Shows, who left NSU in 1989 to become head football coach at West Monroe High School and built the Rebels’ program into a national powerhouse, died Monday in a New Orleans hospital after battling health issues since the latter stages of the 2012 season. The 74-year-old Shows, who sat out the 2013 season, recently indicated plans to return to the West Monroe sideline next fall for a 50th year of coaching before his health turned in the past two weeks.
A memorial service is planned Friday evening on the playing field named for him inside West Monroe’s Rebel Stadium, a facility that his success and promotional skills developed into one of the nation’s finer prep football venues. Arrangements are being handled by Kilpatrick’s Funeral Home of West Monroe. His wife Daune and three children head the list of survivors.
Shows is the fourth-winningest coach in state high school history, with a 345-78 (.817) record in 32 seasons at West Monroe, Pineville, Jonesboro-Hodge and Farmerville. His West Monroe teams won eight state championships.
In his three seasons on Sam Goodwin’s Northwestern State coaching staff, the Demons were 23-10-1, culminating in the 1988 season which brought NSU its first Southland Conference championship and a trip to the FCS playoff quarterfinals. His 1988 offensive line included three All-Southland Conference selections, center Jeff Steers, guard John King and tackle Robbie Martin.
“It’s not a matter of me wanting to leave Northwestern,” Shows said in announcing his February 1989 decision to take over a then-struggling West Monroe program. “It was a tough, tough decision. Northwestern and Coach Goodwin have been very good to me.”
“He recruited me to NSU, and I will forever be grateful. That man could coach. RIP Coach Shows!,” said Carlos Treadway, an All-Southland tight end for the Demons and an honorary captain on the Demons’ All-Century Team chosen in 2007, in a post Tuesday on Facebook.
“I got to work with him one summer at the NSU Fun & Fitness Camp. He was a great guy and fun to work with,” said NSU graduate Perry Anderson. “Between he and Sam Goodwin, we were always laughing about something.”
Shows, a Ruston native and a 1947 All-State running back for Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame coach L.J. “Hoss” Garrett at RHS, was a four-year track letterman before graduating in 1962 from Louisiana Tech.
His first head coaching success came in 1977 at Jonesboro-Hodge High School, where he guided a team that went 1-9 a year earlier to a 14-0 run to the Class 2A state finals, earning him his first state “Coach of the Year” award.