Lionel Washington was a standout defensive back for Tulane from 1979-82.
Dec. 30, 2013
New Orleans - Former Tulane football standout and current Green Wave assistant coach Lionel Washington will take his place among the state's top athletes, as he headlines an eight-member induction class for the 2014 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame that will be enshrined on June 21 in Natchitoches, La.
A native of nearby Lutcher, Washington will join LSU product Alan Faneca, a nine-time Pro Bowl selection, along with All-Star pitcher Shane Reynolds and New Orleans Saints and Pelicans owner/chairman of the board Tom Benson.
Baton Rouge-Catholic High School cross country and track coach Pete Boudreaux, and Olympic gold medalist Venus Lacy, who helped Louisiana Tech win the 1988 women's basketball national championship, are also in the Hall's 2014 induction class.
Trailblazing basketball coach Beryl Shipley, who guided the UL-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns to national prominence in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and legendary Cottonport football player, coach and official Richard "Moon" Ducote will be honored posthumously.
The group will be officially enshrined Saturday, June 21, in Natchitoches to culminate the 2014 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Celebration June 19-21.
Washington was a four-year letterman and three-year starter for the Green Wave from 1979-82 and was a part of three winning seasons and two bowl trips, including the 1979 Liberty Bowl and 1980 Hall of Fame Bowl. Following a professional playing and coaching career, he returned to his alma mater in 2012 as Tulane's cornerbacks coach and co-defensive coordinator and helped lead the team to a 7-6 overall record and a berth in the 2013 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl.
During his collegiate career with the Green Wave, Washington logged career numbers of 192 tackles (130 solo, 62 assists), six tackles for loss and eight interceptions. He tallied eight tackles (6 solo, 2 assists) with an interception as a freshman in 1979, while his best numbers came as a sophomore when he had 78 tackles (47 solo, 31 assists) to go with two tackles for loss and five interceptions, and added another interception in the 1980 Hall of Fame Bowl.
Washington claimed honorable-mention All-Metro honors as a junior after recording 43 stops (29 solo, 14 assists), two tackles for loss and an interception he returned 68 yards for a touchdown. He recorded 63 tackles (48 solo, 15 assists) with two tackles for loss and an interception as a senior and was named Tulane Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts against Air Force (10/18/80) and Rice (9/18/82).
Following his collegiate career, Washington was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the fourth round of the 1983 NFL Draft and by the Tampa Bay Bandits in the 20th round of the 1983 United States Football League Draft. He had a productive 15-year NFL career with three teams (Cardinals, Raiders, Broncos), intercepting 37 passes. He played in 204 games, starting 165, with a career-high eight pickoffs with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1985 and at least one interception in 13 of his 15 seasons.
He later spent 10 seasons with the Green Bay Packers as a secondary coach (1999-2008), and served in the same capacity with the Oakland Raiders from 2009-10. Prior to Tulane, he coached defensive backs with the United Football League's Virginia Destroyers in 2011.
Washington was inducted into the Tulane Athletics Hall of Fame in 1997.
The 2014 Induction Class will be showcased in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Museum, operated by the Louisiana State Museum system in a partnership with the Louisiana Sports Writers Association. The striking two-story, 27,500-square foot structure faces Cane River Lake in the National Historic Landmark District of Natchitoches and has garnered worldwide architectural acclaim and rave reviews for its contents since its grand opening during the 2013 Hall of Fame induction weekend.
A 30-member Louisiana Sports Writers Association committee selected the 2014 inductees. The panel considered 114 nominees from 26 different sport categories on a 24-page ballot, said Hall of Fame chairman Doug Ireland.
The eight new inductees will raise the total of Hall of Fame members to 310 competitors honored since the first induction class -- baseball's Mel Ott, world champion boxer Tony Canzoneri and LSU football great Gaynell Tinsley -- were enshrined in 1959 after their election a year earlier.
The Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame includes 16 Pro Football Hall of Fame members, 18 Olympic medalists (10 gold medal winners), nine members of the Basketball Hall of Fame, seven of the NBA's 50 Greatest Players, six Baseball Hall of Fame inductees, 34 College Football Hall of Fame members, five National High School Hall of Fame enshrines, jockeys with a combined 12 Triple Crown victories, six world boxing champions, seven Women's Basketball Hall of Fame enshrinees, seven College Baseball Hall of Fame inductees, seven College Basketball Hall of Fame members, four NBA Finals MVPs and two Super Bowl MVPs. Biographical information on all current members is available at the LaSportsHall.com website, with a steady stream of info available at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Facebook page and the @LaSportsHall twitter account.
The 2014 Induction Celebration will kick off Thursday, June 19 with the press conference and reception. It includes three receptions, a youth sports clinic, and a Friday, June 20 celebrity pro-am golf scramble at Oak Wing Golf Course in Alexandria. Tickets for the Induction Dinner and Ceremonies, and golf entries, will go on sale this spring through the LaSportsHall.com website.
Also to be honored at the event will be two other Hall of Fame inductees, the winner of the 2014 Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership Award and the recipient of the 2014 Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism presented by the LSWA. Those award recipients will be announced in January.
Adding to the 302 sports competitors currently enshrined, 12 winners of the Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership award and 53 recipients of the Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism, there are 367 current members of the Hall of Fame.
The 2014 Induction Celebration weekend will be hosted by the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Foundation, the support organization for the Hall of Fame. The LSHOF Foundation was established as a 501 c 3 non-profit entity in 1975 and is governed by a statewide board of directors. For information on sponsorship opportunities, contact Foundation President/CEO Lisa Babin at 318-458-0166 or lisababin@LaSportsHall.com. Standard and customized sponsorships are available.