Abbeville High School

Athletic Hall of Fame

History of Hall of Fame

In the Summer of 1976, then AHS Booster President Don Chauvin met with AHS Head Coach Mike Conlin to discuss the upcoming football season, and what were the needs of Coach Conlin.  The two then drifted their discussion from an immediate needs plan to a more futuristic plan of creating an Athletic Hall of Fame for the tradition rich Abbeville High School.  The hope was that the creation of a Hall of Fame might help motivate athletes to perform at a higher level.

A meeting took place between Booster President Chauvin, Coach Conlin and then AHS Principal Cecil Picard.  Principal Picard liked the idea but he was insistent that no athlete who participated in athletics at AHS prior to the formation of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) would be inducted into this Hall of Fame unless there was a clear separation or distinction made for those who participated prior to the formation of the LHSAA.  His reasoning for this separation was due to the fact that he was well aware of instances where someone who had left school for one reason or another would return to play football on Friday nights, yet that individual might have been 19 or 20 years old.  In other words, they had no real rules or organizational guidelines to follow prior to the formation of the LHSAA, therefore it would not be fair to compare those individuals accomplishment to the athlete who competed under the LHSAA rules and regulations.  Thus the reason for the creation of the HONORARY HALL OF FAME recognition.  .

A limit of 20 was placed on the number of inductees permitted into the Honorary Hall of Fame, and that limit has been met and there can be no future consideration into this portion of the Hall of Honor.  It should be noted that all of those inducted into the Honorary Hall of Fame would have probably met the LHSAA participation requirements and they were active students during the time of their athletic participation

Principal Picard suggested that the Boosters Club secure a copy of the criteria used by other institutions with a Hall of Fame to have a basis for creating proper guidelines.  The University of Southwestern Louisiana (USL) in Lafayette was cooperative and provided the Boosters with the criteria used by USL.  Once the Boosters drafted their guidelines, they were presented to Principal Picard for his approval.  His final blessing on these induction terms was the final piece needed for the creation of the Abbeville High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

Originally, the Hall of Fame had two key committees.  The first committee was the nominating committee who was charged with the task of submitting a slate of prospective nominees to a second committee - the screening committee.  The screening committee had the task of making certain that the person inducted met all of the criteria for induction.

The first chairman of the nominating committee was a former athlete and coach at Abbeville High School, Donald Toups.  The first chairperson for the screening committee was Booster President Don Chauvin.  It should be noted that Ms Barbara Lemaire served on the first screening committee and she was responsible for hosting the induction social held on the Thursday evening before Homecoming games.  Ms Lemaire is credited with setting the high standards for this event which are still in play today.

The Abbeville High School Athletic Hall of Fame held their first induction ceremony in 1977 when the first two people inducted were Thomas "Tommy" Broussard and Lovic "Tiny" Touchet.  Today the Hall of Fame houses 51 inductees with an additional 20 members in the Honorary Hall of Fame and one person, Harris "Libby" LeBlanc, was inducted as a special inductee in 1987 for services rendered to the Hall of Fame process.

The Hall of Fame process works because of a committee of outstanding people who unselfishly serve to assure that only top quality athletes are inducted into the Hall of Fame.  As you read the criteria for induction, pay special attention to the criteria that deals with character, as displayed on and off a field of play.  It is easy to be a good athlete, but much harder to live a life of sound character.  A life that never shames Abbeville High School.  It is those athletes, and those athletes only, that we must assure are inducted into the A.H.S. Athletic Hall of Fame.

To learn more about the selection process click on the "Info" button on the left.  This will link you to a question and answer page.  Once there click on "selection committee" for information on qualifications and our selection committee.