Former LSU head coach Les Miles and two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback Peyton Manning highlight the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame’s 2019 induction class.
They and nine others will official enter the Hall on Saturday night at the annual Induction and Dinner Ceremony at the Natchitoches Events Center.
It caps three days of Hall of Fame festivities beginning Thursday in Natchitoches.
The Hall of Fame Rockin’ River Fest downtown on the riverfront Friday night from 6 until 10:30 will feature live music and an array of kid-friendly sports and science activities. Food vendors will also be on hand.
Other members of the induction class of competitors and coaches are former Southern baseball coach Roger Cador, former Louisiana Tech quarterback Matt Dunigan, former LSU football player Max Fugler, Rodeo Hall of Fame member T.B. “T. Berry” Porter, Olympic women’s volleyball silver medalist Danielle Scott, Peabody High boys basketball coach Charles Smith and professional tennis umpire Marie Gagnard.
Longtime Louisiana Tech play-by-play announcer Dave Nitz and sportswriter Phillip Timothy are the recipients of the Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism.
Miles was named LSU’s head football coach in 2005 after Nick Saban left for the Miami Dolphins.
He compiled a record of 114-34 in 11-plus seasons. Now the head coach at Kansas, Miles was let go four games into the 2016 season. He left as the second-winningest coach in LSU history behind Charles McClendon (137).
Miles guided LSU to the 2007 BCS national championship. The Tigers lost to Alabama in the 2013 title game after winning their first 13 games.
Manning is a five-time Associated Press NFL MVP. He played 13 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts and four with the Denver Broncos, winning a Super Bowl with each team.
Cador was Southern’s baseball coach for 33 seasons, compiling a record of 913-597-1.
Dunigan passed for 7,042 yards at Tech before enjoying a stellar 14-year career in the CFL (1983-96).
Fugler was an All-America center and defensive lineman for LSU’s 1958 national championship team.
Porter, a Leesville native, began his career as a rodeo cowboy at 16 in the 1940s and won numerous prestigious titles.
Baton Rouge native Scott won Olympic silver medals in 2008 (Beijing) and 2012 (London).
In 34 seasons, Smith has compiled a record of 1,039-181 at Peabody while winning seven state titles.
Gagnard, the first native of Louisiana to become a professional umpire in tennis, has worked the U.S. Open 29 times, including 26 straight, since 1984.
Nitz just completed his 44th season as the voice of Louisiana Tech (football, men’s basketball and baseball).
Timothy has covered all levels of athletics in his four decades as a sportswriter. He has won more than 80 national, regional and state awards.