Thursday, December 18, 2014

2014 Louisiana Legends Honorees »»»

Dale Brown Dale Brown

Coach Brown is the only SEC coach to have appeared in 15 straight national tournaments and is the second winningest coach in SEC history surpassed only by Kentucky’s legendary Adolph Rupp. 105 of 160 of Brown’s players received their college degrees.

Brown and Rupp are the only SEC coaches that had 17 consecutive non-losing seasons and Brown was the only coach in the nation to have ever increased his number of victories six years in a row from 1976-81. From 1977-1986, LSU is the only school that finished in the first division of the conference. The 1981 LSU team is the only team in SEC history to win 17 consecutive league games in one season. Only three coaches in SEC history, Adolph Rupp, Joe Hall and Tubby Smith won more conference championships than LSU’s Brown. Brown and Rupp are the only two SEC coaches that won the conference championship in three different decades. Only six SEC coaches have led their teams to two Final Fours or more. They are Dale Brown, Billy Donovan, Joe Hall, Rick Pitino, Nolan Richardson and Adolph Rupp. As well as mentoring Shaquille O’Neal, Brown coached a bevy of NBA first-round selections, and has the distinction of beating Kentucky more than any coach in history.

On nine occasions, Brown was selected as the SEC Coach of the Year or runner-up and seven times he was voted as the Louisiana College Basketball Coach of the Year. On two occasions he was chosen as the National Basketball Coach of the Year. He is a member of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, the Louisiana Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame and was inducted as an SEC Living Legend.

Mary Frey Eaton Mary Frey Eaton

Mary Frey Eaton is one of Louisiana's most outstanding civic activists. In Baton Rouge, her civic work includes involvement with the East Baton Rouge Metropolitan Council, Mayor's Beautification Commission, the Community Fund for the Arts, the Chamber of Commerce, the Convention and Visitor's Bureau, and the Woman's Hospital Foundation. On the state level, she is a board member of the Council for a Better Louisiana and the Louisiana Educational Television Authority, she was also a member of a maintenance task force of the Louisiana Public Service Commission. Mrs. Eaton has received the Baton Rouge Golden Deeds Award, the Volunteer Activist Award, and the National Conference of Christians and Jews Brotherhood Award. Her involvement with LSU includes participation on the CAMD Research Park Task Force, the School of Social Work Advisory Committee, and the LSU Baseball Coach's Committee. She is also active with the Friends of the LSU Library, the LSU Foundation, and the LSU Alumni Foundation. Mrs. Eaton received a bachelor's degree in arts and sciences from LSU in 1947.

Honorable Murphy J. Honorable Murphy J. "Mike" Foster, Jr.

M. J. "MIKE" FOSTER JR. was born in Shreveport, Louisiana. As a young man, he attained the rank of Eagle Scout. He graduated from Louisiana State University with a chemistry degree. He was a pilot in the U.S. Air Force in Korea from 1952 until 1955, when he returned home to work as a sugar cane farmer. He remained in private life until 1987, when he was elected to the first of two terms in the Louisiana Senate. Foster was sworn in as Louisiana's 49th governor on January 8, 1996. On October 23, 1999, he was reelected to a second term, winning 62 percent of the vote. Honest government, sound financial management, and investments in education were hallmarks of Foster's service. Under Foster, Louisiana led the nation in debt reduction. Between 1999 and 2001, the state's net tax-supported debt was reduced more than 55 percent. Much of the state's tobacco settlement funds were put in trust for the future for health care and at-risk youth. Louisiana voters responded to Foster's reforms by taking them an important step further. In 2002, they voted to eliminate the state sales tax on all food and most utilities, cutting taxes for 80 percent of Louisiana citizens, and, most importantly, stabilizing the revenue base. Foster's hobbies include riding motorcycles, flying helicopters, and he is qualified to pilot many different types of boats.

Buddy Guy Buddy Guy

George "Buddy" Guy was born in Lettsworth, Louisiana on July 30, 1936, and is said to have first learned to play on a homemade two-string instrument fashioned from wire and tin cans. Guy graduated to an acoustic guitar, and began soaking up the influences of blues players such as T-Bone Walker, B.B. King, and Lightnin' Hopkins; as his family relocated to Baton Rouge, Guy had the opportunity to see live performances by Lightnin' Slim (aka Otis Hicks) and Guitar Slim, whose raw, forceful sound and over the top showmanship left a serious impression on Guy. Guy started playing professionally when he became a sideman for John "Big Poppa" Tilley, where he learned to work the crowd and overcome early bouts of stage fright. In 1957, Guy cut a demo tape at a local radio station and sent a copy to Chess Records, the label that was home to such giants as Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, and Etta James, shortly before buying a one-way train ticket and moving to Chicago, eager to make music his career.

Guy is one of the most celebrated blues guitarists of his generation (and arguably the most celebrated), possessing a sound and style that embodied the traditions of classic Chicago blues while also embracing the fire and flash of rock & roll. Guy spent much of his career as a well-regarded journeymen, cited as a modern master by contemporary blues fans but not breaking through to a larger audience, before he finally caught the brass ring in the 1990s and released a series of albums that made him one of the biggest blues acts of the day, a seasoned veteran with a modern edge. And few guitarists of any genre have enjoyed the respect of their peers as Guy has, with such giants as Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Keith Richards, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Mark Knopfler all citing him as a personal favorite.

W. Elton Kennedy W. Elton Kennedy

William Elton Kennedy was born in December of 1945. He was raised in West Carroll Parish, Louisiana, as the youngest sibling and only son to a minister. After finishing high school in1963, Elton with his father’s help began leasing acreage and farming together. In 1969, after accumulating rice quota, Elton and his father planted their first rice crop. Later, he expanded his farming interest and purchased freshly cleared ground. In 1973, after several difficult years, the rice market soared to unbelievable heights giving Elton the opportunity that he needed. Today, Elton’s family, tenants, and employees directly farm over 25,000 acres of rice.

In addition to production, Elton has been actively involved in rice research and the innovation of the rice business. For years, he has provided acreage for the LSU Rice Research Variety Development program. Elton has always been one of the first in the industry to implement not only new varieties but precision GPS land leveling and fertility management. He is known throughout the industry for his creative water management systems that he engineered to achieve higher field yields and increase efficiency. This has allowed him to take marginal buckshot soybean farms and transform them into rice farms, which greatly expanded the available rice acreage in many areas of North Louisiana. He was also actively involved, and held a seat on, the first exchange for trading rice in New Orleans, which later moved to Chicago and is now used by many as a marketing tool at the CME.

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