From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice

Head Coach Eddie McLane lived Tech’s Tenets

Aug 18, 2014 | Guest Feature

Catherine Fraser

Catherine Fraser

I invited Catherine Fraser to write this blog post about her grandfather and Tech coaching legend, Eddie McLane. Catherine had told me Coach Eddie’s amazing story several years ago shortly after I first met her. Catherine has had a tremendous impact on Louisiana Tech herself as she has worked as Director of Development for the College of Engineering and Science and has supported the activities of the Engineering and Science Foundation. Through relationships she cultivated for the College, Catherine has played a major leadership role in raising $7.5 million from alumni, friends and corporate partners for the new Integrated Engineering and Science Education Building. Here is Catherine’s perspectives about her grandfather in her own words: Soon summer will be over and hundreds of freshmen will descend upon the Tech campus to begin their experiences as new Bulldogs. They will scramble to find their way around campus, meet with their advisors and begin life as college students. They will also be asked to embrace The Tenets of Tech, 12 guiding principles that exemplify the qualities that Tech students should possess upon earning their diplomas: confidence, excellence, commitment, knowledge, integrity, respect, leadership, loyalty, enthusiasm, caring, hope and pride. Before I became a freshman at Louisiana Tech, I was already familiar with the Tenets because I was lucky enough to be related to someone who lived them every day. My grandfather and former Tech head football coach L.P. “Eddie” McLane was a hero for many and a determined man who overcame almost insurmountable odds after a tragic car accident left him without full use of his legs.
Eddie McLane & wife

Former Tech head football coach, L.P. “Eddie” McLane, and his wife, Genevieve, on the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary

Called “innovative”’ by his players and assistant coaches, he had a brilliant future ahead of him when he was hit head-on as a passenger in a car returning from a scouting trip at LSU. His injuries were catastrophic; it took more than 40 surgeries to repair his crushed and broken legs, his crushed pelvis, broken jaw and broken ribs. He was in the hospital in Alexandria for months with his wife, Genevieve (pregnant with their third child, Jan), and many of his athletes by his side. Through it all, he never complained and eventually found his way into the Tech classroom. Teaching P.E. 500, he also instructed his students in the importance of respect, loyalty, integrity and commitment. Coach Eddie, as he was known, was also the faculty adviser for the PKA fraternity, who nicknamed him the “Grand Old Man.” If you were a PKA during his tenure, you heard many times, “He ain’t heavy, he’s your brother.” In other words, he taught them to care, another Tech Tenet. He also cherished community, helping to establish the recreation center that now bears his name so that children of men fighting in World Wars I and II had a safe place to practice sports. He wanted them to learn teamwork, leadership, enthusiasm and pride. He was devoted to his wife and three children, Ann, Pat and Jan – each a Tech grad — and he encouraged his 10 grandchildren to find their way to Ruston and to Louisiana Tech. Coach Eddie left a tremendous legacy for all of us to follow. He is one of many Tech alumni who’ve helped make our University become the special place it is today. End Note from various sources: Lovick Pierce “Eddie” McLane (August 9, 1899 – June 22, 1980) was a football, basketball, and baseball coach at Anniston High School, Samford University (then named Howard College), and Louisiana Tech University (Louisiana Polytechnic Institute). All three schools are nicknamed the Bulldogs. Coach Eddie produced an overall record of 78 wins, 45 losses, and 10 ties as a head football coach, 64 wins and 84 losses as a head basketball coach, and 20 wins and 15 losses as a head baseball coach. His career combined record as a head coach is 162 wins, 144 losses, and 10 ties. At Louisiana Tech, he was head football coach from 1934-38, (27-19-4), head baseball coach from 1934-37 (9-7-0), head basketball coach from 1934-36 (26-12-0), and athletics director in 1939. Coach Eddie McLane was a forerunner for the Joe Aillet era and helped to establish the foundation for what would become the longest and likely the most impactful era in Louisiana Tech athletics history.

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