This is one of those rare moments when I have no problem utilizing my media resources to assist in promoting a justified cause. I will even take it a step further in saying that this is (to some degree) personal considering the school and person involved. An effort to rename the recently built Assembly Center on the Grambling State campus in honor of the late Fred Hobdy (former GSU Men’s basketball coach) has started. Simply put, I am in favor of the move and am somewhat baffled by the fact that the state of Louisiana had not considered the idea initially.
The following letter is circulating around the social networks, urging the naming of Grambling’s new assembly center in honor of the late Fred Hobdy. As was suggested by TDR, we too would like to share the letter, and urge you to forward it along to interested friends, fans and family.
My name is William Hobdy. I am the nephew of the late Fred Hobdy, illustrious and distinguished former head basketball coach of Grambling State University, as well as a member of the Tiger basketball team 1979-1983. In case you are not familiar with the accomplishments of the man, let me share a few stats with you:
* Coached Grambling to an NAIA national title in 1961.
* Named the Southwestern Athletic Conference Coach of the Year six
* Had 21 players drafter and 16 players go on to play professional
* Member of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, Grambling State
University Hall of Fame, Southwester Athletic Conference Hall of Fame
and due to be inducted into the new Grambling Legends Hall of Fame
* Served as athletic director at GSU from August 1989 until
* Served as special assistant to the President for Athletic
* Posted 572 wins and 288 losses during his tenure as head coach
* Played football and basketball under Coach Eddie Robinson and
was a baseball player for President-Coach R.W.E. Jones
* Earned his undergraduate degree from Grambling
* Earned a Master’s degree from Iowa State University in 1953
* Served in world War II from 1942-1945
* Played on Gramblings’s 1942 Tiger team before he left school to
fight in World War II. That Tiger football team went undefeated (9-0-0),
unscored upon and untied.
* Coached at Grambling High School and Peabody High School in
Alexandria, Louisiana and has served as an assistant basketball,
baseball and football coach at GSU
* Coached 26 All-Americans at Grambling
* Teams won seven SWAC championships (1959, 1960, 1963, 1964,
1966, 1971 and 1972)
* Squads earned two Midwest Conference championships, two NCAA
regional championships and four NAIA district titles
* Fifteen of his 30 GSU teams won 20 or more games; two won 30 or
* Charter member of the Louisiana Association of Basketball
Coaches (LABC) Board of Directors; served as organization president
* Member of Black Athlete Sports Network (BASN) All-Historically
Black Universities ALL-UNIVERSE team as an Offensive Lineman.
This list alone speaks volumes for his accomplishments; however it is a minimal tribute to him as a man. He was one of ten children born to his parents in rural Winnfield, LA. He was one of seven sons. This environment was embraced in love, and gave him the education of sharing, sacrificing and surviving. Whereas he was a man driven to succeed, he
was just as much driven to give and see others achieve. He was passionate about his family and all that he loved, including Grambling State University. He worked tirelessly behind the scenes fundraising and recruiting, not just for the athletic department but for the school.
Fred Hobdy was a true ambassador for Grambling. He helped many unknown students over the years by reaching into his own pocket to help them with books, clothing, and food. He spent countless hours counseling and advising and just listening to students as college life would sometimes take its toll. He was fierce and dictatorial as a coach, but just the opposite as he spent his time helping others. Fred Hobdy was dedicated,whereas even during the death of his mother, he continued to be on the sidelines leading his team. But in the midst of all that called on him at Grambling State University, he never failed to call or visit with his brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews. He was a true role model forall whose lives he touched.
I come right now on behalf of his family. I am the son of one of hisbrothers and was fortunate to know him as uncle and coach. We the family feel that it is a true injustice that the Assembly Center on the campus of Grambling State University does not bear his name in honor. This is a facility for which he consistently lobbied over the years. He toiled in the old Memorial Gymnasium and won many championships there; however, he always imagined a new facility for the young men and women
who wore the Black and Gold. The honors listed above speak for themselves. No other, with the possible exceptions of R.W.E. Jones and Eddie Robinson, has done more for the building and uplifting of the university. His credentials can be held up against any other. Is not the man deserving? The other major sports facilities on campus have been rightfully named in honor of those who blazed the trails for their sports. It is understood that the university adminstration does not hold the legacy of the school and the history of what Fred Hobdy accomplished dear to heart. But with that said, that mentality is in complete disrespect and dishonor to all that he did for and meant to the university, to his family and to the state of Louisiana. No amount of money is significant or relative regarding this honor. The family is totally against the raising of monies for this effort. It is totally disrespectful to his name and all he accomplished to have to “purchase”
We the family implore you as legislators and adminstrators to take a stand and make this dream a reality. The state of Louisiana smiled when Grambling State University has done wonderful things over the years that brought credit and tribute to the state. We ask that the state now take a stand to honor this man—a Louisiana native—and help solidify his
legacy. This is a significant step for his family.
If any of you have any questions or comments, I will be more than happy to converse with you. I can be reached at the following email address:
Also, I can be reached at (281)300-8893 or (281)554-6360.
We appreciate the time you took to read this communication. Again, we ask that you join us in this push!
Thank you in advance!
Mary Hobdy ( wife of Fred Hobdy)
Lisa and Lenny Hobdy (children of Fred Hobdy)
Roger William Hobdy, Jr (last surviving brother and sibling)
B. Jefferson Hobdy/Pondexter Hobdy, Jr/Gary Hobdy/Earl Oats (nephews)
Rise’ Jones/Giradene Hobdy/Deidre Hobdy/Lillian Oats (nieces)
Katherine Hobdy/Willie Mae Hobdy/Isa Dee Hobdy (sisters-in-law)
And many other great-nieces/nephews, cousins and family friends!