Boots Garland

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Murrell Eugene Garland, known as Boots Garland (1933 – January 11, 2016), was the head track and field coach at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge during the 1982 season. For eleven years, he was the assistant track coach under head coaches Joe May (four seasons), Bill McClure (five seasons), and Billy Maxwell (one season). He left LSU coaching in 1983.[1]

Garland was born in Haughton in Bossier Parish in northwestern Louisiana. He graduated from C. E. Byrd High School in Shreveport and LSU. He also coached at the high school level in Baton Rouge: at Istrouma Junior and Senior high schools, Baton Rouge High School, Parkview Baptist High School, and University High School. At University High School, he was named to the athletic Hall of Fame. He was a consultant for LSU baseball, as well as for the professional football teams, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Dallas Cowboys. His success in those endeavors led to the establishment of specialty coaches by professional teams.[1]

He coached eleven All-American players in his eleven seasons at LSU. Garland was a speed coach under Skip Bertman for the LSU baseball team. In 1975, he was speed and conditioning coach for the Dallas Cowboys. In 1976, Garland was the spring training roommate of Tommy Lasorda, then the Dodgers’ third-base coach under manager Walter Alston. He coached Baton Rouge High School to the Class 3A state title in track and field in 1969; at the time 3A was the highest classification. He was assistant coach to E. W. Foy for the Baton Rough High basketball team, which prevailed in the 1968 Class 3A state championship. One month after leaving his position as an assistant track coach at LSU, Garland was named head coach of the new track and field program at Parkview Baptist in Baton Rouge.[2]

Garland had a history of congestive heart failure. He died at his Baton Rouge home at the age of eighty-two. Survivors are his wife, the former JoAnne Schoonmaker; four daughters and their husbands, Alison Dias Edmonson, Dana Dias Sutton, Mitzi Dias Barber, and Laura Dias Murray, and ten grandchildren. Garland embraced Jesus Christ late in life. He was active in River Church South, established by the First Presbyterian Church of Baton Rouge, where Garland's services were held. He is interred at Resthaven Cemetery.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Murrell Eugene "Boots" Garland. The Baton Rouge Advocate. Retrieved on January 14, 2016.
  2. {{cite web|url= legend Boots Garland passes away at 82|publisher=The Lafayette Daily Advertiser|date=January 11, 2016|accessdate=January 14, 2016}]