Raymond Didier to be inducted into La. Sports Hall of Fame


   Raymond Didier left his mark on the sports programs of three of the state’s universities during his 30-year career career as a coach and athletic director.
  On June 24, 2017, the Marksville native will be among a new group of sports legends -- living and dead -- to be inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame on the campus of  Northwestern State University in Natchitoches. The Induction Celebration will be held over three days, June 22-24, 2017.
  Others in the “Class of 2016” include LSU’s David Toms, whose 13 PGA Tour golf wins include a major championship; nine-time Pro Bowl football star Ed Reed; three-time Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Calvin Borel; World Series champ Juan Pierre of Alexandria; NFL and LSU great Eddie Kennison; iconic LSU gymnastics coach D-D Breaux and Southeastern Louisiana basketball legend C.A. Core, who will be inducted posthumously.
  Perhaps Didier is best known for coaching Nicholls State to the Division II College World Series finals in 1970 -- the first Louisiana school to mount a serious challenge for a national baseball championship.
   Didier was born on Jan. 7, 1920, in Marksville. He began his college coaching career at Southwestern Louisiana Institute -- later USL and now the University of Louisiana-Lafayette -- in 1948.
   In nine seasons, Didier’s teams won five Gulf States Conference baseball championships. He also coached football at Southwestern for six years, winning one league title. 
   In 1957, Didier moved to LSU where the Tigers went 104-79 in baseball under him and won the 1961 SEC title. He also served as an assistant on Paul Dietzel's 1958 national championship football team. 
   In 1963, he went to Nicholls State in Thibodeaux where he coached the Colonels to 217 baseball victories between 1964 and 1971, including the 1970 season that led to the World Series.
   Didier retired from coaching after the 1971 season with an overall 458-311-3 (.647) win-loss record in baseball. He remained at Nicholls as athletic director until he passed away on March 9, 1978 in Jefferson.
   The Colonels’ baseball stadium is named in his honor.