Local football coach remembers Don Shula

Louis LeBlanc recalls his time with one of the greatest coaches of all time.

Posted: May 11, 2020 9:07 AM

Westminster Christian Academy football coach, Louis LeBlanc, worked as a graduate assistant for two years under Mike Shula at Alabama.
Meaning he got to rub elbows with Mike's dad, Don, the legendary Dolphins coach, who passed away Monday at 90 years old.
LeBlanc says the news shocked him. Now, he's holding on to the memories he made with one of the greatest coaches of all time.

As a graduate assistant, trying to launch his coaching career, Louis LeBlanc was tasked with picking up Don Shula from the Birmingham airport.
"Being a huge football fan, I'm trying not to freak out that I just got asked to pick up Don Shula," LeBlanc said.
Alabama's Head Coach, Mike Shula, didn't know at the time, but that little order for his GA, would be one of LeBlanc's favorite memories.
"Just kind of surprising, because I went into it thinking I'll be the chauffeur and they'll be in the back seat, but no coach wanted to ride up front with me, he wanted to talk," LeBlanc said.
Shula didn't just want to talk, the NFL's winning-est coach, took LeBlanc to lunch with his family on the way back to Tuscaloosa.
"Don said you better eat Louis, because I'm hungry, so we go in and they talk and ask me about my wife and my family," LeBlanc said.
It's one of the many times, Shula made an impact on LeBlanc's life.
"He was so nice, gah he was so nice," LeBlanc added.
LeBlanc's most memorable talk with Shula was inside the tunnel at Bryant Denny moments after the Tide took down Tennessee in 2005.
"He grabs me shakes my hand and says hey coach, heck of a win, great job," LeBlanc said.
LeBlanc says he still can picture that moment till this day.
"Just the fact that don went to that extent, to find me say congrats, call me coach," LeBlanc said.
Sure Shula's two Super Bowls and having the only perfect season in the NFL is impressive, but LeBlanc will forever remember Don Shula as the man who took interest in a young coach, who wanted to be just like "the goat."
"To hear a legend come over to a guy who was just getting his foot in the door with football and to make a purpose, to go fight the crowd, tell him congratulations, and say he did a good job, thankful for those little moments that I had," LeBlanc said.

Huntsville/Redstone
Partly Cloudy
44° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 44°
Muscle Shoals
Partly Cloudy
49° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 49°
Huntsville/Madison
Partly Cloudy
42° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 42°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 43°
Fort Payne
Partly Cloudy
39° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 39°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 524367

Reported Deaths: 10807
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson756511496
Mobile40258800
Madison34165498
Tuscaloosa25448445
Montgomery24089574
Shelby23250243
Baldwin20787302
Lee15670166
Calhoun14375313
Morgan14180274
Etowah13716348
Marshall12022220
Houston10427279
Elmore10011202
Limestone9873149
Cullman9512191
St. Clair9508236
Lauderdale9293234
DeKalb8774183
Talladega8131173
Walker7153277
Autauga6793107
Jackson6772110
Blount6556133
Colbert6240132
Coffee5435113
Dale4780111
Russell432139
Franklin421882
Chilton4153110
Covington4084116
Tallapoosa3943149
Escambia390375
Dallas3529150
Chambers3526122
Clarke347660
Marion3084100
Pike306776
Lawrence297696
Winston273272
Bibb256961
Marengo248461
Geneva246475
Pickens233359
Barbour228455
Hale219175
Butler214068
Fayette210560
Henry188344
Cherokee182945
Randolph178741
Monroe174040
Washington165838
Macon156849
Clay150956
Crenshaw149957
Cleburne147141
Lamar139834
Lowndes137853
Wilcox125427
Bullock122140
Conecuh109828
Perry107626
Sumter103332
Coosa100928
Greene91534
Choctaw59024
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 837833

Reported Deaths: 12111
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby933421591
Davidson88250926
Knox49926625
Hamilton43501488
Rutherford42422423
Williamson27589215
Sumner23549345
Montgomery19740224
Wilson18547229
Out of TN1797995
Unassigned16778133
Sullivan16266287
Blount15213194
Bradley14670148
Washington14243244
Maury13261170
Sevier13204175
Putnam11193173
Madison10853241
Robertson9627129
Anderson8639171
Hamblen8522171
Greene7746152
Tipton7235104
Coffee6833121
Dickson6740109
Cumberland6586128
Carter6487156
Bedford6439129
Gibson6410144
McMinn637897
Roane6197102
Jefferson6089124
Loudon602469
Lawrence582086
Hawkins5802106
Monroe572495
Warren551881
Dyer5371104
Franklin509488
Fayette493678
Obion450396
Cheatham445954
Cocke444298
Rhea431575
Lincoln430963
Marshall412358
Campbell410562
Weakley403763
Giles396299
Henderson373276
Macon358677
Carroll357782
White356269
Hardin350566
Hardeman346764
Lauderdale314444
Henry312675
Marion310846
Claiborne307373
Scott305745
Overton298161
Wayne294434
Hickman280746
McNairy277254
DeKalb275753
Smith275238
Haywood268461
Grainger259649
Trousdale249122
Morgan246339
Fentress238446
Johnson232238
Bledsoe210111
Chester209651
Crockett201548
Polk200324
Unicoi195249
Cannon189231
Union186534
Grundy178433
Humphreys174622
Lake169626
Sequatchie167028
Benton163440
Decatur157538
Lewis156626
Meigs135124
Stewart131028
Jackson130035
Clay109431
Houston108633
Perry105728
Moore100217
Van Buren83622
Pickett75724
Hancock55712

Community Events