Coaches are among those who most impact our youth and communities. Some go above and beyond on and off the field. Former Welsh football coach, Dutton Wall, was one of those coaches.
"My dad's best attribute was his relationships with people,” his son, Jeptha Wall, said. “Especially with young kids. That's probably got him more wins in life than anything."
"When I think of Coach Wall I get a warm and fuzzy feeling because he left that impression with me," said James Marcantel, who was an assistant coach under Wall from 1978 until 1991.
"I love him,” said Talbert Courville, also an assistant under Wall. “Everybody that knew him, loved him."
"He was the man in Welsh," said McNeese State Head Coach Lance Guidry, who played under Wall.
Dutton Wall was born on Oct. 5, 1939, and died on Dec. 31, 2017. He was 78 years old.
Wall has been described as a humble man who was compassionate and, above all else, kind. He was someone who could communicate with just a single look.
"He wasn't a screamer or a hollerer, completely opposite of me,” Guidry added. “When he disciplined you, all he had to do was look at you and then turn away and it melted your heart a little bit that you had disappointed him."
"His compassion for the kids was so great that you thought the world of him,” said former player Eric Cooley. “You respected him so much, you just didn't want to disappoint him."
"He always got the best out of everybody. No matter how good or bad you were,” Lance Hughes added. “He always got the best. It made you a great person. He was somebody you never wanted to disappoint."
"When you grew up, you wanted to be a greyhound,” Cooley stated. “But part of being a greyhound was getting to play for coach Wall."
But Wall was more than just a coach, he was a role model to a generation of Greyhounds.
"He reminded me a lot of my dad,” Guidry said. “When I came to Welsh high school, Coach Wall was the example of what I wanted to do in life."
"He was such a people person,” said Leonard Troutman, who was an assistant under Wall. “Every child, every person that played for him, he knew their first and middle name."
"The student-athletes that he came in contact with were guys that needed his leadership as a father," said former assistant David Troutman.
"It took me to coming into coaching to realize how many sacrifices he made for our family to reach out and touch a bunch of other people's lives," his son, Jeptha Wall, added.
Dutton Wall spent over 50 years coaching, 27 of those at Welsh. He took the Hounds to a pair of state title games in '89 and '92.
When Welsh returned to the state championship this past season, he sent a message to the team.
"The championship game he wrote a letter and sent it to me and wanted to wish us the best of luck,” said current Welsh Head Coach John Richardson said. “He said that they've been to the 'Dome in 89' and 92' and that they left something there and he wanted us to bring it back."
His son Jeptha Wall said: "He was proud of Welsh, he was proud of Port Sulphur, Sacred Heart, Crowley and all the other places that he coached."
And that's what made Wall special. It wasn't X's and O's or what happened in between the lines. He cared for his players, genuinely cared.
"When I came here, he told me that family came first and then we'll talk football,” David Troutman said. “They just don't make coaches like that anymore."
"Every year he'd give us a speech about God and family first,” Jeptha Wall said. “Then your education, then your friendships and sports and those things. I think he kept those priorities straight through his life. It's the righteous way."
"This legacy will live on forever,” David Troutman said.
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