Former St. Augustine High and Southern University football coach Otis Washington died early Friday morning.
Washington, 80, slipped and fell, hitting his head Thursday and was placed on life support in Baton Rouge before passing away.
Nathaniel Jones, the current coach at St. Augustine, said Washington left an impact in a number of ways.
“He came out to some of the games last year and he we had a chance to talk. He was such a legendary coach. He was a true man of faith. He encouraged me as the coach at St. Aug and it really was a blessing to get to know him,” Jones said.
A Hall of Fame coach in Louisiana, Washington guided the Purple Knights to three state titles.
In 11 years as head coach at St. Augustine, Washington compiled a record of 113-17-1. His first state champion came in 1975 with the Purple Knights going on to win back-to-back titles in 1978 and 1979. It was the first time in history a Class 4A team – at the time the largest classification in the state – won consecutive titles.
His 1975 team defeated Covington 35-3 for the state title. The 1978 team edged Catholic League foe Jesuit 13-7 for the title in a game played in the Louisiana Superdome – three years before the start of the Superdome Classic. St. Augustine again won the championship in 1979, defeating New Iberia 16-7.
Washington moved to the collegiate level. He became the first African-American football coach at LSU as an assistant in 1980 before guiding Southern University as head coach from 1981-1986. He led the Jaguars to a 35-30-1 mark in his six seasons as Southern’s coach.
He was a captain on Xavier of New Orleans’ last football team in 1959.
Washington served as an assistant for seven years at St. Augustine before being elevated to head coach in 1969 at the age of 26.