It is no secret that coaches are the driving force behind high school sports in Louisiana.
So it is only appropriate for a group of coaches who distinguished themselves in unique ways to make up the Louisiana High School Sports Hall of Fame induction class for 2017.
B.J. Guzzardo, who won a state championship as a coach at Kentwood and is a long-time assistant executive director of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association, helps headline the group.
Football coaches Roman Bates Jr., Tim Detillier, Don Jones, Bucky Mistretta and Jimmy Shaver also are part of the group that will be inducted on April 12 at the Crowne Plaza. Basketball coaches Kenny Almond, coach/competitor Bob Stevens and powerlifting coach Duane Urbina completed the the group.
“The class of 2017 is loaded with talented individuals who dedicated their lives and careers to the student-athletes of Louisiana,” Louisiana High Schoo Coaches Association Director Terence Williams said. “All of the members are well deserving and we look forward to a great induction ceremony.”
Guzzardo coached Kentwood to a Class 1A runner-up finish in the very first Prep Classic in the then-Louisiana Superdome in 1981. He led the Kangaroos to the 1A title in 1983.
In addition to coaching at Kentwood, Guzzardo also had coaching stints at Independence and Hammond High. He served as president of the Louisiana High School Coaches Association in 1987.
Since joining the LHSAA staff Guzzardo has supervised numerous sports, including football, wrestling, volleyball, softball and baseball. He also coordinated the Hall of Fame induction and numerous LHSCA events, including all-star games, along with many state championship events.
Bates coached at Baton Rouge-based Capitol from 1967 to 2000, one of the longest tenures for an inner city coach and also was the school’s athletic director. He had a record of 223-150-6 that included a Class 4A runner-up finish in 1999 and six district titles.
Detillier coached at St. Charles Catholic but is best known for his stint at his alma mater, Lutcher, from 1991-2016. In addition to compiling a career record of 266-112, Detiller won more than 20 district championships, made 12 quarterfinal appearances and 9 semifinal appearances. Detillier’s Lutcher teams won Class 3A state titles in 2003, 2006, 2008 and 2015.
In addition to coaching, Detillier was the LHSCA president in 1993 and served on numerous LHSAA and LHSCA committees, including the LHSAA’s executive committee and school relations committee.
Jones served as LHSCA president in 2002 and was football coach at eight Louisiana high schools, including two stints at Plaquemine High, during a 35-year career that began in 1971. Jones’ teams won 15 district titles and he had a career record of 233-151-3 as he coached at schools in the Baton Rouge, Monroe and Acadiana areas.
Mistretta was a football fixture in the Baton Rouge area while coaching at Ascension Catholic, Redemptorist and Lee High. He won a Class 1A state title in his first stint at ACHS in 1973 and a second in 1992, along with a runner-up finish in 1991 and also was voted Louisiana’s Athletic Director of the Year in 1995.
Another member of Louisiana’s 200 wins club, Shaver compiled a record of 238-100 in 29 seasons as football coach Barbe High of Lake Charles. His Barbe teams made 27 playoff appearances and won 13 district titles.
Almond is another Baton Rouge area coach whose basketball career included head coaching stops at five schools. His record of 892-402 included state titles in 1999, 2002 and 2003 along with four state runner-up finishes at Woodlawn High. Almond also had a runner-up finish at Lee High.
During the 2002-2003 seasons, Almond’s Woodlawn team was ranked as high as No. 2 nationally and won 50 straight games. He also coached East Ascension to state tourney berths and was voted the Louisiana Basketball Coaches Association’s Mr. Basketball in 2014.
Stevens’ career included success at Redemptorist in Baton Rouge, Bell City in southwest Louisiana and in central Louisiana. Stevens starred in basketball and baseball at Poland High, scoring 4,243 career points in basketball and averaged over 30 points a game as a junior and senior. He batted .332 and was 32-9 as a pitcher in baseball.
As a coach, Stevens had a 174-42 record in girls basketball, including state titles in 1980 and 1985 with two runner-up finishes. He was 145-44 in boys basketball with one state runner-up finish. Stevens also was 61-8 as a softball coach.
Urbina excelled on the state and national levels as a powerlifting coach at Alexandria Senior High, dating back to the years before it was brought under the LHSAA. His girls teams won 10 national championships and 12 state championships, while his ASH boys won five national and five state titles between 1992 and 2005.
There was more to Urbina’s championship run than title trophies. His lifters set more than 70 state or national records.