Like most coaches, when Mac Barousse took over Carencro High’s football program in 1990, the last thing on his mind was Hall of Fame honors at the end of his career.
He was taking over a 2-8 football team in a program that had never won a state playoff game.
By the very next season, however, Barousse and his coaching staff felt like they were good enough to win a state championship.
By 1992, they proved that hunch correct by beating Neville 28-27 in overtime to become the first Lafayette Parish team to ever win a football state championship.
Two decades later, Barousse is retired from coaching and now is taking his next big step when his career achievements will be honored on Jan. 23 during his induction into the Louisiana High School Sports Hall of Fame at the Crowne Plaza in Baton Rouge.
“I was very surprised when I got the news, especialy this soon after getting out of it,” Barousse said. “This isn’t why you coach, for individual honors. But it’s very humbling. When you think of all the people who helped you along the way, it’s very, very humbling. Really, it’s hard for me to even talk about.”
Barousse will be a part of an induction class that also includes” Albany coach Karen Mack Hoyt, Anacoco coach Vic Ortiz, St. Paul’s coach Eugene C. Bennett, Jr., Rummel coach Larry Schneider, Florien High basketball standout Joskeen Garner and New Orleans wrestling official Clifford Strider.
“It’s never been all about me,” Barousse said. “I don’t even call them (his former staff) assistant coaches, because they had as much to do with what we accomplished as I did. You also have to have a great admininstration. I played for two principals in David Lutgring and Donald Aguillard that were great to work for. They gave me a chance. They took a chance on a bunch of cocky, young, punk coaches and it worked out.”
Barousse had success on the football field and track. He led Opelousas High School to the 1987 state track title before winning a state football championship, the first by a Lafayette Parish team, in 1992 with Carencro. During the 1990s, Barousse, who was selected Coach of the Year by the LSWA in 1992, coached Carencro to seven district titles and reached the Class 5A title game once more in 1996.
“You also have to have good players, and I was fortunate enough to have some special ones,” Barousse said.
With its seven latest inductees, the LHSSHF grows to 259 members.
As Albany’s girls basketball coach, Hoyt posted a .706 winning percentage (361-150) in 15 seasons.
Ortiz Voted Coach of the Year five compiled a 780-279 girls basketball record while leading Anacoco to state titles in Class 2A in 1985, and in Class B in 2000, 2001, and 2002. He also led Hicks to the Class C state girls basketballtitle in 1997, a 1999 Class C state girls track title and the Anacoco boys golf team to the 2004 Division V state title.
Bennett is best known as the head basketball coach at St. Paul’s in Covington, where his teams posted a 451-359 record in 29 years.
A former third baseman at Jesuit and Tulane, Schneider compiled a 526-175 record.
Garner led Florien to three state title and ifnished with 3,305 points, 1,738 rebounds, 1,031 assists and 985 steals.
s before going on to an impressive collegiate career Northwestern State University.
A four time all-district and all-state performer (1989-1992), Garner was twice selected as the Class B Most Valuable Player (1991, 1992) in addition to being named the 1992 Gatorade Basketball Player of the Year in Louisiana and a Kodak High School All-American.
Strider, a graduate of East Jefferson High School, has worked 43 years as a wrestling official in the state. He has served as an LHSAA wrestling rules interpreter, head official for the LHSAA State Wrestling championships and has conducted the annual rules clinics for coaches and referees from 1986 until present.
Inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2007, Strider has also served as assignment secretary for New Orleans and Baton Rouge Wrestling Officials Associations. In 2005, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the LHSAA for his contributions to high school wrestling.