The name Robert Hannah will forever be synonymous with River Oaks football.
The longtime football coach and athletic director learned during a Friday morning pep rally for the River Oaks Homecoming game that the field at Woody Boyles Stadium, home to the Mustang football team, would now be known as Robert Hannah Field.
Headmaster Tom Middleton made the announcement during the morning pep rally.
“Some of our parents came to me and asked if they could do that,” Middleton said. “I told them I would take it to our board of directors. It was unanimous (in favor).”
Hannah first came to the school as an assistant football coach and track coach in 1985. He later became head coach in 1994 after helping the team to several district championships and a state championship in 1990 as assistant coach. Hannah has led the team to state championships as a head coach in 2005 and 2010.
“It has been said of Coach Hannah that he knows every blade of grass on the football field…and its name,” Middleton quipped.
Hannah has an all-time record of 174-76 at River Oaks. River Oaks plays Glenbrook Friday at 7 p.m.
Hannah said he could not ask for a better school to call home for the past 30 years.
“I have raised three children here, and my wife and I have been here forever,” Hannah said. “I am still trying to process all of it right now. It is a great honor. A lot of great people have gone into making it this way. A lot of great coaches and players. I am tremendously excited about it.”
Fellow MAIS coaches congratulated Hannah while singing his praises as a coach and friend.
Boyd Cole, head coach at rival Riverfield Academy in Rayville, was a teammate of Hannah’s at then-Northeast Louisiana University (now the University of Louisiana at Monroe). Upon hearing the announcement, Cole said the honor was going to a great coach and man.
“It is well deserved,” Cole said. “He means a lot to River Oaks and it shows how well respected he is. He always gets the most out of every kid. They take so much pride in playing for River Oaks. They play hard for him.”
Prairie View coach Matt Middleton said the program Hannah has built at River Oaks is something for coaches in the MAIS to aspire to.
“(Hannah) is a staple in our area,” Middleton said. “He has built a program that wins and has that expectations of winning. We hope to get to that level one day.”
In addition to putting Hannah’s name on the field, Headmaster Tom Middleton also unveiled plans to put a video board atop the scoreboard to display names and announcements next season.
Connect with Cody on Twitter @cfutrellTNS or via e-mail email@example.com