The Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame induction weekend is June 29. Events will include a free Rockin’ River Fest featuring Johnny Earthquake and the Moondogs with special guest Wayne Toups. Opening act will be Bill O’Con and Badd Apple. There will be a free interactive kids zone for ages 4 and up as well as fireworks over Cane River at 9:15 p.m. Natchitoches Area Jaycees will host a VIP Taste of Tailgating where participants can meet the inductees in an air conditioned tent next to the amphitheater aong Cane River. Tickets are $75. There will also be a 70’s disco Bowling Bash sponsored by BOM from noon-2:30 p.m. at Country Lanes Bowling Alley. Events will include a retro 70s costume contest, catered food, DJ Geaux and more. Visit LASports-Hall.com/events for more information on either event.
Meet the inductees
LEWIS COOK — Cook has led three different high schools to 30 state playoff appearances in 32 years as a head coach with 23 district and four state titles, three at Notre Dame of Crowley. At the outset of the 2017 season, Cook has a 333-81 career record, ranking him third in Louisiana history among active coaches and fifth all-time in the state with each of the coaches ahead of him already inducted into the LSHOF (J.T. Curtis, Jim Hightower, Red Franklin and Don Shows). His .804 winning percentage, which is fourth-best in state history, includes a playoff record of 73-26 with four state titles, 11 trips to the state championship game and 17 semifinal berths. His 1989 Crowley team won the 3A state title, and he followed with state crowns at Notre Dame in 2000 and 2009 in 3A and 2015 in 2A. Cook has won 23 district titles — including 10 in a row — and has been the state coach of the year six times in three different classes. He also was the head coach at Rayne High, his alma mater, from 1977-80. Cook spent eight seasons on the staff at UL-Lafayette (1981-84, 1992-95) and coached six eventual NFL players — including Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame member Jake Delhomme, and Brandon Stokley, also a 2018 inductee. Born 6-8-1951.
JACK HAINS — A crop-duster from Rayne, Hains was one of the early champions of competitive bass fishing. In 1975, he captured the fifth annual Bassmaster Classic (the Super Bowl of fishing tournaments) in Currituck Sound, North Carolina. Hains, a rookie angler on the circuit, caught 18 bass weighing 45 pounds, 4 ounces and collected a check for $15,950. He went on to qualify for seven Bassmaster Classic tournaments. Hains, who competed in the late 1990s on the Walmart Fishing League Worldwide Tour, has piled up earnings of $318,061.44 in 152 career tournaments. Hains finished in the Top 10 a total of 24 times and also had 35 top-20 showings.
JERRY SIMMONS – The winningest coach in LSU, Louisiana-Lafayette and Louisiana history (career record of 492-197-2 in 26 years), Simmons is the second winningest coach in SEC history behind only the legendary Dan Magill. He is one of the top 10 winningest NCAA Division I coaches of all-time. Simmons led LSU to 13 NCAA appearances, all of which were at least to the Round of 16, in 15 years. He was named National, Regional, SEC and Louisiana Coach of the Year in 1988, when he led LSU to a school-record 27 wins (only 2 losses) and to the National Championship match. LSU was ranked No. 1 in the nation for four weeks in 1988, a first in school history. He coached Donni Leaycraft to the 1989 NCAA Singles title, the first Grand Slam victory in school history. Simmons coached Johan Kjellesten to the 1989 Clay Court Singles title, the second Grand Slam victory at LSU. Tiger players earned 24 All-America honors and 34 All-SEC honors in 15 years under Jerry Simmons, and he had players earn 23 Academic All-SEC honors. His teams won 138 SEC dual matches in career, second in league history to Hall of Famer Dan Magill. In 1998, Simmons was the youngest coach ever inducted into the ITA Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame, and is in the Louisiana Tennis Hall of Fame. He was the first person to introduce corporate sponsorship to collegiate tennis with the USL Rolex Tennis Classic in 1977. Also had the nation’s first-ever college tennis corporate sponsored scoreboard. He organized ESPN’s first televised tennis match in 1979, served as tournament director of the Nokia Sugar Bowl 1994-98 and is tour director of Chanda Rubin’s American ITF. His record at LSU was 278-105 (15 years) and at Louisiana-Lafayette he was 214-92-2 (11 years). Along with the 1988 NCAA title match, his LSU teams advanced to the NCAA Final Eight in1987-89-91-92, the NCAA Sweet 16 in 1984-85-86-90-93-95-96-97 and made NCAA Appearances in 1984-85-86-87-88-89-90-91-92-93-95-96-97.