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Thread: Passing of a Bulldog Legend

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    Passing of a Bulldog Legend

    John Causey passed away suddenly today. He was a great player and coach.

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    Re: Passing of a Bulldog Legend

    John Causey was one of Louisiana Tech's Top 50 players of all-time.


    https://twitter.com/i/status/1024685723574648832


    1971-74: Golden Era of Bulldog Football

    https://latechsports.com/news/2018/8/14/1971-74-golden-era-of-bulldog-football.aspx


    Many games were significant at Aillet Stadium from 1971 through 1974 but none more so that on Oct. 16, 1971, when conference kingpin Arkansas State came calling. ASU had gone 11-0 the previous year, had won a pair of college division national titles and was clearly King of the Southland Conference.

    The two teams waged a tremendous war that night and Tech led 28-27 when ASU drove inside the Bulldogs' five yardline with less than three minutes to play, ready to score and maintain a death grip on the SLC.

    All-Star safety John Causey, a member of the Top 50 class being honored this fall, was on the field for the Bulldogs and remembers that time. "At that crucial moment, Chris Richardson (senior all-American nose guard) made what I still believe is the most important play that occurred during this Golden Era -- to save this win for us.

    "At a time out, Chris told the coaches he had a hunch what Arkansas State was going to run and the coaches told him to go with it. He was absolutely right, he tackled ASU's star running back (Calvin Harrell) behind the line and caused a fumble at the two-yard-line that I was lucky enough to recover," recalled Causey.

    "We won that game and we went on to take over as the dominant team in the Southland for the rest of the 1970s. And I believe that win set the stage for our NCAA national championship in 1973."

    Tech captured four straight SLC titles (1971, 1972, 1973, 1974) during that amazing string – and also won national championships in 1972 (National Football Foundation), 1973 (NCAA) and 1974 (UPI).

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    Re: Passing of a Bulldog Legend

    Former college and high school coach John Causey was a Tech classmate of mine in the early 1970s and great friend. We heard of his passing Saturday.


    I found a pic of him as a Tech coach and part of a feature series written by Nico Van Thyn about our Coach, Maxie Lambright, John ‘s eventual father-in-law.


    John’s son, Maxie Causey, was a quarterback at West Monroe and Tech.


    https://nvanthyn.blogspot.com/2016/1...amily-man.html


    ...John Causey came out of the perennial powerhouse football program at Neville High (Monroe) -- still a power -- and followed his older brothers to Tech. Tom had been an All-America, all-conference end in the late 1950s; Walter a team captain and starting defensive end on Lambright's first two teams (1967-68) and a graduate assistant coach when John came on in 1969.
    But John was a walk-on; tall and thin, he had not developed physically as quickly as his brothers. However, he said he grew 40 pounds in the next few years, and by the spring of his second year at Tech, he was beginning to make his presence felt in the secondary.
    When he intercepted three passes in the spring game, he was walking off the field afterward when coach Lambright came up and said, "John, you did a great job. You don't have to worry about a scholarship while I'm here."
    And so, with the financial aid assured, he became a starter. In 1972, he intercepted 10 passes -- four in one game at Texas-Arlington -- and that school record was more than one-third of Tech's 29-interception season, still a school record.
    Plus, there was Linda.
    Sitting around between two-a-day practices early one fall and during a card-playing session, John was looking at Tech's media guide when he noticed the Lambright family photo and remarked, "Coach's daughter is pretty cute."
    As Causey remembered it, star linebacker Joe McNeely -- a "wild man" known as much for his fighting ability as his all-over-the-field tackling and coverage -- said, "I know her. I think I can get you a date with her."
    And wide receiver Pat Tilley, who would go on to star for the NFL St. Louis Cardinals, chimed in with, "You are chicken [bleep]; you're not going to date her."
    "We were all deathly afraid of Coach Lambright," Causey remembered.

    Linda and John Causey
    But date her he did. Went to her dorm to meet her, and as the relationship developed, he would go to the Lambright home often over the next 2-3 years to watch TV in their den, and have meals.
    Mrs. Lambright treated him graciously. And -- unbelievably -- Maxie never appeared.
    "I was scared to death," John recalled of the prospect. "Thankfully I never had to see Coach Lambright."
    It speaks to the coach's integrity that he did not let the player-coach relationship cross with the personal-life dating relationship.
    "Guys would tease me," John said, " 'It's the Blue Max (the players' nickname for the coach), you better not do anything to upset him.' " But it wasn't a problem.
    And then the day after Causey's eligibility ended -- the final game of the '74 season (11-1 record, with the loss in the national Division II semifinals) -- he was at a holiday dinner at the Lambright home ... and Coach Lambright walked into the room.
    "John, you know how to play cards?" he asked. The answer was yes, "and he took me back to his den." A different relationship began, and he became family.
    "We became good friends," John said. "He was just a regular guy, so to speak. We started talking about football; he talked a lot about philosophy, he knew I wanted to coach.
    "I think he wanted to keep the pressure off me ... and him [while John played for Tech]," he said. "It was just as awkward for the coach to have a player dating his daughter as it was for me."
    "They got to be good buddies," Linda said. "It wasn't as hard for John as he thought it might be."
    Causey joined the Tech coaching staff in 1981 as secondary coach, replacing E.J. Lewis, a holdover from the Lambright staff who stayed on for one year apiece with the next two head coaches. John was on the Tech staff for six seasons (two with Billy Brewer, four with A.L. Williams).
    One other aspect: Lambright was inducted into the USM M-Club Hall of Fame in '74. Causey knew his coach had been a fine player -- and safety -- in college, "but he never talked about that. That's the kind of guy he was. He wasn't one to talk about what he'd done.
    "We had a great relationship," John said. "I grew to love him even more."
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    Re: Passing of a Bulldog Legend

    Thanks for the great story and picture as a young coach.

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    Re: Passing of a Bulldog Legend

    His loyalty was truly inspirational. Forner NLU head coach Pat Collins said in an interview, ”And in fact, he coached for me when I was head coach at Northeast — for about a week. After about five days he came Into my office and told me that he just couldn’t do it - he had too many ties at Tech.”

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    Re: Passing of a Bulldog Legend

    A great Tech man and family. RIP Mr. Causey.
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    Re: Passing of a Bulldog Legend

    Thanks for that awesome story!!

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