Let the Celebration Begin: Tigers Honored Following Return to Louisiana

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LSU’s dominance in track and field can be traced back to the 1933 season when the Tigers won their first national championship at Chicago’s Solider Field under the guidance of legendary head coach Bernie Moore. This week’s NCAA Outdoor Championships mark the 75th anniversary of that historic victory that helped lay the foundation for one of the elite programs in all of collegiate track and field.

Fourth in a five-part series remembering LSU’s first national champions takes a look at the celebration that took place upon the Tigers’ return to Louisiana. Senator Huey P. Long, Governor Oscar Kelly Allen and the city of New Orleans honored the team with a parade through downtown and a lavished banquet at the Roosevelt Hotel on the night of July 13, 1933.

New Orleans Honors L.S.U. Track Stars Today

Champions of Nation Ride in Big Parade; Banquet to End Fete for ‘Five-Man’ Team

By Charles L. Dufour
The Morning Tribune

Originally published in The Morning Tribune in New Orleans on July 13, 1933

Louisiana State’s “five-man” track team will be given New Orleans’ salute today for its amazing performance in winning the National Collegiate track and field title a month ago.

Captain Al Moreau, “Slats” Hardin, Matt Gordy, “Baby Jack” Torrance and Nathan Blair – the five boys who piled up 58 points to beat out Southern California – and their coach, Bernie Moore, will ride in a parade late this afternoon and tonight will be given a testimonial banquet at the Roosevelt hotel.

Colonel Joe Gumbel, impresario of the celebration has arranged for the city of New Orleans to present a handsome trophy to L.S.U. and individual awards to the track athletes who brought the first national track championship to the South.

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L.S.U Track Champions Given Rousing Welcome Upon Triumphant Return

Officials of City, State and School Greet Four Members of Team; Parade, Banquet Held

Originally published in The Times-Picayune on July 14, 1933

Four members of the record-making Louisiana State university track team, wearers of the national intercollegiate championship crown, were welcomed and feted by the city of New Orleans Friday.

The athletes were Alvin Moreau, captain of the team and winner of second place in the high hurdles and sixth place in the low hurdles; Jack Torrance, who won the shot put event with a heave of 52 feet 10 inches to set a new world’s record; Glen “Slats” Hardin, who broke two world records in winning the 440-yard dash in 47.1 seconds and the low hurdles in 22.9 seconds; and Matthew Gordy, pole vaulter, who never having bettered a height of 13 feet 6 inches, vaulted 14 feet to tie for first place in the last event of the meet to give the Tigers the championship.

Nathan Blair, who placed fourth in the javelin event, did not accompany his teammates to New Orleans for the reception.

The band of L.S.U. athletes drove to Chicago in a car owned by Captain Moreau and, although critics had not conceded them a chance in the meet, bested larger and more experienced teams from practically every large college in the country at Soldiers’ Field on June 17.

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