By Tom Halliburton
for the SE Texas Coaches Association

When the late Richard Marler created the Southeast Texas Coaches Hall of Honor, Larry “Doc” Southard was exactly the kind of guy that Marler wanted some day to honor.

Forty-four years as a trainer and a medical advisor for athletes at Port Arthur SFA, TJ and Nederland, Southard will join famous coaches Curtis Barbay, Andre Boutte and Lloyd Weatherspoon in the 2011 induction class as the Hall of Honor re-opens after a five-year absence.

This year’s honorees arguably rank with the finest of any year. Boutte, Barbay and Weatherspoon all coached teams to state championship in their respective basketball, football and track endeavors.

Boutte has served for the past two years as athletic director for the Port Arthur Independent School District after successful coaching tenures at Kountze, Port Arthur Lincoln and Beaumont Ozen. The Beaumont native retired from his 21-year coaching stint in December, 2008. Boutte compiled a 562-118 varsity basketball coaching record, guiding Lincoln to state titles in 1991 and 1995 as well as a perfect 36-0 Ozen team in 2001.

The legendary Barbay died last season after 46 years in the coaching profession. He turned Newton into a powerhouse at the Class 2A and 3A levels after three years as coach at his alma mater, Bishop Byrne in Port Arthur.

Weatherspoon died five years ago at age 52 after turning Jasper into a state champion track and field powerhouse at the Class 3A and 4A levels over a 21-year coaching stretch. The Pineland native was a three-sport standout at West Sabine and Prairie View A&M before he coached at Jasper.

The Hall of Honor luncheon tentatively is scheduled for Beaumont’s Elegante Hotel ballroom on Saturday Jan. 29 at noon. The luncheon will climax the three-day Golden Triangle Coaches Clinic Jan. 27-29 which will be based at Port Arthur’s Holiday Inn Park Central. The clinic will open with a four-man scramble coaches golf tournament Jan. 27 at Belle Oaks Golf Course with a 9 a.m. tee-off.

A series of nine lectures will stretch over three days in the conference room at Holiday Inn Park Central starting with Oklahoma University assistant Willie Martinez discussing OU’s defensive backfield play on Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

Texas A&M’s Jim Turner, University of Houston’s Clint Kingsbury, Port Arthur Memorial’s Nelson Barnes, Coldspring’s Bryan Barbay, Stephen F. Austin State’s Chris Truax and Lamar University offensive coordinator Todd Whitten are scheduled to deliver lectures during a busy Friday morning and afternoon before a Friday night crawfish boil.

Former Bridge City head coach and current Tatum boss James Conway and McNeese State assistant Manny Michel will complete the lecture portion on Saturday morning before the luncheon.

The clinics are sponsored by the Southeast Texas Coaches Association and its executive director, West Orange-Stark head football coach Dan Hooks. Two of Hooks’ assistant coaches, Toby Foreman and Ed Dyer, are serving as the directors for this year’s clinic.

Clinic registration will begin in Holiday Inn Park Central on Jan. 27 at 4 p.m. Schools can register their coaches for the clinic at $75 a school or pay the pre-registration fee of $65 prior to the Jan. 22 pre-registration deadline. All junior high coaches can register for $25 apiece.
For more information, contact either Toby Foreman at 543-5372 or e-mail; or Ed Dyer at 313-7281 or e-mail