ULM Baseball Field Renamed Lou St. Amant Field
MONROE, La. – The University of Louisiana Board of Supervisors Thursday approved naming ULM's baseball field "Lou St. Amant Field" in honor of former baseball head coach and Northeast Louisiana University alumnus Lou St. Amant.
"It is only fitting to name the field at our ballpark in honor of Lou St. Amant," ULM President Dr. Ron Berry said. "The University was so fortunate to have Lou serve as our baseball coach for 18 seasons, and it is staggering to think about the hundreds of student-athlete's lives that he impacted in a positive manner during his tenure. Today, he remains one of this University's great ambassadors.
"Lou St. Amant is most deserving of this tribute, and by affixing his name to the field, it will serve as a reminder of his commitment to ULM and its student-athletes while inspiring the Warhawk Family for generations to come."
St. Amant spent 18 seasons as the head coach of the NLU baseball team, picking up 414 career victories, and was instrumental in both the initial construction of the baseball facility in 1983 and the turf and Stadium Club renovation project, which culminated prior to the 2022 season.
"I've had a lot of great honors from that university," St. Amant said. "This is by far the biggest and the best that I could even dream of. We started that facility in 1983 when I kind of designed it and worked it up. Through the different coaches, the facility has changed, and each coach has helped. With (ULM head baseball coach Michael Federico), the improvements have been great. It's a tremendous honor and I really appreciate it.
"(ULM Athletics Director) Scott McDonald and I have been together since 1979," St. Amant said. "It's been a great run. I appreciate him, the administrators and the players that played for me. Thank you to Dr. Ron Berry and his staff for their help in this honor."
There were several high points in St. Amant's career. His first feat came in his initial season as head coach. After spending two years as an assistant, the 1970 NLU graduate took over in 1976 and led Northeast to a 20-13 record, halting a string of four consecutive losing seasons.
His first victory as a head coach came in his very first game, 6-2 over Northwestern State.
Northeast was an NCAA Division I independent when the Norco, Louisiana, native took over. St. Amant's first three seasons were as an independent before NLU joined the Trans America Athletic Conference in 1979. The best finish for NLU in the TAAC was a tie for first in the West Division during the 1982 season.
Northeast joined the Southland Conference in 1983 and made a sudden impact. St. Amant led the Indians to their first conference title in any major men's sport in the SLC. The Indians also advanced to the NCAA playoffs for the first time. They had previously played in the NAIA playoffs four times, reaching the 1970 World Series, before becoming an NCAA member.
"The naming of the baseball field for Coach St. Amant is appropriate for so many reasons," McDonald said. "He was instrumental in the design of the field and was present every day during the construction. We will celebrate the 40th anniversary of that field in the spring, and it has never looked better. He led that team in the spring of 1983 to ULM's first NCAA baseball regional appearance. His vision, hard work, persistence and attention to detail is still reflected in this beautiful facility today. He is still very involved with the program and is a tremendous mentor and ambassador."
"Today is a special day for the past, present and future of Warhawk Baseball," Federico said. "Naming the field after Coach Lou St. Amant and honoring his legacy to our university is a tremendous honor and very deserving to the special people he and his late wife Ms. Marilyn are. Lou is a treasure to the city of Monroe, northeast Louisiana and the state of Louisiana. I personally want to thank Scott McDonald and the passion he shared with me about naming the field after Coach St. Amant.
"Coach has been a part of this great university since 1967, and was instrumental in building the current stadium 40 years ago. This stadium has continued to improve over the years and now his name will be forever honored."
Prepping at Destrehan High School, St. Amant was an outstanding high school player who continued his career at LSU. Difficulties with his pitching arm ended his career at LSU. After leaving LSU, St. Amant started his teaching and coaching career at schools in south Louisiana. He spent time at Sacred Heart School in Norco (1960-64), St. Charles Boromeo in Destrehan (1964-66 and 1967-68) and St. Joan of Arc School in LaPlace (1966-67) before coming to Northeast as an assistant and completing his bachelor's and master's degrees.
After his graduation in 1970, St. Amant returned to the high school ranks. His greatest success came during five years as athletic director and head football coach at Lutcher High School, where he posted a 44-13 record, including LHSAA Class 3A state championship and runner-up teams. His 1975 squad went undefeated at 13-0-1 in taking the Class 3A title.
Returning to NLU in January of 1976, he was also an assistant football coach, but dropped those duties in 1979 to devote all of his time to baseball.
His wife Marilyn was a fixture at home games and enjoyed traveling and cheering on Lou and his teams. The couple was married for 58 years before her passing in July 2020.
St. Amant has also had his number retired by ULM baseball and was named a Warhawk Ambassador Award winner by the ULM Foundation in May of 2022.
A formal dedication ceremony will take place at a later date.