|Saturday, July 20
Former Tigers coach McClendon died last winter
BATON ROUGE, La. -- The Ponderosa is now the Charles McClendon LSU Football Practice Facility.
Although there are finishing touches left to be completed, a sign honoring the former Tigers coach, who died last winter after a bout with cancer, now faces Skip Bertman Drive at the entrance to LSU's practice facility.
Bertman, LSU's athletic director, said Friday he's thrilled to see it.
"We couldn't do enough for Charlie Mac,'' Bertman said. "His impact here goes beyond winning some football games. To me it's very important to do something nice -- and maybe a couple of things.''
The practice facility, dubbed the Ponderosa during McClendon's tenure as LSU coach (1962-79), features four lighted full-length grass fields and a full-length indoor field with artificial turf.
Bertman said LSU plans to eventually augment the facility with a locker room, film rooms, squad rooms, training rooms and a weight room. There is no target date for those additions, but once they are completed, Bertman said, the improved facility will likely be called the Charles McClendon Football Complex.
McClendon coached LSU to 13 bowl appearances and a record of 137-59-7 in 18 seasons. He was named Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year in 1969 and 1970.
After leaving LSU, he became executive director of the Tangerine Bowl (1980-81) and then executive director of the American Football Coaches Association (1982-94). He founded and administered a scholarship fund for the children of former LSU football players, and he is a member of several halls of fame.