Home Coaches Booth to be named in Honor of E.J. and Patsy Lewis
May 11, 2017
RUSTON, La. - In a room full of family and friends last Tuesday overlooking Joe Aillet Stadium, one of the most loyal members of the Louisiana Tech family, longtime assistant coach E.J. Lewis, learned the home coaches booth in LA Tech's brand new press box will be named in honor of he and his late wife, Patsy.
E.J. and Patsy Lewis were both loyal members of the Louisiana Tech family on both the athletics and university sides, with E.J. coaching for the Bulldogs from 1963-80 and Patsy graduating from Tech in 1969 and serving in multiple administrative roles until 1990. Generous donations to the cause from Lyn Bankston, Randy Graham and Glenn Pumpelly guaranteed Coach Lewis and Patsy's name will forever have a home at Joe Aillet Stadium.
"I was taken back by it, I can tell you that. I thought I had been forgotten, but I am glad y'all are honoring Patsy, too," Lewis said of the honor. "I just don't know what to say to tell you the truth because that is a heck of an honor. I appreciate it and I think they hit the nail on the head by honoring Patsy along with me. I don't know what else to say, but I certainly appreciate it and I mean that. I look back on my life here and I was lucky to be under Coach Aillet and Maxie Lambright. I remember being so proud of that stadium when they built it and it wasn't anything as nice as it is now."
Louisiana Tech Athletics Director Tommy McClelland announced in August plans to begin a new project in a new press box and guest suite facility at Joe Aillet Stadium. Construction on the new facility began in November and will reach completion in time for the 2017 football season. The home coaches' booth honoring E.J. and Patsy Lewis will be housed on the third floor of the new facility.
"It has been a privilege getting to know Coach Lewis," McClelland said. "First, there is not a person that I have run into that doesn't have great things to say about Coach Lewis. Secondly, there is not a person that Coach Lewis doesn't know. I have taken him with me on speaking engagements and he knows everyone in the room. He is a living legend. There is no way to accurately measure the positive impact that he and Mrs. Patsy have had on Louisiana Tech. I am so grateful for the generous donors that helped make this possible."
E.J. Lewis came to Louisiana Tech in 1959 as a graduate assistant before joining the football coaching staff full time in 1963 as an assistant coach specializing in the defensive secondary. The 18-year coaching veteran served on the staffs of LA Tech legends such as Joe Aillet and Maxie Lambright and helped guide Tech to a 123-67-2 record in his time as an assistant with the Bulldogs.
"I had the privilege of Coach Lewis begin my position coach and Mrs. Patsy my academic advisor," Bankston, who lettered for the Bulldogs from 1979-81 and contributed to the effort to earn naming rights for Coach Lewis and Patsy, said. "I am blessed that these two fine people were such strong, positive influences on me at a time when I needed it the most."
E.J. helped lead the Bulldogs to eight conference championships and two Division II National Championships from 1963 to his retirement in 1980.
"Audra and I are honored to be a part of the effort to recognize E.J. and Patsy and the entire Lewis family for the legacy they have left on Louisiana Tech and our family," Pumpelly said. "Both of them truly invested in lives and I am a part of that."
Patsy was a 1969 graduate of Louisiana Tech with a degree in counseling and guidance before later becoming the University's Dean of Admissions, Basic and Career Studies and Director of Orientation. She retired from Louisiana Tech in 1990.
"It is truly an honor for Sally and I to have the opportunity to help in honoring E.J. and Patsy Lewis for their remarkable contributions to Louisiana Tech University," Graham said. "The positive influence that they each had on students during their careers is immeasurable along with the great sense of loyalty to Tech that the entire Lewis family exhibits."
The new facility is expected to stretch from the 10-yard line to the 10-yard line and will be completed in time for the home opener in 2017, a season in which Louisiana Tech hosts seven home games including SEC foe Mississippi State (Sept. 9) and in-state foe Northwestern State (Sept. 2).
The three-level facility will include luxury suites, press box and all of the booths needed for national television broadcasts, radio broadcasts, and the various game-day components (coaches booths, AD suites, security, scoreboard, public address, instant replay, media rights holder suite, and more). The new facility will be approximately 30,000 square feet, more than four times the square footage of the existing press box and sky boxes.
The first floor of the facility will house 13 luxury suites plus the Presidential Suite. Each one of the luxury suites will hold 20 supporters and will include 12 outdoor seats, indoor lounge furniture, a kitchenette area and a big screen TV. Patrons will gain access to these luxury suites through a club area which will be used for catering food and beverage.
The second level of the new construction will include a two-level media work area, two times the square footage of the existing press box (seats 60). The second floor will also include home and visiting AD suites along with a suite for the University's media rights partner (Learfield), and booths for home and visiting coaches, home and visiting radio, national TV, game day security operations, instant replay, public address and scoreboard operations, as well as a flex booth that can be utilized for scouts or a third radio broadcast.
For more information on naming rights and how to support the Press Box project, please contact Marco Born at email@example.com or 318-257-2933.
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