a cold, “Wisconsin cold”, winter evening in December of 1966. Coach Blanco’s brother Joe was the head football coach at Catholic Memorial High School in Waukesha, Wisconsin, a team I would play each season as they were part of the Milwaukee Catholic Conference. To say Coach was unprepared for the weather would be an understatement. He arrived in an ill-fitting overcoat, rubber boots and a cap pulled down over his ears. A rather interesting contrast to the other coaches who had come calling. My father commented later that he looked like a refugee arriving at Ellis Island. We were then treated to one of the most entertaining and passionate recruiting speeches we had ever heard. As only Coach could do, when worked up in a fervent lather over any subject he was passionate about, he was roaming the living room with arms flailing and the final act had him kneeling on one knee in front of my mother, holding her hand, and saying “Mama, if you send your son to USL, I will make sure he goes to church!” The rest of the recruiting season my mother would always come back to, “What about that nice man from Louisiana?” Shortly after two-a-day practices began in August of 1967, I was asking myself that same question, “What happened to that “nice” man from USL?’
All of us can point to one or two pivotal moments in our lives that had a profound effect on who we would become. I can honestly say that Coach Blanco’s offer of a scholarship to USL changed my life forever and for that I am eternally grateful. I used to say that Coach was the only person that I could listen to “with a sense of amusement and amazement for 30 to 45 minutes, and when the discussion was over not be totally sure what we were discussing or what the point was.
Coach loves his family very much and enjoys them tremendously. Kathleen was the center of the family unit, and she was a confidant to Coach and he to her, as they faced the many challenges that their passion for leadership and fair play brought to them. Her brave battle with cancer and her positive attitude reflect the type of family the Blanco’s are.
Football is a great game and Coach loved coaching it, but I really believe he found his true calling in his roles within the University teaching and mentoring its students. It is unlikely that two or more former USL football players from the “Blanco era” will be together for more than an hour without telling their favorite Coach stories. He is truly an amazing man.
* * * * * *
Russ Faulkinberry’s Living Memorial, Jim Doyle – Football 1967-70.
I knew two Russ Faulkinberry’s, one the rough, tough football coach who demanded perfection, pushed his players to the limit and rarely showed you anything beyond that exterior. This man I called sir or coach.
Then after my playing days I came to know the other man. A man who was immensely proud of his two daughters and his grandchildren and extended family and bragged on them often with a gleam in his eye. A guy who was as comfortable in a kitchen as on a sideline and who created a few meals in my kitchen. A guy who recognized and admitted to his own weaknesses and worked hard to help others with their own. A man who admitted his faults and worked to correct them while helping others.
This man I still called coach, as I could never bring myself to call him Russ, but I did drop the yes sir and began referring to him as my friend and former coach.
Playing football at USL and subjecting myself to the discipline that created a confidence in my own ability to face adversity was a seminal moment in my life.
I was familiar with the term “Those that stay will become champions” and those of us who did stay during my four years playing for Coach Faulkinberry became champions twice.
The championships are nice, but the lifelong friendships, the confidence instilled in me to fight through adversity, and the friendship I enjoyed with Coach Faulkinberry have meant the most to me.
I truly am better for having known the man.
* * * * *
Bobby Banna's Living Memorial, Jim Doyle – Football 1967-70
I had the pleasure of playing offensive lineman and being coached by Bobby Banna for three years, 1968-70, during a period when the Cajuns won two GSC Championships.
Several of my teammates had been coached by Coach Banna at Catholic High so he came to us with a reputation as a “mild mannered and gentle soul”.
Some people might describe him as a small man, but they would be measuring with the wrong measuring stick. From the heart up Coach Banna is a giant of a man.
His one physical feature I remember the most are his “piercing eyes”, the reason I remember them is I often had the occasion to stare into them from about two inches away as he would reach for my facemask and draw me near to make sure he had my full attention.
His dedication to his profession, his love of family, his passion for excellence and his genuine caring for his players make him one of a handful of people I consider major contributors to who I am.
* * * * *
Married to Charlotte, have three children, Angie, Craig (Amanda) and Jennifer.
After selling ownership in Coastal Chemical (Abbeville, LA) in November 1997 have worked in senior management position for successor companies.
Stay active with various UL organizations including Alumni Association and Ragin' Cajun Lettermen's Club.
UL alumni gala honoree Doyle tackles latest battle
Guest of honor Jim Doyle won't be able to attend Saturday's 11th annual Spring Gala presented by the UL Alumni Association.
The former Ragin' Cajun football standout is in Little Rock, Ark., being treated for blood cancer at the National Multiple Myeloma Center.
"The part I'll miss the most is the opportunity to mingle," said the gregarious Irishman, who has lost around 40 pounds in his battle.
"Unfortunately, it was not detected as early as one would have hoped," he said. "It comprises 1 percent of all cancers, seems to like males over 50 and has an affinity for bones. It's hard to detect, and quite often missed."
Doyle and his wife, Charlotte, have been in Little Rock for a month for the first round of chemotherapy treatments. That sets the stage for a lengthy procedure involving transplant of his own stem cells to promote remission.
"I'm approaching it as I have everything else, as another challenge," Doyle said. "I tell (former) teammates that I'm uniquely trained to face this cancer. I'm programmed to work hard and withstand pain, and to get the best results possible.
"I have an incredible network of friends who have contacted me, and I feel energized by that."
Guests at the gala will see a taped message from Doyle and get to visit with numerous members of his family.
"Let's not lose sight of the purpose here," Doyle said. "The purpose is to raise funds for the Alumni Association. The guest is supposed to speak for five minutes about being honored, and then they can get on with the auction."
Doyle wants that kind of commitment from UL alumni.
"We have probably 70,000 to 75,000 alumni, and the number who write a $30 check and say I want to be active is probably in the neighborhood of 2,000," he said. "You realize how a small incremental change can have a significant impact.
"We also have to keep our enrollment competitive and win the battles we need to win. We have to make an effort to show what we do well."
Doyle's era in UL football - 1967-70 - produced a pair of conference championships and a Grantland Rice Bowl appearance on the field, as well as judges, attorneys, physicians, high-profile businessmen and community leaders.
"I still have a lot of contact with that era," said Doyle, a leader in the chemical industry. "We still get together two to three to four times a year. We've cried and laughed at funerals and golf outings."
Their time at UL came amid social changes marked by integration, the Vietnam War, the civil rights movement and assassinations of national leaders John Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr.
It was a turbulent time for a naive young man from Milwaukee.
"It was culture shock," Doyle said. "I went to a small Catholic school and lived in an integrated neighborhood. It was at the beginning of integration in the South, and I thought there was no way racism existed back home. But it opened my eyes, and when I went back home I saw the same racism, just not as open."
Doyle said he quickly learned to love South Louisiana.
"My recruiting trip was in December, and it was warm," he said. "I was already in love. I said, 'You mean the ground's not hard?' I loved the pace of life, the food, the way people accepted you. They said 'hello' and were genuine about it. And, it's still a great place to live."
It's no surprise that Doyle became involved not only in the UL community but in Acadiana as well, through United Way and Boys and Girls Clubs projects.
"I grew up in a very blue-collar neighborhood," Doyle said. "I was one of three brothers, and we had no money. We peddled papers, shoveled snow and did roofing, so there was not a lot of time to give away.
"But, after I played football and entered business, I found I had more than what I needed. I saw a lot of people who were like me when I was younger. If I could give a little time to share the things I'd learned, that was my treasure and I should make use of it. It seemed to make a lot of sense.
"I know what it is to do without. You say, 'Where can I make a difference?' There are obligations we all have, but there's a need out there."
About Jim Doyle
UL football 1967-70.
UL Alumni Association, past president.
UL Executive Advisory Board for College of Business Administration.
UL Foundation Board.
Outstanding Alumni Award 2013
Ragin' Cajun Lettermen's Club
Boys and Girls Clubs of Acadiana, Board of Directors.
2013 Leaders in Philanthropy - Community Foundation of Acadiana
Vermilion Milk Fund, Board of Directors.
Previous gala honorees
2006 - B.I. Moody III
2005 - Robert and Coni Trahan
2004 - Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco
2003 - Clay M. Allen, William F. Fenstermaker and Matthew G. Stuller
2002 - Alfred Lamson
2001 - Judge Kaliste Saloom Jr.
2000 - UL President Ray Authement
1999 - Gov. Mike Foster
1998 - U.S. Sen. John Breaux
1997 - Herbert Heymann
Originally published March 29, 2007
Posted from the Alumni Association website on March 6, 2007
Spring Gala 2007, honoring Jim Doyle, will be held at the UL AlumniCenter, on Saturday, March 31st, 6:30 - 10:00 p.m. The evening will include cocktails, fine food, silent auction and live auction and live musical entertainment. Sponsor level contributors of $5,000 include eight gala tickets, reserved priority seating for eight, valet parking, name listed on the evening's program and sponsorship sign and name listed on a plaque permanently placed in the Alumni Center. Sponsors will also be invited to participate in a private reception. Patron level contributors of $2,000 will receive eight gala tickets, reserved seating for eight, valet parking, name listed on the evening's program and patrons' sign and name listed on a plaque permanently placed in theAlumni Center. Tickets are $150 per couple; $75 per individual. Cocktail attire is appropriate and valet parking will be available.
Time: 6:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Location: UL Alumni Center
Cost: $150 per couple/$75 per couple
Contact Person: Dan Hare
Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Phone: (337) 482-0900
|Football:|| 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970|
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