Otis Washington, who led St. Augustine to state championships in 1975, 1978 and 1979, has died. He was 80.
Washington later coached the offensive line at LSU, breaking the color barrier among LSU assistant coaches. He went on to become head coach at Southern University.
"That is a household name, talking about Louisiana high school football, and especially all in the Catholic district," said WWL's Bobby Hebert. "They knew what he did for St. Aug."
Hebert says his South Lafourche High School football team lost a close one to Washington's Purple Knights in the Louisiana Superdome in the '70s.
Washington compiled a 113-17-1 record in eleven years at St. Aug.
"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," said St. Augustine President Dr. Kenneth St. Charles in a statement. "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 New Orleans Mayor LaToya 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."
Washington was inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 2015.