One of USC's best coaches not in Hall

11/15/2009 12:00 AM

06/17/2011 3:04 PM

Billy Laval was inducted into the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame in 1961. He was a charter member of the Furman University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1981.

Oddly enough, Laval is not a member of the USC Athletic Hall of Fame, despite being arguably the greatest coach in the school's history.

Tommy Moody, chairman of the USC Athletic Hall of Fame selection committee for the past 13 years, says Laval should be nominated and is a strong candidate for induction.

"He seems like a worthy nominee," Moody said.

Moody will relinquish his role as chairman this year when the USC athletics department takes over the selection process and handles the induction ceremonies. Moody will remain on the committee.

Laval remains the only USC football coach to produce seven consecutive winning seasons. He also coached the men's basketball team to the Southern Conference championship and a 17-2 record in his only season (1932-33) as head coach, and holds the highest winning percentage (.728) for any USC baseball coach with seven or more seasons at the helm.

In case you were wondering, Laval also is one of three coaches to defeat Clemson three consecutive seasons in football. His teams won the 1931-33 games. Paul Dietzel's teams did the same from 1968-70, and Rex Enright's USC clubs won four straight from 1951-54.

- Ron Morris

About Ron Morris

Ron Morris

Ron Morris

Morris has been employed at The State newspaper for 15 years, the last 11 as sports columnist. He is an Oklahoma native who was reared in Wyoming and graduated from UNC Charlotte. He previously worked for the Durham (N.C.) Morning Herald and the Tallahassee (Fla.) Democrat.Along the way, Morris has written a book, "An Illustrated History of ACC Basketball" and won numerous national and state awards for sports column writing, enterprise reporting and feature stories. He is a five-time sportswriter of the year winner in South Carolina by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. Morris has run a marathon, hitch-hiked across the country and appeared in Sports Illustrated for counting the number of times the ball bounced in a men's basketball game between Catawba College and Appalachian State. Email Ron at or call him at (803) 771-8432.

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