Inside this September 2007 edition of the L Club Newsletter:
- It's YOUR L Club
- Editor's Notebook: ULM tradition owes a lot to 1987 team
- 20th anniversary return of 1987 National Champions headlines fall reunions
- ALL ABOUT YOU: Stan’s mates turn out for Hall of Fame induction
- 3 stellar playmakers lead Warhawk title bid
- L Club Board rehires Laird, adopts budget
- L Club Wrap Up
- L Club Newsletter Archives
It's YOUR L Club
ULM's Association of Former Student Athletes, the L Club, has
experienced a rebirth over the last year and that is due to the solid
support of its board members and the incredible leadership provided by
its Executive Director, Billy Laird. The short term goal for the L Club
is to become self supporting.
|Your L Club Board of Directors at their August 6th meeting.
Photo by Tommy Walpole
As of today, we have identified 2,802
former athletes and have marked their alumni record accordingly. Of
that number, 218 are lost (no current address.) This E-Newsletter, our
first, is reaching 758 L-Clubbers. I am sure some of you are receiving
this due to the fact it was forwarded to you by a former teammate. If
this is the case, please take a few minutes to update your alumni record securly online.
New Publication Schedule
The L Club's new publication schedule will mirror that of the ULM Alumni
Association. We will e-mail two on-line newsletters per year (one just
prior to the beginning of Football Season and the second one prior to
the beginning of Basketball Season). Immediately after the Hall of Fame
Weekend, we'll mail the L-Club newsletter to all our life and current
dues paying members.
Reunion / Event Schedule
Your L Club is hard at work! Reunions for this academic year include:
- October 6, 2007- 20 year reunion of the 1987 NLU Indians Division 1-AA
National Championship season
- October 20, 2007- Homecoming at ULM - "old timer's softball game" and
honoring the 1997 SLC Championship team
- November 3, 2007- Baseball "old timers" reunion and a Jersey retirement
ceremony for Chuck Finley and Ben Sheets
- February 16, 2008- Basketball reunions - Honoring the 1st Gulf States
Conference championship team
- April 4-5, 2008- Hall of Fame Weekend
l. Our Web site will soon include a link where you can pay your dues online and update your record.
2. We will soon introduce an expanded L Club Web site which will include,
among other things, a Hall of Fame page with photos and
profiles of each Hall of Fame member.
What You Can Do For YOUR L Club
l. In a few weeks we will kick off this year's membership drive. Help us do more by sending in your dues / contribution.
2. Come to our reunions and attend ULM athletic events.
by Bob Anderson
ULM’s 1987 national championship football team will hold its 20th anniversary reunion on campus when the Warhawks host Arkansas State on Oct. 6. If you get the chance, you should go by and tell these guys “Thanks.”
Our university hasn’t been a consistent winner in football but not only did the 1987 players give ULM fans a decade’s worth of thrills in one season, they also gave the university a football tradition that stacks up with the best in our state, our conference, and a majority of our nation’s colleges and universities.
The 1987 club was not the first ULM squad to win a national title. The 1935 Northeast Center of LSU football team claimed a national junior college crown and this was a squad with some amazing achievements—an 8-0 record with half the wins over senior college teams and 180 points scored against only six for the opposition. But for most current Warhawk fans, 1935 was a long time before they were born.
So winning the 1987 1-AA championship is the defining achievement of ULM’s sports tradition. All of Louisiana’s college football teams with the exception of LSU and Tulane played 1-AA football or were at one time members of the Southland Conference. Most have been both. ULM, however, is the only Louisiana or SLC team to win the 1-AA championship. Several have come close—McNeese and Louisiana Tech made it as far as the championship game and so did non-Louisiana SLC members like Arkansas State and Stephen F. Austin. But only ULM won the big prize.
Sometime in the future a Louisiana or SLC member might win the 1-AA title but remember this—Division 1-AA was a lot stronger in 1987 than it is now or likely to be in the near future. Ten current 1-A (or Football Bowl Subdivision if you prefer) teams were in 1-AA in 1987, including four current Sun Belt Conference members, Boise State and the team ULM beat for the 1987 title, Marshall.
To be a national champion in 1987, ULM opened the season with back-to-back 44-7 blowouts of Louisiana Tech and Southwest Texas; made a miracle to defeat Northwestern State (winning on Stan Humphries’ Hail Mary pass to Jackie Harris); knocked off both of the previous year’s national finalists (Georgia Southern and Arkansas State); whipped a good Southern Mississippi team quarterbacked by Bret Favre; had to beat North Texas twice (in the regular season and the playoffs); defeated Eastern Kentucky on a Teddy Garcia FG with 14 seconds left; edged Northern Iowa in two overtimes on another Garcia FG; came from behind three times in the finals against Marshall and then held the high-scoring Herd scoreless in the final 7:19 on big defensive plays by Richard Green, Troy Brown, Karl Aloisio and Perry Harper to win a 43-42 thriller and cap a tremendous 13-2 campaign.
It was a season for the ages and a squad that was truly a “Team of Destiny.”
ULM is playing with the real big boys now, in the top division of college football, competing against traditional powers like Alabama, LSU, UCLA, Minnesota, Clemson and others. It has won championships in the junior college and 1-AA divisions, but winning a national title at this current level seems an impossible dream. ULM football teams, however, have a history of rising to the occasion, no matter how high they have to rise. Miracles do happen. Dreams do come true.
Just ask the Boys of ’87.
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20th Anniversary Return of 1987 National Champions Headlines Fall Reunions
ULM’s national championship football team of 1987 will hold its 20th anniversary reunion on campus Oct. 6.
The L Club event will be held in conjunction with the Warhawks’ Sun Belt Conference home opener against Arkansas State, set for a 6 p.m. kickoff in Malone Stadium. The 1987 team will be introduced at halftime of the game.
|Stan Humphries' memorabilia is displayed at the Hall of Fame ceremonies.
Photo by Blair Michel
The 1987 team compiled a 13-2 record, won the Southland Conference championship and then swept to the NCAA 1-AA national title by defeating North Texas, Eastern Kentucky, Northern Iowa in playoff games on campus and then Marshall in the nationally televised championship final in Pocatello, Idaho.
The team, coached by Pat Collins, remains the only Louisiana or Southland Conference team to win the 1-AA national title.
In regular season play the 1987 team defeated Louisiana Tech, Southwest Texas (now Texas State), Nicholls State, Northwestern State, Georgia Southern, McNeese, Southern Mississippi, North Texas and Arkansas State while losing to Lamar and Louisiana-Lafayette.
The reunion of the 1987 team is the first of three scheduled reunion events on the ULM campus this fall. On Oct. 20, at the homecoming game against Florida International, there will be a reunion of Coach Rosemary Holloway-Hill’s 1997 softball team that won the Southland Conference championship and competed in the NCAA playoffs. On Nov. 3, the day of the Middle Tennessee game, there will be the annual baseball reunion.
Information on these reunion events can be obtained from Billy Laird of the L Club or Tommy Walpole in the Alumni office.
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ALL ABOUT YOU: Stan’s mates turn out for Hall of Fame induction
There was a fine turnout of 1987 football players for teammate Stan Humphries’ June 23 induction into the Louisiana Hall of Fame in Natchitoches. Attending were 1987 Indians WR Brian Bell, OT John Clement, C Duane Foret, OT-C Rusty Haile, TE Randy Jackson, OT Larry McDonald, OG Blair Michel, FB Tommy Minvielle, Manager Al Malloy and assistant coaches Bob Lane and Tag Rome.
|Stan Humphries' former teammates join him during his Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
Photo by Blair Michel
Also attending the induction ceremonies were several current ULM staff members headed by Athletics Director Bobby Staub and including assistant football coaches Steve Farmer and Nate Kaczor. Media Relations Director Judy Willson also attended Hall of Fame events earlier in the week. Best of luck to Judy, who left ULM in August for a new job at the University of New Mexico. Willson, who has been a good friend of the L Club, moved to be closer to her father, who lives in Colorado and recently suffered a stroke.
A large contingent of ULM fans and Stan’s family also attended the induction. Humphries, who lived for a time in Natchitoches, was the last of the eight Hall of Famers to be inducted and was obviously the favorite of the crowd at the Natchitoches Events Center. He was introduced by Bobby Ross, his coach when he led the San Diego Chargers to the Super Bowl in 1995.
Al Miller (FB, 1966-69), was recognized in May as “a legend in the field of strength and conditioning for his pioneering efforts on behalf of his profession” by the Collegiate Strength & Conditioning Coaches Association at their annual convention. Al is already a member of the USA Strength & Conditioning Coaches Hall of Fame as well as the ULM Hall. He and his family recently moved back to Monroe upon his retirement after 21 years in the NFL with the Denver Broncos (1985-92), New York Giants (92-96) and Atlanta Falcons (1996-06). Before that he was strength coach at Northwestern State, Mississippi State, ULM and Alabama.
We’re sorry to report the deaths of two of ULM’s greatest linemen. Orlando Bobo (FB, 1994-95) suffered a premature death in a Dallas hospital May 14 of heart and liver failure. He was only 33 years old. Bobo, originally from West Point, Miss., was an all-Louisiana and all-National 1-A Independent first team selection at offensive tackle in 1995 and went on to play for Minnesota and Baltimore in the NFL and Winnipeg in the Canadian league.
Tommy Sands (FB, 1942, 45), who died earlier this summer in Denton, TX, was an outstanding junior college guard at what was then Northeast Junior College. He played on the 1942 NJC team that finished with a 5-3 record and was ranked No. 5 in the nation. After World War II, he returned to play on the 1947 team that went 7-2 and was ranked No. 20 nationally.
All friends of ULM will be glad to know that Curtis Nicholls is recovering at the home of grandson Kurt Heitman (FB, 1985) in Monroe after a long hospitalization for an infection. Curtis was not able to be present for his induction into the ULM Hall of Fame in April but L Club Executive Director Billy Laird, Chuck McCullen and the editor visited him this summer and Laird presented him with a memory book.
All of the 2007 inductees received a memory book containing photographs and other material about the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. This is a new treat for Hall of Fame inductees. Copies of the memory book contain information about the inductees, pictures of the former athletes, pictures of the ceremonies and other material. The book was prepared by former ULM tennis star Karen Zimmerman Trahan (W. Tennis, 1973-76) of Monroe and published by Creative Memories. Karen is married to another fine tennis player, Phil Trahan (M.Tennis 1971-74), one of ULM’s all-time leading winners who still plays a very good game, as the item below proves.
Trahan plays well enough to be going to the USTA national championship tournament for 4.5 senior men Oct. 19-21 at the Indian Wells Tennis Center in Palm Springs, CA. An old friend and doubles partner, Terry Moor (M. Tennis, 1973-75), will return to Monroe Sept. 8-9 to play with Phil in a fund-raiser match at the Monroe Athletic Center. Moor was ULM’s first division one all-American in any sports in 1974 after he upset top-seeded Brian Teacher of UCLA in the NCAA Tournament and reached the quarterfinals. He repeated as an all-American the following year and went on to enjoy success as a professional. Moor and Trahan will play another pair of ex-ULM greats in the match, Padg Bolton (M. Tennis, 1968-71) and Wilson Campbell (M. Tennis, 1970-72).
Here are some notes on the athletes attending the reunion of the ULM track teams of the late 1950’s and early 1960’s held last fall. Hoy Rogers, a conference champion in the shot and discus in 1960 and 1961, is now retired and living in Georgetown, TX, after a work career that included an assistant coach’s job at Southern Illinois and positions with UNIVAC and NASA…Jim “Buddy” Copeland, another standout weightman for the Indians during this era, is also retired after a teaching and coaching career. He lives in Reno, NV…Hall of Famer Buddy Eiland, one of the greatest ULM distance runners of all time, now is a security officer at Barksdale AFB after retiring from the Shreveport Police Department…Glenn Hardin, a hurdler and member of family with a great track legacy, is retired from General Electric and living in McKinney, TX...Randall Walker, one of the greatest ULM quarter-milers, is back in East Texas (in Longview) and still loves motorcycles…Robert McGough starred in both football and as a javelin thrower as an Indian. He’s a retired school teacher and lives in Chandler, TX.
Coach George Luffey is still recuperating from surgery and has asked to go on “injured reserve” as a member of the L Club board. Billy Laird reports George sends his best wishes to the L Club collectively and individually and hopes to be back at full throttle soon.
Another recovering ULM icon is Coach Manny Michel, the senior member of the Warhawk football staff. Coach Michel is back at work following three eye surgeries, two bone biopsies on his hip and chemotherapy for chronic myelogenous leukemia. Michel, who coaches the ULM defensive line, is in his ninth season with the Warhawks, having joined the staff in 1999 when Bobby Keasler was head coach. One of ULM’s best recruiters, especially in the New Orleans area, Michel missed the first week of football practice but is back on the job. He was the subject of a fine article by News-Star sports editor Paul Letlow recently.
Coach Bob Groseclose was inducted into the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame last December. Now another legendary former ULM track coach will go into the same Hall of Fame this year. It was announced in August that Lew Hartzog, who was ULM track coach in 1957-60 and then the long-time coach at Southern Illinois, will be inducted into the USTFCCCA Hall of Fame Dec. 18 in Phoenix. Hartzog’s ULM teams won three championships in his three years at the university, the cross country crown in the fall of 1958 and track titles in 1959 and 1960. His 1960 team was undefeated in 14 meets and one of the strongest squads in the nation, regardless of classification.
Another former coach with a ULM connection will also go into the USTFCCCA Hall the same night. That is Irv Monschein, who was track coach at the University of Pennsylvania for 23 years and happens to be the father of Brian Monschein, the husband of former NCAA heptathalon and current assistant A.D. Lauri Young Monschein (W. Track, 1982-85).
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3 stellar playmakers lead Warhawk title bid
by Bob Anderson
In 2006, ULM lost five games by five points or less, closed strong and has 17 starters back. So the question is, can the Warhawks win the 2007 Sun Belt Conference title?
Charlie Weatherbie says “Yes.”
More dispassionate observers are not so sure. ULM tied for fourth place in the official Sun Belt poll of coaches and selected media representatives. Sports writers previewing the Sun Belt race for the national college football magazines run the gauntlet in their assessment of ULM’s chances, picking Coach Weatherbie’s team everywhere from second in the conference to next-to-last. All agree, however, that the Warhawks are a team bristling with potential. Those picking ULM high do it because of its offensive unit—those picking the ‘Hawks low do it because of the defense.
It’s no wonder—ULM was No. 1 in the Sun Belt both total offense and pass offense last year but dead last in total defense. All 11 players who started on offense for ULM in the season-closing 39-20 rout of Louisiana Lafayette will be back this fall. The defense returns six starters from that game plus six others who opened at least one contest.
On offense, no other SBC team has three playmakers who can match ULM running back Calvin Dawson, wide receiver LaGregory Sapp and quarterback Kinsmon Lancaster. Dawson led the SBC in rushing, all-purpose running and scoring (tie) and his rush total of 1,210 yards was the third highest in Warhawk annals. Sapp led the conference in total receiving yards (796) and average gain (18.5). Lancaster was second in the league in total offense with 2,122 yards, 333 rushing and 1,789 passing on a 56.8 percentage.
Up front, the Warhawks have the SBC’s best blocking line led by two-time all-conference second team tackle Kyle Cunningham and two other players who made at least one preseason all-SBC team, C Adam Hill and OG Aaron Schutz. TE Zeek Zacharie was another second team all-SBC player last year after ranking among the top 10 league receivers with 30-405 statistics.
Dawson, who has a chance to break the school career rushing record of 3,061 now held by former all-American and NFL star Roosevelt Potts, was at his best in ULM’s big games last year with 179 yards in a two-point loss to Kentucky, 128 vs. Arkansas and 118 vs. Alabama.
“We’ve got some great players coming back,” says Weatherbie. “We’ve got to keep our best players on the field—in other words, avoid injuries.”
Every successful team has to have some luck and the luckiest thing that could happen to ULM is a injury-free season for Lancaster. The Warhawks have good depth at just about every position but the signal-calling post where Lancaster’s backup is redshirt freshman Trey Revell.
“Trey has a strong arm and is a physical runner,” says the ULM coach. “And he’s a leader. But if we get in a bind at quarterback, we can move Chance Payne and Darrell McNeal back to that position.”
Payne was the Lancaster’s backup last year and led the SBC in passing efficiency. He asked to move to linebacker in spring practice in order to see more playing time and goes into the season on the second defensive unit. McNeal was the team’s top return man and a receiver last fall but was a star QB in high school at Neville of Monroe.
On defense, the Warhawks were not as bad as their last-place ranking in total defense might indicate. They led the league in turnover margin (+.83) and takeaways (34) and tied for first in scoring defense.
“We have seven starters back on defense and we are two-deep and sometimes three-deep in the defensive line,” says Coach Weatherbie, “so we feel like we’re going to be tougher in run defense. Cardia Jackson had a fine season as a freshman linebacker for us, Jeremy Moll started a game and Josh Thomas saw a lot of action. And Chance Payne had a good spring.”
After alternating with DeMarcus Carmouche and Ricky Williams much of the ’06 season, 315-pound junior Kendall Mouton and senior David Cooper (273) settled in as the tackle starters in late season. All four return this fall. Jameson Jordan (6-5, 235) returns at one end and Alaric Coleman (6-3, 250) came out of spring as the other starter.
ULM’s heaviest defensive losses came in the five-man secondary where three starters completed their eligibility, including all-conference players FS Kevin Payne, a NFL draftee, and CB Chaz Williams. Still, there is good experience and talent. Josh Thompson led the SBC in interceptions with six and was second on the team in tackles with 83 at rover, Greg James had five steals at corner and safety, Quintez Secka was a CB starter until sidelined by an injury, James Truxillo started four games at free safety, Darrius Battles was a part-time starter at CB in 2005 before sitting out last year, and James Wright made 26 tackles as a reserve safety in ’06.
ULM has one of the country’s best kickers in Cole Wilson, who missed only one of 15 field goal attempts last fall. Soph Scott Love succeeds Kevin Payne as the punter after averaging 36.8 yards on five punts late last season.
Last year the Warhawks opened with a win over Alcorn State at home, then lost seven straight, losing by two to Kansas and Florida Atlantic, to Alabama and Arkansas by 34, to Arkansas State by four, to eventual SBC co-champ Troy by five, and to co-champ Middle Tennessee by 14. ULM started its comeback by routing Florida International in a TV game, 35-0, lost to Music City Bowl champ Kentucky by two (40-42) and then whipped North Texas (23-3) and Louisiana Lafayette (39-20). In those last four games, ULM outscored its opponents by an average of 34-16.
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L Club Board rehires Laird, adopts budget
The L Club Board of Directors rehired Executive Director
Billy Laird and adopted a $29,500 budget for 2007-08 in its August 6
meeting at the Alumni Center.
The board also set dates for the 2008 Hall of Fame ceremonies, discussed plans for a membership drive, and announced a new tailgating format.
President Bob Cooper presided over the meeting.
The board voted to recommend that the Hall of Fame golf tournament and induction ceremonies be held April 4-5, 2008. Laird announced plans to form a membership committee to conduct a membership drive with emphasis on personal and telephone contact by team members of the various sports. Paid membership in 2006-07 was 316, an increase of 115 over two years ago and the largest ever.
As for tailgating in the Grove at football games, last year the L Club financed a separate tailgate area. This year, the L Club will be combined with the Alumni Association tailgate area.
Plans were announced by Laird and Tommy Walpole, who produces the monthly online "Good News For ULM" feature of news about the university, that the L Club newsletter would now be released by email with "Good News For ULM," twice a year in the fall and winter. One printed edition of the L Club newsletter would be produced and mailed out in the spring. Last year all three editions of the newsletter were printed and distributed by normal mail. Distribution of two newsletters by email will result in a savings of approximately $4,000 a year.
|New L Club President Bob Cooper (left) and Executive Director Billy
Laird (right) present out going President Scott McDonald with his
appreciation plaque. Scott served the L Club as President for the last
Photo by Tommy Walpole
The 2007-08 budget distributed to the board at the meeting included proposed total expenditures of $29,500 compared to actual expenditures of $28,767 in 2006-07. Immediate Past President Scott McDonald noted that the 2007-08 budget included a salary of $12,000 for Laird, an increase of $2,000 in recognition of his hard work the past year.
The L Club board also voted to transfer $5,000 from the lifetime membership endowment account to the operation account to cover Laird's contracted salary for 2006-07, but Laird "respectfully declined" to accept the $5,000 in order to keep the endowment fund intact.
The Aug. 6 meeting was the first for new board members, Camile Currier (track), Vicki Howard (women's basketball), Lauri Young Mondschein (women's track) and John Tannehill (men's basketball). Another new member, Al Miller (football) was out of town and unable to attend but sent his regrets. The meeting was also the first for E.J. Lee-Ok as the new secretary-treasurer.
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L Club Wrap Up
We hope you have enjoyed our first on-line newsletter. Please feel free to send your comments and suggestions to email@example.com or call 866-Warhawk. Thanks for your continuing support of ULM and of the L Club. I look forward to seeing you on campus this year in support of our university beginning with the big ESPN 2 football game on August 30.
Photo of Bob Anderson courtesy Richard Lupo, ULM Photo Services