June 28, 2013
NACHITOCHES, La. - Tulane Hall of Famer and former baseball player and coach Milt Retif will be honored by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association at the 2013 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony this weekend in Nachitoches, La., as the recipient of the Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership Award.
The Dave Dixon Award is presented annually by the LSWA's 30-member Hall of Fame selection committee to an individual who has played a decisive role as a sports leader or administrator benefiting Louisiana and/or bringing credit to Louisiana on the national and international level. It is named in honor of Hall of Famer Dave Dixon, the driving force behind bringing the NFL to Louisiana with the creation of the New Orleans Saints franchise. The events coincide with the grand opening of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, honoring the state's greatest athletes.
"This is a well-deserved honor for a Tulane and Louisiana legend," said Tulane Athletic Director Rick Dickson.
Retif starred on the diamond at shortstop for the Green Wave from 1952-55 before becoming the head coach of the baseball program from 1967-74. During his eight year tenure, he posted a record of 123-73 after the university considered dropping baseball to the club sport level. After wrapping up his coaching days, he stayed on with the program as a consultant, working hard to secure funds for the construction of locker rooms and other amenities for the baseball program. For his contributions to the Tulane baseball program, he was nominated to the Tulane Sports Hall of Fame in 1981, and his number 27 is only one of three current baseball numbers retired in the program.
On top of his work with the Tulane baseball program, Retif has been important figure in the New Orleans and state athletic scenes. He holds an annual golf tournament benefitting many New Orleans-area charitable causes. Additionally, he has been a major sponsor of American Legion baseball programs for Jesuit - his alma mater - and Archbishop Shaw high schools. He received Shaw's Don Bosco Award for being a "role model for youth through sports and school activities." Jesuit - where he has created an endowment for students - voted him an Outstanding Alumnus in 1993.
For his work in organizing support from New Orleans civic and business leaders to raise funds for the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, he was named a member of the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame in 2001, as well as later being inducted into the Hilton Riverside Walk of Fame. After the Superdome opened, Retif was instrumental in staging a baseball exhibition between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox, with proceeds going to Grambling State and Christian Brothers School in New Orleans.
Dixon, the namesake of the Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership Award, passed away last fall. He is considered the "father" of the Louisiana Superdome, developing the concept for the innovative domed structure and pushing state officials for its construction in the late 1960s.
Past winners of the Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership Award are Dr. L.J. Mayeux of Ducks Unlimited (2012), boxing official Elmo Adolph and state legislator Billy Montgomery (2011), SEC Coordinator of Officials and NCAA basketball official Gerald Boudreaux (2010), youth sports activist George Dement and the `Father of Louisiana Softball" Benny Turcan (2009), Dr. James Andrews (2008), the Louisiana Superdome's Doug Thornton and former Nicholls State basketball coach and boxing historian Don Landry (2007), former CEO of the Special Olympics of Louisiana Emmanuel "Boozy" Bourgeois (2006) and former president of the Louisiana Tennis Association, Southern Tennis Association and United States Tennis Association, Randy Gregson (2005).
The 2013 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame inductees include Ronald Ardoin, Tommy Hodson, Ervin Johnson, James Jones, Anna Koll, Kevin Mawae, Shaquille O'Neal, Chanda Rubin and Ed "Skeets" Tuohy. The Times-Picayune's Bob Marshall will also be honored with the Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism.
Fans can follow the Tulane baseball program on Twitter (@GreenWaveBSB) or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/GreenWaveBaseball.