LSWA honors long time Lion

Nearly 30 years ago, Larry Hymel became the first full-time Sports Information Director (SID) at Southeastern. Since then, Hymel has been an ambassador for the university and achieved many milestones along the way.

“I loved it,” said Hymel. “Just dealing with all of our sports, the good times and the bad times, but I built some lifelong friendships.”

Hymel’s most recent achievement came in June when he was awarded the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s (LSWA) Distinguished Service Award. Considered the most prestigious honor offered to sports media in Louisiana, recipients are chosen through their accomplishments locally, statewide and nationally, while showing leadership in the LSWA and having at least three decades of experience in the field. Hymel is the third person with ties to Southeastern to receive the award; the first being Jim Corbett, then Bud Johnson, each of them a former sports editors of the Lions Roar newspaper.

“I doubt there is another school in the state of Louisiana that can make that claim,” said Hymel.

Hymel began his career as a student at Southeastern where he worked as sports editor of the Lions Roar. After graduation he took the job of sports editor of the Hammond Daily Star in 1966, and soon after he took the SID job at Southeastern. After a long and productive career as SID, he was inducted in Southeastern’s Athletic Hall of Fame for Distinguished Service in 1994. In that same year, he was awarded the Mac Russo Award by the LSWA for his contribution to the organization. Hymel credits his success to dedication and hard work.

“Anything that you are going to be decent or good at you’ve got to put some work into,” said Hymel. “I love Southeastern and I love sports so it wasn’t hard to do that.”

As the SID, he received All-American awards from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics five times for the football programs that he designed, with his 1974 program earning second best in the nation. After leaving from the SID office, Hymel continued to contribute to the university, spending 11 years as director of University Center basketball and events. Hymel managed the facility as it became home of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association annual basketball championships, which still remains a vital part of the university today, bringing in fans throughout the state.  

Hymel retired from full-time duties at Southeastern in 2005, but today he still has an impact on the university working with the Alumni Association as Alumni Athletic Coordinator, getting former Athletes to come back to university functions.