Former Bossier High coach and longtime LHSAA commissioner Tommy Henry died at his home in Baton Rouge Friday morning.
Henry, 84, was a teacher and coach at Bossier from 1963-75.
As the head baseball coach, he led Bossier to five consecutive district titles, 74 consecutive district victories and 66 straight regular-season victories, according to former Shreveport Journal and Times sports journalist Nico Van Thyn.
In 1972 and 1973, Bossier finished runner-up in Class 3A, then the state’s second-highest class. Henry’s Bearkats entered state champion games undefeated both years.
Henry began his career in sports administration as assistant commissioner of the LHSAA from 1976-83.
In 1983, he was named the organization’s commissioner and served in that role for 24 years until his retirement in 2007.
The Superdome Classic featuring the state football championship games in each class began in Henry’s first year as commissioner. During his tenure, other sports championship games were moved to venues throughout the state.
Here are some of his other accomplishments as commissioner according to his bio on the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame website.
— Established a wild-card program for football and boys and girls basketball, and baseball and softball
— Established a Scholar-Athlete program featuring all-state academic teams for several sports
— Added boys and girls soccer as state championship sports, along with track and field events for physically challenged athletes (wheelchair events)
— Helped grow the LHSAA’s financial reserves from $40,000 to $1.5 million with corporate sponsorship endeavors helping set the pace.
Henry was a graduate of Bolton High in his native Alexandria and Northwestern State.
He was inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.
— Featured photo courtesy of Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame