EXCLUSIVE: A visit with Jerry Stovall

TigerRag.com caught up with former LSU All-American and head coach Jerry Stovall on Tuesday morning. Listen in on our exlcusive interview with the coach, his feelings on the upcoming LSU-Alabama game and his reflection on one of LSU's biggest wins ever over the Crimson Tide.

Stovall back then...

And Stovall now.

Jerry Stovall is one of only two men to both play and coach the LSU Tigers. Stovall was a standout tailback for the Tigers in the early 1960s and later coached LSU in the early 1980s. Only Gaynell Tinsley matched this feat.

After graduating West Monroe High School, Stovall went to LSU, succeeding Heisman Trophy winner Billy Cannon as the Tigers' running back. Stovall was named an All-American at that position in 1962, and was the runner-up for the 1962 Heisman Trophy. He finished 89 votes behind Oregon State's Terry Baker.

Stovall was the 2nd overall pick in the 1963 NFL Draft, selected by the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals converted him to full-time defensive back. During his 9 seasons with the Cardinals, Stovall had 18 interceptions in 97 games, and was selected to the Pro Bowl after the 1966, 1967 and 1969 seasons.

After his NFL career, Stovall became a college football assistant coach. He eventually returned to LSU, as an assistant for head coach Charlie McClendon. Stovall became LSU's head coach as an emergency hire, after new head coach Bo Rein died when his plane depressurized and disappeared over the Atlantic Ocean.

In Stovall's four years with the Tigers (1980-1983), LSU finished 7-4, 3-7-1, 8-3-1, and 4-7. Only one of Stovall's teams appeared in the final AP poll: the 1982 team. That team finished the season ranked No. 11 after it beat No. 4 Florida, No. 8 Alabama (Bear Bryant), and No. 7 Florida State (Bobby Bowden) and earned a spot in the Orange Bowl (where LSU lost 21-20 to a No. 3 Nebraska team led by Tom Osborne). As a result of his performance in 1982, Stovall was named the National Coach of the Year by the Walter Camp Football Foundation.

After his head coaching stint at LSU, Stovall went on to take a job in banking before becoming athletic director at Louisiana Tech University from 1990 to 1993. Afterwards, Stovall became the president and CEO of the Baton Rouge Area Sports Foundation, an organization dedicated to securing sporting events for the Baton Rouge area.

Tiger Blitz Top Stories