Louisiana Coaching Legend Otis Washington Dies at 80

Photo Credit: All State Sugar Bowl

Louisiana football coaching legend Otis Washington died on Friday morning at the age of 80.

Washington is known for leading St. Augustine High School to state championships in 1977, 1978, and 1979. He later moved on to become the first African American coach at Louisiana State University when he took a position as an offensive line coach. Following his time at LSU, Washington coached at Southern University.

In his 11 years as head coach at St. Augustine, Washington racked up 111 wins and only 17 losses. More than 12o of his players went on to play college football.

In 2015, Washington was inducted into the Lousiana Sports Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the Louisiana High School Sports Hall of Fame, the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame, the New Orleans Prep Hall of Fame, and St. Augustine Hall of Fame.

St. Augustine President and CEO Dr. Kenneth St. Charles issued a statement honoring Washington, saying:

“On behalf of the entire St. Augustine High School community, we offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Otis Washington, whose legend and legacy have touched generations of Purple Knights.

He was a passionate, innovative leader who helped establish the standard for St. Augustine athletics. Coach Wash shaped St. Augustine football into a program that reflects his dedication to discipline, teamwork, scholarship, and excellence both on and off the field. We celebrate his lifetime of accomplishment and his unwavering commitment to St. Augustine.”

“New Orleans has lost a leader and a legend with the passing of Coach Otis Washington,” said Mayor Cantrell. “My prayers and my heart go out to his family, to his friends, and to the St. Augustine community. Coach Washington was a leader on the field and off of it, and he taught generations of players what it meant to have discipline and to achieve excellence. May he rest in God’s perfect peace.”


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