Dr. David H. Fisher, Letter to Reinhardt Family dated September 19, 1989
September 19, 1989
Dear Martha, Rollie, and Jim:
When I learner of Dutch's death, I was not sure I would catch any of you at home, and so, I did not call. I may see you at the memorial service to express my sentiments to you, but I just feel something more is called for, thus this letter.
The things I would say, I'm sure, are not a lot different than what many others have said, or would be led to say, and certainly, not something that you do not know. However, I want to add my voice to what multitudes feel.
I was sorry to hear of Dutch's death, though, I suppose, it was not entirely unexpected. Our lives had gone to somewhat different directions in recent years so that our paths did not cross as often. However, I did see him or speak with him on the phone occasionally. He continued to be realistic about everything, and yet extremely upbeat and optimistic. Often, those two qualities are not compatible, but for him, they certainly were.
My association with him, of course, goes back to the spring of 1946, when I entered S.L.I. after being discharged from the service as a young twenty year old, and started college as a freshman. I played football and ran track for four years, and even went out for his basketball team the first semester I was in school. Of course, I was closely associated with him as a fellow faculty member in the physical education department. While there were some changes and degrees of inconsistency in the athletic department and physical education department over the years, the one unchanging and unwavering force, was the presence of Dutch. The many roles that he played, in which he was associated with athletes from all sports, as well as such a wide cross section of all students through the physical education department, allowed him to touch an unbelievably large number of people for so many years.
Of the many thoughts and concepts I have about him concerning influences, contributes he made, etc., the following, to me, seems to outline his fundamental beliefs, and the way he conducted his life. While many people try to position themselves either politically, socially, financially, etc., so as to exert control, gain status, or whatever, he ignored those things, and let his LIFE SPEAK FOR ITSELF. His principals and values were evident every day of his life, whether he was talking to the president of the university, a dignitary, a fellow coach or staff member, or the greenest freshman on campus. Some people chase around, joining this organization or that, thinking they can reform the world, and fail to affect anywhere near the number of lives he did.
I have heard the expression- �Bloom where you are planted." I think he was the epitome of this phrase. He was very comfortable in any setting he was in, feeling I am sure, that this was where he was supposed to be at that given instant. His personality and warmth took over in such a way that God's work was being done through him. That's what life is supposed to be all about, I feel.
We will all miss him, of course, but you must all rest comfortably with justifiable pride and contentment that he was the person he was, who multiplied his efforts many times over, through the manner in which he conducted his life.
Erik B. (Fred) Nelson
Knowing "Dutch" you'd like him An example to us all Somewhat short in stature But standing "Ten feet tall"
He knew how to lead the way His coaching skills well known Basketball - his most loved sport From youngster 'til full grown
The boys he coached all loved him A second dad - a friend Showing how to meet life's storms And - if needed - bend
He took time to show and tell Explained a better way He truly cared for others "A man of men" you'd say
A "Hall of Fame" basketball coach And many other "Halls" too He was tops in all he did Had skills and "smarts" to do
Summers were spent in nature Making men of boys Leading them through camping skills Revealing "outdoor" joys
"Dutch" loved to tell a story Events of "way back when" Reflecting back to yesteryears While pausing now and then
He made Shamrock art discs To give to friends he knew The artwork told a story Seen by all too few
He fell in love with Martha Two sons they would raise They followed in his footsteps Sharing his happy days
"Dutch" will be remembered By those who knew him best He touched the hearts of each of us And now his soul's at rest
Dedicated to Julien Carl "Dutch" Reinhardt 6/24/07 - 9/11/89
Copyright 2003 by Erik B. Nelson P.O. Box 51987 Lafayette, LA 70505
Dr. David H. Fisher, Fan letter to Dutch dated Feb. 4, 1986
February 4, 1986
Coach Dutch Reinhardt 710 Wilson Lafayette, LA
I don't really know just how to begin to write this letter, because you see, it is really a fan letter, and I have never written one before.
My motivation for writing this letter is to congratulate you on the latest honor you received, the Louisiana Hall Of Fame Award by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association. You do honor to all who have previously been elected to the Hall, or ever will be in the future, because without a person such as yourself being there, who has had such a positive impact upon so many people specifically associated with Southwestern, but generally in the entire state, one could consider the selection process suspect without you in it. You certainly belong up there with the many other outstanding citizens of our state who, through their various contributions, have been so honored.
So � congratulations, Coach, on a much-deserved honor. I have told many other people, (and why should I not tell you?) � that I can think of no other person who has touched more lives in such a positive manner than you. And I want to include Martha in this, because her gracious manner certainly always complimented your association with all of us. Hopefully, any of us who have ever been around you over the years, have taken some of your strong positive qualities and outlook on life that were appropriate to our individual personalities, and passed them along in some fashion to people we have associated with. The taping of ankles, the easy-going talks, and just the general associations in whatever way they occurred, were really just mediums by which the more important values were imparted.
Those who spend their lives seeking material gain, or who are always doers or joiners, just to project themselves to yet another plateau, don't know where it is �really at". Your wealth and renown is in your family, in the many sincere friendships you have enjoyed over the years, and in the knowledge that you have truly affected many lives in a positive manner. What can be more important reasons for our existence than this, and a more valuable legacy?
Again, my congratulations.
Dr. Bill McHorris
Dutch Reinhart was one of many great people I have known who had a distinct impact on my life. He adjusted extremely well from his position as Coach to his position as Athletic Trainer, as few people could. I think it was because of his positive attitude about life in general. He was a compassionate, caring individual who was so attentive to not only your physical injuries but to your personal well being. He served as a confidant to many of us who were far away from home. I admired, respected and truly loved Coach Dutch Reinhart.
Dutch Reinhardt arrived at SLI in 1931, fresh out of college. He was an All-American basketball player from the mid-west, University of Iowa. I don't think he taught any classes outside of sports and coaching basketball. He supported all the team sports, serving as the Athletic Trainer. He was not considered a 'tough' coach, and was very well liked by all the players. He frequently scrimmaged with us. All the players considered him 'one of us'.
I dropped out of school to work for a couple of years and returned in 1935. Dutch asked a couple of the experienced basketball players to coach the freshmen team. A couple of the players - Carl Hurst and Worley Broussard were exceptional atheletes and we enjoyed some success against other freshmen and high school basketball teams.
I remember Dutch married a beautiful girl from Crowley or St. Francisville, whom I only knew only as Sweet Pea. They made a great pair!
Fond recollections of Sid Naquin - Member, Basketball Team, 1929 - 31; Class of '38; Freshman Basketball Coach, 1935.
I first met Coach Reinhardt my freshman year(1960). It was so easy to become friends with Coach because he had a way of making it seem like you had known him all of your life. He was always there to talk to the guys when they were down. I will always remember the encouragement I got from the Coach. Whenever I felt down and out, I would talk with Coach and he would always have me thinking that everything was just fine. He would always talk about his summers at his camp in Wisconsin with his family and friends.
Coach was a very mild mannered man. Only one time during my years of being around Coach did I ever see him lose his temper. It happened in Columbus, Georgia. We had a very disappointing loss the night before and we really played bad. I know because there was no misunderstanding what the coaches were telling us about how we "stunk up the place." It was the most physical practice I have ever seen. One of my team mates left practice to see Coach Reinhardt about a bruise on his arm. Coach told him to go back to practice, there was nothing wrong with his arm. The guy still complained and Coach pushed him off the table and back on the practice court. All 5'8" of Coach manhandling this 6'6" 210 lb.player.
Coach Reinhardt was just a wonderful person and a true credit to the school and the city. The next dictionary that is published should have a simple definition of "gentleman" as Coach "Dutch" Reinhardt. It was a real privilege to have spent five years in his company.
Dean Church - Member, Basketball Team, 1960-65.
I was a member of Coach Shipley's first team in 1957-58. When I arrived I had no idea that Shipley had taken Coach Reinhardt's place. This was not evident because Dutch was so totally involved with the team in any way that he could help. If he had any hard feelings about him being replaced by Shipley, it was never evident. Dutch was a valuable part in the beginning of the Shipley era. Dutch was like a dad away from home. He treated all of us as if we were his own. He was always ready to listen to our problems such as school, girls, homesickness and Shipley working us to death! He always had reassuring answers that made us feel confortable. Although some of the team members might tend to drink occasionally or smoke behind the coaches backs, Dutch seemed to always know who they were. He often confided with me who these culprits were-as if I could do anything about it!! He probably kept this to himself and I doubt if he ever shared that information with Shipley. Dutch was the master maker of all itineraries. He knew when to leave Lafayette, where to stay, where to eat, how long it took to get there, when to leave to get to the game on time. He took responsibility of all these miscellaneous nuances so that Shipley could concentrate on the game plan. Dutch accepted his role as trainer, counselor, and friend to all the athletes that came under his watch. It was evident that Dutch loved his family first, but he also loved his job and the athletes. Because of him and the others around him, I will always cherish my memories of those days at SLI and USL.
Tim Thompson - Member, Basketball Team, 1957-1961.
It was 1946, back from the war in Europe, playing Army basketball, waiting to be discharged. My Army basketball teammate (from Pine Prairie, La.) said I'd really like playing college ball for someone he called "The Dutchman." I wrote to Dutch Reinhardt and sent along a clipping. He wrote back saying he couldn't give me a scholarship up front but that if I showed him I was half as good as my clipping, he'd make sure I'd have one.
Here was my dilemma: No guarantee at SLI. The Coach at Western Michigan offered me a scholarship but couldn't guarantee me a place to live. (Too many returning veterans.) Adolf Rupp at Kentucky said I'd have to sit out a year to play in the SEC (because I had played my freshman year at C.C.N.Y. -- under Nat Holman). I preferred not to take offers from George Washington U., CCNY, NYU & St. John's because I didn't want to attend a college in a big city. The Coach at Maryland wrote that admissions were closed for Sept. Coach Everett S. Dean at Stanford said the same thing but guaranteed me a scholarship if I'd wait 'till January.
I was eager to start college again so, against the advice of my local college-ball-playing buddies who argued, "Get it in writing," I took the train from N.Y.C. to N.O. to Lafayette.
A week after basketball practice began, Dutch came up to me, grabbed my right hand with his two hands, pressed tightly with his nine fingers, looked me straight in the eye and said, "You've got a scholarship!"
For the next half century, I found that The Dutchman continued to be a man of his word.
I spent some time trying to come up with a story that epitimizes the character of Dutch and finally decided on the one that introduced me to him. I hope I kept it short enough for your purposes; but even if I didn't, you can simply add it to your own storehouse of remembrances about Dutch.
What I didn't mention below were the words of "advice" from my ball-playing buddies in the NY area who kept telling me that unless you got a scholarship offer in writing, a coach would just as likely string you along as long as he could in order to stretch out the limited number of scholarships he did have. While I was confident I could play ball anyplace, it still made me a little nervous re not being assured of a scholarship due to the tight financial conditions of my folks.
(Believe it or not: this just popped into my head: As sort of a bonus, I was put in charge of the concessions at SLI sporting events -- ordering the soft drinks and hiring athletes to pick up an extra $5 working the concession stand. Between my GI Bill, athletic scholarship, concession duty... PLUS spending summers playing basketball and waiting on tables in the Adirondack Mts. in NY, I saved up enough money so that when my mother called me in Lafayette in my senior year, I had enough money to allow her to make a down payment on a house which allowed her to move my three younger sisters and herself out of an uptown tenement into a three-family house which had two rent-paying tenants. So you might say going to SLI helped me buy a house for my folks, even before I graduated.)
There's a chance that next year could be the time for my visit to Lafayette. Hope to be seeing you! Mort
I am forever grateful for my association with Coach Reinhardt and his family. He gave me an opportunity to play basketball at Southwestern, but more than that, he served as a role model and inspiration for my future life and professional career. Thank you for honoring him in this manner.
Derwood Duke - Member, Basketball Team,1954 � 58.
Harry T. Lemmon
The late J. C. "Dutch" Reinhardt was a person who provokes very fond memories. Not only was he a great coach, but he was also one of the finest gentleman I have ever met. I still remember his caring and forthright coaching manner and his shooting two-handed set shots in practice (and making them). The last time I saw him was at the USL-Tulane football game in the Superdome; we sat together for a very long time, and I enjoyed every minute of our visit.
Harry Lemmon - Member: Basketball and Track and Field Teams, 1950-52.
Writing about Coach Reinhardt is easy...the hard part is keeping it short. Whenever I think about Dutch memories begin to flow and I wonder where to start and stop. Dutch was the Athletic Trainer for years, even when he was Head Basketball Coach.
One day at football practice we were scrimaging and usually several people attended the practices including Dr. Long, an ENT. This was before face masks, and I got hit in the face, apparantly breaking my nose. Dutch came out, took a look and brought me to the stands where Dr. Long was and asked him to take a look. Dr. Long agreed it was broken but said he could fix it right there and I could return to practice. He did and I did and for years afterwards whenever he saw me he would show off his handiwork to anyone with him.
Dutch was a store house of information about anyone who ever played sports at the university --sometimes the only information. He called one day and said I was eligible for the Hall of Fame but needed a degree. Believing I had completed my degree, I went to the Department to confirm my credentials, but such was not the case. On the verge of giving up I called Dutch and explained the dilema. Rather than him giving up, he checked on a few things, made a few calls, called me again and recommended I visit with the Dean in another college. Things worked out, but without Dutch's interest, knowledge of my background and proof of my qualifications, this would not have happened.
He has an impact on my life and on so many more lives and I miss him. He would love the Athletic network. Thanks.
Marvin Leonard, Member: Football Team, 1953-56; Baseball Team, 1954-57.
One of my fondest memories of my time at school was what a true gentleman Coach Reinhardt was. He was always there for us and since several of us were from Kentucky[a long way from home] he was always there to help us with both school and athletics. I never saw any of his early teams play but read about all the fine years they had. Since 1957 was my first year at school, Coach Shipley had come on board and Coach Reinhardt was assisting him with some of us first year players. I always enjoyed visiting with Coach on my trips back to school after graduation. I do consider him one of the prominent figures in our athletic history. I could not think of a person I knew more deserving of this dedication. One final thought was how he loved to kid the late Larry Simon [my teammate] about his crazy shooting style. I miss being able to see both these fine men.
Howard Humphreys, Member, Basketball Team, 1957-1961.
M. Douglas Adkins
DUTCH REINHARDT MEMORY
Coach Reinhardt had an opportunity to look me over pretty good when I received an invitation to visit Southwestern and its basketball program. I was allowed to participate in a scrimmage in which the legend Eddie McCauley was showing everyone up pretty badly. I am sure that Coach did not appreciate my physical shape too much as he suggested I work out hard before returning the following Fall.
When I returned the next Fall, Coach had all of us to line up for his visible inspection. He would thump the players on the chest or comment on a lil flab here and there. When he passed by me he said, "My God Adkins, what happened to you last summer?" I replied that I had roughnecked in the oilfield for three months and two weeks. He exclaimed, "Do they have any openings for these other guys next summer?"
Needless to say working on a drilling rig floor for seven days a week all summer in heat close to 100 degrees made working out in an air-conditioned gym very appealing!
Coach Reinhardt was a special person to me as one his players and as an assistant trainer with him taping up football players. He was a very caring and encouraging person who introduced me to college athletics at a very influential time in my life.
My fondest memory of Coach Reinhardt was his generosity. In 1955 after graduating from Cathedral HS he contacted me and offered me a full scholarship. I was a local boy so he arranged for me to live at home and dine at my dad's restaurant (Reaux's Cafe). In exchange for that privilege he instructed me to visit the office of Carl Hurst once a month to pick up a compensation check for $50.00 every month for all 3 years at SLI. In my 4th year my Civil Engineering grades were suffering with all the traveling, that I had to leave the team to graduate in a timely manner. That I did and received a commission in the USAF & married my wife of 57 years. To this day I am forever grateful to Coach Reinhardt for allowing me to become a professional in both Civil Engineering & Land Surveying. He was the guiding light that inspired me to become the person that I am to this day. RIP Coach.
Profiles for the above players may be viewed by typing their last name in the "Last Name" (white box) search engine in the upper left of the http://www.athleticnetwork.net// home page and clicking on their name in the list of names which appear. Dr. Ed Dugas athleticnetwork@Louisiana.edu _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________