BATON ROUGE - Former LSU quarterback Nelson Stokley, who helped lead the Tigers to the 1966 Cotton Bowl and the 1968 Sugar Bowl, passed away Saturday after a lengthy illness.
Stokley, who came to LSU after attending Crowley High School, was the Tigers top quarterback for most of the era from 1965-67, passing for what was then a school best 1,238 yards in 1967. He finished with 2,308 career total yards and rushed for three touchdowns in one game versus Tulane on Nov. 25, 1967. He three nine touchdown passes in his career. His total yards at the time were second only to Y. A. Tittle.
He was injured in the 14-7 win over Arkansas in the 1966 Cotton Bowl but threw for two touchdowns in the 1968, 20-13 win over Wyoming in the Sugar Bowl.
The native of Kennedy, Texas, then served as assistant coach and freshman coach for the Tigers under Coach Charles McClendon from 1969-73.
It was the start of a long and successful coaching career that would take him to Virginia Tech and Clemson before taking over as head coach at Louisiana-Lafayette then University of Southwestern Louisiana in 1986. He would serve for 13 seasons as head coach until 1998 and ranks second on the school's all-time coaching victories list. He had seven winning seasons, including the 1993 and 1994 Big West Championship.
He coached such Cajun greats as Brian Mitchell, Orlando Thomas, Jake Delhomme and son Brandon Stokley. He served as athletic director from April 6, 1988 until Dec. 31, 1992.
Stokley continued to live in the Acadiana area after his coaching career ended. Funeral arraignments are pending.