Alumni inducted into Athletics Hall of Fame

New members of the Hall of Fame were inducted Saturday inside the University Center at the Hall of Champions and later introduced at the half time of the home football game against Lamar.

Media Relations Director Matt Sullivan introduced Courtney Coutu, a member of the soccer team from 2000-2003, and Willie Shepherd, a member of the football team from 1982-1985.

A three-time All-Southland Conference selection, Courtney Coutu helped the Lady Lions Soccer team to an overall record of 49-22-7 and two Southland Conference regular season titles.

As a four-year letter winner, Coutu was named to the 2002 Southland Conference All-Tournament Team and finished second in school history in career matches played.  Holding the hand of her oldest daughter, she spoke briefly but emotionally about her time at Southeastern.

“I’d like to thank everyone for being here and the committee for this great honor, it’s truly amazing,” said Coutu.  “I’d also like to thank my family, my father who is here, for all of their support.”

A two-time All-American, in 1984 and 1985, Willie Shepherd was the seventh in school history to earn multiple All-American honors.  For the 1985 season Shepherd had 89 tackles with 11 for loss and five sacks as he was named to the All-Louisiana football squad as a nose guard.  Shepherd spoke for a moment in front of the attendees and Hall of Fame members.

“I appreciate this honor and all of the recognition… and I thank you all very much,” said Shepherd.

During the half time of the Lions home football game against Lamar, members of the Hall of Fame were introduced and Coutu and Shepherd were presented with honorary plaques.

“First of all, I’d like to thank everyone for being here and congratulations to the newest inductees,” said Larry Hymel, Hall of Fame Day coordinator and Alumni Athletic coordinator.  “You can’t say anything about these [Hall of Fame members], we grow every year.”

The program included a welcome and inductee presentations by Sullivan, member recognition by Hymel and remarks by Southeastern President John L. Crain and Southeastern Athletics Director Bart Bellairs.  Director of the Alumni Association Kathy L. Pittman made a special presentation to the new members of the Hall of Fame.

“Events like this are extremely important to our university and our Southeastern family,” said Crain.  “We are very grateful to have so many members of the Hall of Fame with us… and certainly congratulate today’s inductees.”