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Mr. Raymond Didier
|Updated Sept. 28, 2016
Former Coach: SLI Football, Baseball Coach Raymond Didier Elected To Louisiana Sports Hall Of Fame
NATCHITOCHES – Raymond Didier, who guided then Southwestern Louisiana Institute to five Gulf States Conference championships on the diamond and the 1952 GSC title in football, was one of 11 members named to the 2017 Induction Class for the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, that will culminate with the 2017 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Celebration June 22-24.
The 11-member class will be enshrined on Saturday, June 24, in Natchitoches. The 2017 Induction Class will be showcased in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Museum, operated by the Louisiana State Museum system in a partnership with the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.
Didier, who also coached at LSU and Nicholls, will be joined in the 2017 Induction Class by headliners David Toms of LSU, whose 13 PGA Tour golf wins include a major championship, nine-time Pro Bowl football star Ed Reed, three-time Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Calvin Borel, and World Series champ Juan Pierre
Didier, a native of Marksville, La., began his coaching career at SLI in 1948 where he served as head baseball coach for nine seasons, posting a 137-78 record and leading the Bulldogs to five straight GSC titles beginning in 1949. In 1951, he replaced eventual LSHOF member A.L. “Red” Swanson as SLI’s football coach and posted a 29-27-2 record in seven years at the helm.
In his first season on the gridiron, Didier helped the Bulldogs overcome a 2-4 start by winning four straight down the stretch to finish 6-4 overall. The following season, SLI opened with a win over Lamar followed by a 13-13 tie against in-state rival Southeastern Louisiana. After a 54-14 win over Troy the following week, the Bulldogs would drop games to Southern Miss and Stephen F. Austin while battling Louisiana Tech to a 19-19 tie.
With a 2-2-2 overall record and 0-0-2 mark in the GSC, Didier’s troops reeled off three straight wins, defeating league rivals Louisiana College (18-7), Northwestern State (34-0) and McNeese State (20-13) to finish as champions for the first time in school history.
Didier left SLI for LSU after the 1957 season where he was on the coaching staff of the Tigers’ 1958 national championship team and led the baseball team to the 19 SEC title.
In 1963, he went to Nicholls State where he coached the Colonels to 217 victories between 1964 and 1971, including that run that brought the Colonels to the precipice of a national Division II title. He then gave up baseball, where he posted an overall 458-311-3 record, to concentrate on the school’s athletic directorship duties. The Nicholls baseball stadium is named for him.
LSU has heavy impact in the Class of 2017. Two more Tiger heroes, football and track great Eddie Kennison and iconic gymnastics coach D-D Breaux, are included with Southeastern Louisiana basketball legend C.A. Core rounding out the class. Core and Didier will be inducted posthumously.
A 35-member Louisiana Sports Writers Association committee selected the 2017 inductees. The panel considered a record 125 nominees from 28 different sport categories on a 26-page ballot, said Hall of Fame chairman Doug Ireland.
The eight new competitive ballot inductees will raise the total of Hall of Fame members to 334 competitors honored since the first induction class -- baseball’s Mel Ott, world champion boxer Tony Canzoneri and LSU football great Gaynell Tinsley -- were enshrined in 1959 after their election a year earlier.
Also to be enshrined next summer will be three other Hall of Fame inductees, the winner of the 2017 Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership Award and the recipients of the 2017 Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism presented by the LSWA. Those contributor ballot inductees will be announced later this year.
The complete 11-person Class of 2017 will bring the membership in the Hall of Fame to 411 men and women, including 17 Dixon Award winners and 60 sports journalists.
- www.RaginCajuns.com -
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Head Football Coach, 1951-56, 29-27-2 record.
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Navy He served as a Naval Conditioning Coach in Bainbridge, MD.
Update provided by Mel and Elena Didier on Nov. 8, 2009
|Baseball:|| 1939, 1946, 1947|
|Coaches:|| 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956|
|Football:|| 1938, 1939, 1946|
|Military Veteran:|| 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945|
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