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Mr. Stewart Blue
219 St. Nicholas Drive
Lafayette, LA 70506-5917
|Stewart's Living Memorial for Coach Robert "Bob" Cole's Tribute is followed by information about his dedication to the sport of Track & Field and other background information. Stewart designed and delivered the eulogy for Coach Cole, wrote Cole's biography for his tribute, and followed with his Living Memorial to Coach Cole. His involvement and support of the Cole Tribute are particularly noteworthy, knowing some of it took special sacrifices on his part. Thank you Stu! Posted by Dr. Ed Dugas on Sept. 28, 2017.
For many, Coach Bob Cole was a second dad, but it almost didn't happen for me.
I received a phone call in the spring of 1965 from Steve Massie, a former high school teammate and USL freshman who was calling for Coach Bob Cole to say that he was offering me a track scholarship to USL.
Because other schools' coaches were calling and visiting me regularly in the recruiting process I discounted his interest in me and I put USL on the back burner. My family was Baptist, so Baylor was always the front-runner for us. That changed when my best friend told me he was going to USL and I was going with him. His mother, who was a second mother to me suggested it would be nice for us to go to college together-- so USL it was.
Workouts began almost immediately and were far more demanding than the mild hurdle workouts experienced during my high school days. Al Nastasi was the grad assistant who supervised our team workouts while Coach Cole was coaching football in the fall and to him, you were a quarter-miler until you could prove you could run something else.
That something else turned OUT to be the 440 for four years and was made possible because of the leadership of our team captain, Ed Domingues. Ed pushed the freshmen when we were lagging and often scolded me when I lagged behind. He was quick to jump my case because I was a bit cocky and not doing the workouts in his gritty manner. After a few months of learning how to go endure pain, training became fun.
At first, I hated USL and I even tried to transfer to LSU during my first freshman semester. I was homesick and hated studying but during that time Coach Cole gave me encouragement and by the time our first meet was up, I found myself running a leg on an indoor mile relay. Coach Cole knew how to motivate our athletes and for four years he made me feel like one of the most important people on the team. He assembled teams that were fun to be around because we won. Winning was everything to him...which taught us lessons for life.
After graduation, I travelled to Ruston and Louisiana Tech with my first job and took their basketball coach, Scotty Robertson, to lunch. Scotty was my high schools' basketball coach and my PE teacher for two weeks who told me to find another sport other than basketball when I was a sophomore at Byrd High in Shreveport. I found the other sport and it was track and field as a hurdler and discus thrower. I cut the visit short with Scotty when telling him I had to get back to Lafayette and help my old coach with a "dumb" track meet....that I wasn't too keen on officiating and all I wanted to do was watch.
He reminded me that because of Coach Cole and track and field, I had a free education and the great job I had as a result of that and to "go back down (to Lafayette) and leave the sport better than I found it." He reminded me that very few meets I went to in high school had good officials and colleges thereafter had a few more.
I ended up spending four or five hours each day with Coach Cole while we became close friends. It was during this time that I saw a different side of the straight-talking coach I competed for.
He genuinely cared about his athletes and had a soft spot for each one. This was evident when I saw him cry a couple of times when learning that a former athlete had died or when he grinned when he learned of their professional successes.
I began a gung-ho approach to track officiating after my lunch with Scotty and managed to be everywhere USL travelled, and was happy doing it. Forty-six years later, I am still trying to leave the sport better than I found it, and at no meet since he died have I failed to think of him as I walk onto a track.
Like most coaches he didn't know all of the events....but he DID know how to motivate people and that's why he won. He also knew how to teach integrity and winning by the rules.
Over a lifetime, there is usually one person who influences us more than any other; in my lifetime, that would be "my daddy", Bob Cole (as other coaches who knew us both would call him). Others that he influenced are quick to say the same thing.
* * * * *
Track Team -1966-69, Native of Shreveport.
Retired District Manager @ Warner-Lambert Co.(Pfizer, Inc.) and am now a management consultant.
Spend spring months officiating UL, LSU and High School Track Meets
Updated Aug.13, 2016* * * * * *
Summary authored by USA Track/Field.
Part of UL Track and Field for the past 51 years, as an athlete and official.
Native of Shreveport, and lives in Lafayette. Retired District Manager at Warner-Lambert/Pfizer pharmaceuticals. Was all-state hurdler at C.E. Byrd HS in Shreveport and went on to be a three-time all-American at USL. In high school, Was All-State in the high and low hurdles (1965) and was recipient of the 1965 "John Brechtel Outstanding Athlete Award" at the NEW ORLEANS Meet of Champions.
After signing at USL as a hurdler, moved to the 440 and sprints and set 440 school record on third try. In the same year, helped USL set three school relay records -- was a three-time all-American (Indoor and Outdoor Mile Relay and 440 relay (1968 and 1969).
-- won the Gulf States Conference 440 as a Freshman and as a Senior
-- helped USL to three conference championships and one runner-up spot
-- was a member of 1969 USA National Federation indoor mile relay national championship team @the Astrodome, in Houston, TX.
Is a member of Ark-La-Tex Track & Field Hall of Fame in Shreveport , UL-Lafayette Athletic Hall of Fame, LSU Track & Field Officials Hall of Fame
Has officiated every state high school outdoor championship, except one, since 1972 and has assisted in over 120 district and region meets. In addition to his 42 outdoor state meets in Louisiana he has assisted in 19 state meets in Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. Is known as a "running rules guru" at the high school, NCAA and USATF levels.
At the international level, was a timing-assistant with the (Swiss) Timing group at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, and in 1985 was a timing assistant at the U.S. Olympic Festival in Baton Rouge for both Track and Field and Speed Skating. Has officiated 34 NCAA indoor and outdoor national championships.
Referee assignments include various Southland, Sun Belt, Missouri Valley, American South and Metro Conference championships. Currently the running referee at Texas A&M indoors and Northwestern State outdoors. Has served as head umpire at Texas A&M, the SEC Indoor Championships and the Sun-Belt Championships. Has served multiple years as head Finishline coordinator/head lap counter for NCAA and SEC Championships held at the Un. of Arkansas and has served on the Jury of Appeals at the Big 12. Is a member of the LSU, University of Arkansas and Texas A&M Officials associations and has officiated at every major collegiate conference in the U.S. and at USATF. Is a Master-level official and lecturer and has officiated three USATF indoor senior championships. Most recent USATF honor is being selected to the umpiring crew for the 2016 Olympic Trials held at Eugene, Oregon.
Is married to Karen Schneider Blue. They have one daughter, Jamie Blue Guidry of Cut Off and one grand-son. Jamie was an outstanding performer at Lafayette's St. Thomas More HS and was a multi-event regional and state qualifier, following in her dad's footsteps at UL-Lafayette as a sprinter/quarter-miler.
|Cross Country, Track & Field - (M&W):|| 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969|
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