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SHREVEPORT, La. - Born in 1932 and passing away in 2015, his given name was Jimmy Ray Childress, but this ArkLaTex football legend was known as Chick Childress.
While an assistant at Monroe's Neville High School, they won four state championships. Then after stops at Carol, Cedar Creek and ULM, Chick Childress settled in at Ruston where he was head coach from 79 to 91.
During that time while losing only 27 games his teams won 131 games and four state championships. Northwestern State University head football coach Brad Laird played for Childress in 1990. That's when he was quarterback on the Bearcats state championship team that went undefeated and were ranked number one nationally. Laird talks about the reasons for Childress' success as a coach.
"Now that I'm in that coaching profession, I found out real quick that it's not about the Xs and Os, it's about the people. It's about the relationships that you build. That's one thing you saw with Chick Childress. He was a great communicator, but he had a great relationship with people. He had a great relationship with his football team and to me that's what made him successful," Laird said.
There was a mutual respect between Childress and his players.
"He didn't have to raise his voice at practice. When he talked, you listened. And that's the respect he had and that's the respect he had for that football team."
Childress continually preached to his players the importance of character.
"When I got through playing for him you know as I look back now in the coaching profession I probably know more about that word that I thought I knew back then as much as he preached it to us. Is that that's going to carry you day in day out and that's what he did and that's how he lived and that's we that had the opportunity to play for him saw him on a day in day out basis and we appreciate that because now that's how we live out life."
Laird says that Childress never changed, win or lose.
"88 was a team that was probably not as talented as some people say the 1990. A team that lost two district games but went on to win the state championship. You don't see that a lot. 89 an undefeated team, 1989 an undefeated team that gets beat in triple overtime 59-56. Fast forward to what everybody in Ruston looks at like this is the year. Chick never changed. Coach Childress never changed his style. Coach Chick Childress didn't change. And that's the thing you respect about him. Through highs and lows, good and bad loses and wins he was the same. And you know what, that carried over to our football team and I think at the end of the day is what made us successful.,"
Successful, that's a word that well describes this ArkLaTex football legend. The late and great Chick Childress.