NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Otis Washington, a beloved former St. Augustine football coach, died at the age of 80 Friday, May 24.
For 11 years, from 1969 to 1979, Washington led the Purple Knights on winning seasons, including seven district titles and three state championships. From there, he became with first ever African American to coach at LSU and then went to Southern University to serve as their head coach.
Washington graduated from Xavier University, where he was an all-conference guard and linebacker, as well as an all-conference baseball player.
In 1970, Washington was named New Orleans States-Item Coach of the Year and was inducted in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 2015. The same year, he was presented with the Louisiana National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s Unsung Hero award.
Kenneth St. Charles, president and CEO of St. Augustine High School said released a statement offering condolences to Washington’s friends and family, saying his “legend and legacy have touched generations of Purple Knights.”
“He was a passionate, innovative leader who helped establish the standard for St. Augustine athletics,” Charles said in the statement. "Coach Wash shaped St. Augustine football into a program that reflects his dedication to discipline, teamwork, scholarship, and excellence both on and off the field. We celebrate his lifetime of accomplishment and his unwavering commitment to St. Augustine.”
Washington was also inducted into the St. Augustine High School Hall of Fame in 2017.
As of Friday afternoon, funeral arrangements had not been finalized.