Jim Robarts Inducted to the Allstate Sugar Bowl Hall of Fame
Raider Alumnus Conner Killian '16 Receives Jimmy Collins Award
Upon learning of his selection to the Allstate Sugar Bowl's Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame, legendary high school basketball coach Jim Robarts sounded most appreciative. "Never in my life did I ever think something like this would happen to me," he said. "I cannot begin to tell you how much this means to me."
Robarts also meant a lot to generations of high school athletes whom he mentored for 46 years, including 39 seasons as a head coach, highlighted by 19 years at Archbishop Rummel and 15 years at East Jefferson.
A graduate of Loyola University, Robarts also attended Jesuit where he gave prep sports the ole high school try.
"I tried out for basketball and was cut. I tried out for baseball and was cut. I tried out for football and was cut."
Seeing a familiar pattern, he turned to coaching instead, putting his trust in Kevin Trower, a state championship basketball coach at Jesuit who had coached all three major sports for about five decades. "He taught me how to coach and what to coach," said Robarts. "He emphasized the little things."
His long tenures at Rummel and East Jeff provided Robarts with a lifetime of highlights, including five landmark efforts.
He coached 1,095 games and finished with a career record of 714-381, a mark that enabled him to be elected to the Louisiana High School Athletic Association and the Louisiana Association of Basketball Coaches Halls of Fame. In addition, Rummel named its gymnasium floor after him in 2015.
Now retired he lives in Metairie with his wife of 55 years, Mary Ann. They have three children and seven grandchildren. Robarts is 77. "A real good number," he says. "Because '77 was my first state championship team."
Source: Bill Bumgarner of the Greater New Orleans Sports Awards Committee
Conner Killian, a Metairie product and a graduate of Archbishop Rummel, serves as President of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee at Louisiana Tech. Killian was the third-best finisher for the Bulldogs at the Conference USA Cross Country Championships; he also competed in the C-USA indoor championship, but suffered an injury during the outdoor season and was confined to a walking boot when a deadly tornado hit Ruston on April 25.
The tornado wreaked havoc on the Louisiana Tech campus and many residential areas, but despite his injury, Killian was a leader in
the clean-up effort on the campus and in the community.
"Conner was one of the first students to arrive on the scene after the tornado," said Louisiana Tech Director of Athletics Tommy McClelland. "He immediately began to remove debris as he organized a small team of other students. Being a forestry major he had a chainsaw and started cutting limbs and removing trees from damaged areas. All of this started within hours of the tornado devastation and continued for many days. He has gone out into our community into the residential areas and helped as well. He has done all of this while wearing a boot due to an injury sustained while competing as a member of our track and field team. When I think of what a servant looks like, I will now think of Conner."
"I am truly honored to be receiving the Jimmy Collins Special Award," Killian said. "Louisiana Tech University and Ruston are my home and I will always do everything I can to help the Ruston community, especially in the wake of a disaster."
Source: All State Sugar Bowl Awards Program
Photos by Raider yearbook staff / More photos at www.raiderpix.com
Archbishop Rummel High School
1901 Severn Ave.
Metairie, LA 70001
Archbishop Rummel High School educates each student according to the principles of the Catholic Church in the Lasallian tradition of faith, community, and service. In a caring, disciplined environment of social awareness and academic excellence, Archbishop Rummel High School challenges each student to recognize the dignity of life and to develop and share, to the best of his ability, his unique talents.
Archbishop Rummel High School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, or disability in violation of state and federal law or regulation in administration of its educational policies or programs.