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Mr. Ed Doyle
113 W. Lakeview Dr.
LaPlace, La 70068
|Ed's Living Memorial for the Coach Russ Faulkinberry Tribute was submitted on Sept. 29, 2017 and posted by Dr. Ed Dugas that day.
Ed Doyle - Football 1970 & 71 (9/29/2071)
Reading the tributes to Coach has been enjoyable to say the least. The love and respect shown in the words of so many is well placed for this giant of a man.
I remember the first time I met Coach Faulkinberry and how I was intimidated by his sheer presence. His large hands engulfed mine in that first handshake and his deep voice, with that Tennessee drawl, had this Milwaukeean’s attention.
I was going to school in Wisconsin at the time and traveled with my parents to see a USL football game in the Fall of 1968, my brother Jim’s sophomore year.
Part of the conversation went something like, “ A Big boy like you needs to be playing football, not baseball” (or something like that) and then he turned his attention to my parents. That was Coach for you. He would make a point with a minimum of words – mostly because few would question him, I certainly wouldn’t.
I came to school in the summer of 1969 and played some baseball until Spring practice of 1970. I got a pretty bad AC bruise on my shoulder early in Spring and after a few more practices Coach Faulkinberry apparently was informed by the training staff that I was fighting through some pain.
In his inevitable way he had a student trainer come over to me in the middle of practice to inform me that coach wanted to talk to me. I ran over to the coach’s tower, and looking down at me from his lofty perch, he asked me what my class schedule was for the next day. Once I answered he said OK, be in my office at 1:00. That was it, he turned his attention to one of the drills going on below him and I trotted back to join the defensive lineman.
For some reason we were practicing in the evening so that gave me approximately 18 hours to worry what this meeting was all about. When I arrived at his office he stood up, grabbed his car keys and said “let’s go”. Who was I to ask where we were going? Once in the car he inquired about my parents, asked if I was writing them regularly, he asked about my classes and grades and then asked how that cute girlfriend of mine was doing back in Milwaukee.
By now we were at Bell's Sporting Goods and as we walked in, they knew exactly why we were there. One of the clerk’s went in the back and came out with a unique pair of shoulder pads that coach had ordered that were designed to take the brunt of the blow and transfer it away from the shoulder blade and keep my AC injury from getting worse.
I tried them on and once we knew the fit was good we left. As soon as we got in the car I told him how good they felt and that it should help me to concentrate better for the duration of the Spring.
Forty-seven years is a long time ago, but as I recall he said something like “ You started spring with a blue jersey (which designated 3rd team or below) and you’re wearing a green jersey now (2nd team), I expect you to be wearing a red starting jersey by the end of Spring, if not I want the damn pads back!
Fortunately I got to keep the pads. I spent more time with coach post-graduation than all the time put together as a student athlete. He became a friend, he cooked at my house, we celebrated his 70th birthday together at Antoine’s in New Orleans, as well as other times. He was and always will be “Coach”, that’s the highest compliment I could humbly pay to him.
Football 1970 & 71
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