Our Sports Writers Sports Blogs Latest News •  Up-to-the-Minute Headlines RSS Feed - SportsNOLA.com

Beryl Shipley, winning basketball coach in Ragin' Cajuns history, passes away at 83

Beryl Shipley, who led then-USL basketball to unprecedented heights during a 16-year career and was one of the driving forces in ending racial segregation in Louisiana collegiate athletics, passed away Friday night after a long battle with cancer.Beryl Shipley, who led then-USL basketball to unprecedented heights during a 16-year career and was one of the driving forces in ending racial segregation in Louisiana collegiate athletics, passed away Friday night after a long battle with cancer.

Beryl Shipley, who led then-USL basketball to unprecedented heights during a 16-year career and was one of the driving forces in ending racial segregation in Louisiana collegiate athletics, passed away Friday night after a long battle with cancer.

The 83-year-old Shipley died at his home at approximately 10:30 p.m. Friday. Funeral services are incomplete as of late Saturday, but a memorial service for the legendary coaching icon is set for noon Friday at the First Baptist Church of Lafayette, located at the corner of Lee and Main Streets. Visitation will be held from 9 a.m.-noon Friday at the church prior to the memorial.

The winningest coach in Ragin’ Cajun basketball history, Shipley guided USL to a 293-126 record in his 16 seasons and had 15 winning seasons in those 16 years. Beginning in 1963, Shipley’s teams captured five Gulf States Conference titles in six seasons and won the 1964-65 NAIA District 27 Tournament title.

But it was in the early ‘70s that Shipley’s teams gained national notoriety. USL compiled a 25-4 record in 1970-71 in its last season as part of what was then known as the NCAA’s College Division, winning the NCAA South Regional title that year and advancing to the national tournament.

One year later, in their first year as a member of the NCAA’s University Division, the Cajuns compiled a 25-4 record and captured the Southland Conference title with an unbeaten mark. USL made the NCAA Tournament Field – one that only included 25 teams at the time, and took a first-round win before falling to Louisville in the Midwest Regional semifinals and beating Texas in the regional third-place game (played at that time).

One year later, the Cajuns went 24-5 and won the Southland title with a 12-0 record and again went to the 25-team NCAA Tournament, beating Houston in the opening round of the Midwest Regional before falling to Kansas State in the regional semifinals.

A third-place-game loss to South Carolina in that Midwest Regional was the last game of Shipley’s coaching career, as the NCAA put the USL program on two-year suspension for infractions and closed the program down until the 1975-76 season. Shipley remained in Lafayette, going into private business in the oil sector.

Shipley was honored as Gulf States Conference Coach of the Year four times, twice as Southland Conference Coach of the Year in only two years in the league, and twice as NAIA District 27 Coach of the Year.

More information on Shipley’s legacy both in and out of basketball is available at www.coachshipley.com and on UL Lafayette’s Athletic Network web site at www.athleticnetwork.net. His full obituary will also be posted there when available.

 
sportsNOLA's Starting Lineup
The Manager
Ken Trahan
sportsNOLA/WGSO/WHNO
Blog | Bio |

The Starting Lineup
Ed Daniels
WGNO-TV Sports / WGSO 990am
Blog | Bio |
Rene Nadeau
Fox Sports/ESPN/WHNO/Tigervision
Blog | Bio |
Brian Allee-Walsh
sportsNOLAtv/WHNO/The Advocate
Blog | Bio |
Tommy Krysan
Baton Rouge Correspondent
Blog | Bio |
Sports Mole
Rumor Mill - Diggin' Deep
Blog | Bio |
Ro Brown
WGSO & WBOK Radio/WHNO-TV
Blog | Bio |
Lenny Vangilder
College Sports Insider/WHNO-TV
Blog | Bio |
Ron Brocato
Prep Sports Insider/Clarion Herald
Articles | Bio
Bill Bumgarner
sportsNOLA.com
Blog | Bio |
Danny Riehm
WHNO Baseball Analyst/Coach
Blog | Bio |
Rick Gaille
Football Analyst/WGSO
Blog | Bio |
Will Peneguy
General Sports Columnist
Blog | Bio |
Jude Young
sportsNOLA Editor/WHNO/WGSO
Blog | Bio |

The Bullpen
Alan DeRitter
Soccer Analyst & Coach
Blog | Bio |
Al Dupuy
NFL Draft Day Report
Blog | Bio |
Alan Donnes
Local Author (Patron Saints)
Blog | Bio |
David Grubb
General Sports Takes
Blog | Bio |
Jimmy Headrick
Golf Analyst
Blog | Bio |
Lori Lyons
General Columnist
Articles | Bio |
Emmanuel Pepis
Prep & Fantasy Analysis
Blog | Bio |
James Rizer, D.C.
Provance Chiropractic Sports
Blog | Bio |
Jimmy Touchet
CENLA/NELA Prep Analysis
Articles | Bio
J.L. Vangilder
Bowling Analyst
Blog | Bio 

The Bench
George Pepis
Prep/Horse Racing
Blog |
Johnny Marchese
Prep Sports Analysis
Blog |
William Guillory
General Sports Take

Darrell Ashley
General Sports Takes

Jason Duhe
General Sports Takes