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Dutch, Keener Cagle, Dark and Guidry, Hall of Fame, Olympians

These stories originally appeared in "The Daily Advertiser's History of Acadiana by Jim Bradshaw: Beginning Traditions," published May 26, 1998.

Reinhardt wore many hats

Julien C. (Dutch) Reinhardt, the man for whom the street running through the USL Athletic Complex is named, was hired by SLI in 1931 to handle an assortment of jobs.
He was a University of Iowa graduate and a native of Centralia, Ill. He was associated with SLI and USL athletics for 58 years, 27 of them as head basketball coach. At one time he ranked second among all Louisiana coaches in the number of basketball victories won by his teams. He retired from active coaching in 1957. During that lengthy span, Reinhardt coached the school to 346 basketball victories in 599 contests, a .578 winning percentage.
He also served as football coach, tennis coach, sports director, health and physical education instructor, and athletic trainer.
It as under Reinhardt that the basketball program began its climb to what would become a national contender. Along the way, Reinhardt and his players had some unusual times, such as five game, six-day road trips during which they drove in an automobile caravan all day, played a game, and piled back into automobiles to head to the next one.
It was during Reinhardt's reign that Ed McCauley, one of the first thousand-point scorers came along. He would score 1,596 career points and average 16.8 points per game during his SLI career (1951-1955). His 582 points in 26 games in the 1952-1953 season ranks among the best single-season performances in the school's history.
Reinhardt's first team in 1930-1931 posted an 11-8 record, including two wins over LSU, and from 1938 to 1942, sLI put together winning seasons of 13-6, 20-7, 14-4, and 12-5 in Reinhardt's most successful period at the school.
The following year saw SLI compete in the Louisiana Intercollegiate Athletic Association, going 14-4 in league action.
Reinhardt's 1946-1947 squad went 16-4 overall and its 6-2 LIC mark was good enough for a co-championship with Louisiana Tech and Northwestern Louisiana.
SLI, Tech, and Northwestern repeated as LIC co-champs in 1947-1948, when SLI went 13-6.
In 1948-1949, Reinhardt's Bulldogs followed All-LIC guard Mort Elkind's play to a winning season that included a 43-33 win over Loyola in the Camellia Bowl Tournament in New Orleans.
As a teenager, Reinhardt worked as a junior counselor at the Red Arrow Camp for boys on Trout Lake, near Boulder Junction, Wis. He returned to the camp each summer for more than 60 years.
He died of cancer in September 1989 at the age of 82.

Keener Cagle put program on map

Even the New York sports writers took notice in 1924, when the Southwestern Bulldog football team claimed a world record. This was the heyday of Christian Keener Cagle, a kid from the little town of Merryville in Beauregard Parish, who was arguably the best football player ever to set foot on the collegiate gridiron here. He was an incredible broken-field runner, but that was not what the world record was all about.
John B. Foster wrote about it in the New York Sun:
“In 1924, Southwestern, with a total of 125 forward passes, completed 67 successfully. That is a percentage of 53.5, and the students and coaches of the institute are quite sure that they made a world's record when they did it. Anyhow, they have claimed the record for proficiency in that respect and if there is any other college in the United States which can produce better figures the Southwestern Boys would like to see them.
“In making these plays some good work was done by the Louisiana boys who have never seen any Northern football in their lives. Cagle was their best passer. Look at this for an individual record made by him:
“Against Louisiana Poly he passed 50 yards to Wagner Ruger for a touchdown, no run being necessary. Against Jefferson College, 35 yards passed to Alton Bujard, who ran 45 yards for a touchdown. Against the Pensacola Aviators, 30 yards to Alton Bujard, who ran 10 yards for a touchdown. Against Sam Houston Normal, passed 25 yards to Wagner Ruger, who ran 16 yards for a touchdown. Against Pensacola Aviators, passed 29 yards to Clifton Theriot for a touchdown without run. Against South Park College, passed 10 yards to Alton Bujard, who ran three yards for a touchdown. Against South Park College, passed 10 yards to Alton Bujard, who made a touchdown without running.
“All told, Cagle passed 199 yards in seven plays, which made as many touchdowns, and that is surely football of a high degree of skill, even if the Louisiana boys did not play against big elevens. They surely had all they could do in their own class and proved their fitness against teams which they were qualified to meet.
“The distinct French atmosphere in the names of the players also has an interesting aside to it. While the French have never dipped very successfully into baseball, and this is the case among the descendants of the French Colonists in Louisiana as well as in many other sections, they have always shown ability to play football. They have proved their skill in football in France because it is the only game which has been taken into France by outsiders that has made much headway."
In that 1924 season, SLI lost to Tulane (14-0) and LSU (31-7), tied Pensacola Navy (21-21), and beat Jefferson (66-0), Sam Houston State (28-7), Louisiana College (32-7), Lamar (20-8), Louisiana Tech (22-13) and Louisiana State Normal (24-7). In only 61 carries that year, Cagle rushed for 752 yards. He hit 20 of 25 drop-kick field goals, and, as claimed, led the nation, and world, in passing percentage.
He went on to further fame as an All-American and Player of the Year at Army, making the cover of Time magazine on Sept. 23, 1929. Then, as a player for the New York football Giants and as part owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers, he became the toast of New York alongside Babe Ruth and other huge heroes of the day. But then, on an bitter December day in 1942, Cagle slipped on icy subway steps in New York, fell, and fractured his skull. He contracted pneumonia while he lay recuperating from that injury. He was only 37 years old when he died.

Big name players are part of USL history

Two names leap out when you survey the list of SLI and USL athletes who became big names in baseball: Alvin Dark and Ron Guidry.
Dark is best remembered at SLI for his heroics on the football team in 1943. On Jan. 1, 1944, he led the Bulldogs to victory in the first Oil Bowl. Even though there were no baseball teams at SLI during those World War II years when Dark was on the campus, he went on to gain fame and fortune as the shortstop for the New York Giants and as a major league manager.
Guidry earned the nickname “Louisiana Lightning" by throwing fireballs for the New York Yankees. In 1978, he fashioned one of the most remarkable seasons of any pitcher in the modern history of the sport, posting a 25-3 regular season record, and a 1.74 earned run average. He went on to win a one-game playoff game with the Boston Red Sox for the American League Eastern Division pennant, and then to win games in both the American League Playoffs and the World Series. He was the American League's Cy Young Award winner that year.
In all, Guidry played 14 seasons with the Yankees, winning 170 games, losing 91, and finishing with a career earned run average of 3.29.
Guidry played at USL from 1969-1971, where he was an All-Gulf South Conference selection and finished his final year at USL with a no-hitter.
Three USL alumni are currently [as of 1998] active in the big leagues: Pitcher Xavier Hernandez, who pitched for USL from 1984-1986, now with the Texas Rangers; Donne Wall, a pitcher for USL in 1988 and 1989, now with the San Diego Padres; and catcher Paul Bako, who finished at USL in 1993 and is now with the Detroit Tigers.

Athletic Hall of Fame

The S Club Hall of Fame Award is given to former lettermen who distinguished themselves in athletic competition while attending SLI/USL and who have gone on to make significant contributions to their professions, communities and the university. Nominations are accepted from many sources. Final selections are made by the USL S Club executive board and approved by the athletic director and the president of the university. Information for this summary came from the ‘S' Club. Dates of graduation are in parentheses. The USL Athletic Hall of Fame includes:

E. GLYNN ABEL (1939)
Lettered in three sports: football, baseball, track. A triple-threat halfback in the single-wing football attack, Abel played both offense and defense. He was named a Little All-American in 1938.

Lettered in track.

No information available.

Lettered in football and boxing.

Football player.

T.E. BICKHAM (1943)
Lettered in football and track. Bickham was a member of the Louisiana Intercollege Conference All-Conference team in 1940.

DON BLAIR (1973)
Football letterman.

Track and football.

Lettered in three sports: Football, basketball, and track.

Football and track.

Described as “one of the finest pure hitters in modern baseball annals at Southwestern." The All-GSC performer batted .514 for the Cajuns in 1960.

Lettered in three sports: Track, basketball, and boxing.

Football player, and part of the fabled backfield that also featured Christian Keener Cagle, Tom Cambre, and Cliff Theriot.

No information available

He was a three sport letterman: Football, basketball, baseball. (See story, page 15)

R.J. (Tom) CAMBRE (1926)
Earned 14 varsity letters at SLI. He lettered three times each in football and track, and four times each in baseball and basketball. In baseball, he batted over .400 his senior year. He was a forward on the basketball team. In track, he pole vaulted and threw the shot. In football, he was also part of the fabled back field that also featured Christian Keener Cagle, Alton Bujard, and Cliff Theriot.

A national collegiate champion as a heavyweight boxer for SLI. He also lettered as a tackle in football.

Tallied 1,546 career points as a basketball player. During his All-American 1964-1965 campaign, he averaged 23.4 points per game and led USL to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) District 27 championship.


He was an Olympic medalist as a high jumper. (See story, page 8)

Earned his S in football and baseball.

Lettered in three sports: Track, football, and basketball.

A guard, he made the All-Conference basketball team of the Louisiana Intercollegiate Conference, leading the team to a win in the invitational 1948 Camellia Bowl tournament in New Orleans.

Lettered in three sports: football, baseball, and track. He was an All-Gulf States Conference end and held USL pass reception records for some 20 years. He hauled in 63 career receptions, 31 of them in 1952 alone.

Ran track and played football.

Finished his baseketball career with 2,058 points, 20.7 points per game. As a sophomore, he averaged more than 19 points a game, leading the team to the national National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) championship game, a 66-65 loss to Oklahoma Baptist.

His S award was in golf, leading the team to the Gulf States Conference championship from 1966-1968 and to the Natinoal Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) championships in 1966 and 1967.

A three-sport letterman: Football, baseball, and track. He was an All-Gulf States Conference punter.

Track athlete.

A Little All-American in the USL offensive line.

Won acclaim as a boxer, winning the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) bantamweight championship in 1942. He had been a semifinalist in 1940 and a NCAA runnerup in 1941.

Lettered in track and in basketball.

Football letterman.

Lettered in football and track. He was an All-Gulf States Conference performer at both quarterback and defensive back in 1951.

He played tennis. He made the All-Southland Conference (SLC) team three times and was the SLC singles champion in 1974.

CARL R. HURST (1941)
A letterman in track and basketball.

National champion weightlifter.

Lettered in track and football.

Lettered in three sports: football, baseball, and track. He was an All-Gulf States Conference defensive back in football. He averaged 32.1 yards per kickoff return in 1953, then a school record, his longest being a 93-yard return.

Lettered in football, baseball and track.

AC three-sport letterman: baskeball, baseball, and track.

A football linebacker, earning Little All-American and All-Gulf States Conference honors.

National scoring leader in basketball and certainly the greatest pure shooter ever to step on the court for USL. During the 1970-71 season, before long shots were worth three points Lamar scored 1,044 points, a 36-point average. The next year, he scored 1,054, a 36.3 average. When his collegiate career was done, he had scored 3,493 career points for a 31.2 career average.

No information available.

No information available.

Lettered in football and baseball.

He was a standout boxer, compiling a 58-1 record as a lightweight.

Lettered in football and baseball. He was best remembered as a star pitcher on the baseball team.

He was a track All-American.

Starred as a defensive back in football.

He was a basketball player in the early years of the Beryl Shipley era. In his four years from 1958 through 1961, he scored 1,355 career points, 18.8 points a game.

lettered in football and track. He was an All-Gulf States Conference halfback on the football team.

A football standout.

He was a world-class track athlete. (See story, page 8)

A national champion weightlifter.

A weightlifting standout.

Lettered four-year letterman in baseball, twice selected All-Conference catcher in the Gulf States Conference.

Track athlete.

Football standout, winning All-Gulf States Conference honors under Coach Russ Faulkinberry.

She was a standout hitter with the softball team from 1981-1984, making the All-Southland Conference team in 1983 and 1984. She is still in the record book for batting average, runs scored, and stolen bases.

The national champion weightlifter in the 148-pound class in 1966 and 1968 and finished second in the nation in 1967.

Football player on the teams in the 1920 made famous by Christian Keener Cagle, also played on the 1922-1924 basketball teams, and the 1922 and 1923 baseball teams.

The first of many outstanding distance runners to compete for the USL track team.

No information available.

LOUIS B. ROTH JR. (1956)
An All-Gulf States Conference defensive back in football.

This place-kicker went on to star with the Dallas Cowboys.

No information available.

He was a golfer.

Lettered in golf.

Lettered four years as an offensive guard for the football squad from 1951-1954, during which time SLI won the school's first recognized conference football title (1952). Smith was an honorable mention selection on the all-league team as a freshman in 1951 and followed that with a pair of first-team honors in 1952 and 1953.

Left-handed pitcher in baseball. His earned run average of 0.72 in 1964 is still a team record. He was an National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) All-American that year and was named to the All-Gulf States Conference team.

A four-year baseball letterman from 1967-1970. The outfielder was named Outstanding Player in the Gulf States Conference his senior year. He twice led the Cajun squad in batting average, hits, runs, trips, runs batted in, stolen bases, and total bases. He was drafted by the Texas Rangers and played in that organization for four years.

He lettered in football and basketball.


One of the first of the “big gun" shooters during the Beryl Shipley basketball regime. By the time Thompson finished in 1961, he had scored 1,587 career points, averaging 15.6 points a game.

Another of the members of the exclusive 2,000-point club of USL basketball players, Toney scored 2,526 career points at USL before moving on to play for the Philadelphia 76ers.

A three-sport letterman: football, basketball, and track.

Lettered in three sports: Football, baseball, and track.

A standout weightlifter.

Standout softball pitcher. In 1989, she allowed only 10 runs to be scored against her for the season. In 1990, she gave up only 4 walks while compiling a 0.28 earned run average. She threw 16 shutouts in each of the years 1989 and 1990 and had 55 career shutouts and 6 no-hitters from 1987-1990.

Track athlete who went on to compete in the 1936 Olympics in the hop, step, and jump. (See Story, Page 8)

Lettered in football, boxing, and track.

UL Olympians

Johnny Morriss, Dudley Wilkins, Hollis Conway — each from a different era, each of them products of the Southwestern track program, and each of them world-class competitors. Morriss would narrowly miss a chance at the 1932 Olympic games. Wilkins and Conway would each become Olympians.
Morriss was a standout athlete at Lafayette High School from 1922 to 1926, lettering three times each in football, basketball, and track. He did the same sort of thing when he got to SLI, lettering four years each in track and football, two years in basketball, and two years in golf.
People began to notice him in 1928, when he won the Junior AAU high hurdles in the time of 14.8 seconds. The following year, he slipped to third in the National Junior AAU's, but he did win the high hurdle events at the Southern AAU meet and at the Southwestern Relays.
Then, as a senior, he was third in the Texas Relays, second in the Southern AAU, and won the National Junior AAU high hurdles in a record 14.7 seconds. At the National NCAA Championships in Chicago that year, Morriss set a school record with a 14.6, finishing fourth in the hurdle race. That year he was named an All-American and a member of the U.S. track team.
In 1930, after graduation, Morriss was hired as a classroom teacher and assistant principal at Abbeville High, but continued to run as an amateur. He was an “unofficial" coach at Abbeville during those years, because of an AAU rule that said that coaches could not compete as amateur athletes.
In his book, Prides of Acadiana, Bruce Brown describes Morriss' 1932 Olympic year.
“Olympic hopefuls had to qualify for the U.S. team in meets across the country. In New Orleans, Morriss won the Southern AAU with a record 14.8 time. He then turned to the regional qualifying at Harvard University, winning there in 14.7 over the 110-meter distance.
“A blazing 14.5 was next by Morriss, this time at the sectionals at Northwestern University in Illinois. The 14.5 was a new personal best and world record. But, at the final trials at Stanford University, Morriss finished a disputed fifth (one California paper had him no worse than second) and was chosen as a ... team alternate.
“At a post-Olympic meet at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco ... Morris was second in 14.5. But at another post-Olympic meet, at Cleveland's Municipal Stadium in a race in which the hurdles were laid down the first base line and the number four, five, and six hurdles curved out towards the outfield, Morriss stepped off a 14.6 before 80,000 fans for an unofficial world record on a curved dirt track."
1933 was Morriss' final year of competition, but it was quite a year. He set a world record of 14.3 in the National AAU Championships, won 14 races during a two-month tour of Europe, and capped off the year by being chosen by his teammates to carry the U.S. flag in opening ceremonies in the First World Student Games in Turin, Italy. He won his 110-meter race there in 14.5 seconds.
His years at Abbeville High ended in 1935, when he accepted a fellowship to work at LSU under the famed coach Bernie Moore. He coached at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill from 1936 to 1942, leaving there to go into the Navy during World War II. He returned to SLI in 1947 to coach cross country and track (winning the Gulf Coast Conference cross country championship each of his three years, and the track championship two of the three). He next coached at Arkansas, then, in 1955, went to the University of Houston, where he coached until 1976.
Dudley Wilkins came to the public eye in 1932, when the Crowley High School athlete hopped, stepped, and jumped 48 feet and 3/4 inch, a new state record for the event now known as the triple jump.
Four years later, in 1936, he was standing in Berlin's Olympic Stadium, as a member of the U.S. team that made Jesse Owens famous.
Wilkins competed with the SLI track team in 1934 and 1934. In the first of those years, he won the National AAU Junior Day Championship with a record leap of 49 feet, 4 1/4 inches. He also won the National AAU Championship and was named an All-American. In 1935, he won the Southern AAU Championship. He also toured Japan for seven weeks that year, establishing a personal best jump of 50 feet, 1/2 inch, but also pulling a muscle in the competition. That injury would come back to haunt him from time-to-time until he quit competing in 1936.
He finished seventh in the 1936 Olympic games, with a 48-foot jump.
Conway, a native of Shreveport, competed in the high jump for USL from 1985 to 1988, going on to become the No. 1 ranked high jumper in the world after his collegiate career. A look at his career highlights will tell why:
• Silver Medalist, 1988 Olympics, Seoul. His 7 foot, 8 3/4 inch jump here was the highest jump ever by an American collegian at the time, and just a quarter-inch shy of the American record in 1988. The jump also made him USL's first-ever Olympic medalist.
• Bronze Medalist, 1992 Olympics, Barcelona.
• American Record holder with a jump of 7 foot, 9 3/4 inches at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in 1989.
• Twice NCAA national indoor champion, 1988 and 1989. In the 1989 meet, he jumped 7 foot, 9 1/4 inches, setting a meet record and American indoor record.
• Named All-American six times, three times for his indoor performance, three times for his outdoor performance.
• Three times Louisiana track and field Athlete of the Year, 1986, 1988, 1989.
• Established an American outdoor record and American collegiate record with a jump of seven feet, 10 inches in winning the U.S. Olympic Festival title on July 30, 1989. That jump made the six-footer one of only three athletes in history to clear 22 inches over his own height.
• Won the 1991 World Indoor Championship title in Seville, Spain, setting an American record with a 7 foot, 10 1/2 inch jump, setting his fifth American record and winning his first world title.
• Ranked No. 1 in the world in high jump in both 1990 and 1991 by Track and Field News magazine, which is the most respected ranking authority in the sport.