| Wins against Kentucky - 1 | Losses against Kentucky - 1 |
Alma Mater: None
Hometown: Columbia, SC
Date Born: January 15, 1885
Date Died: January 20, 1957
Overall Record: 94-76 [10 Seasons]
|2/2/1933||Kentucky at South Carolina||L||38 - 44||-|
|1/10/1933||South Carolina at Kentucky||W||44 - 36||-|
Obituary - Greenville (SC) News (January 22, 1957)
Services at Columbia Today for W.L. Laval
COLUMBIA, Jan. 21 - W.L. (Billy) Laval, an "old fox" among football coaches who never played the game himself will be buried Tuesday in Columbia's Greenlawn Memorial Park.
Funeral services for Laval, 72, who coached football at four colleges, will be at 2:30 p.m. at the Dunbar Funeral Home here. Services will be conducted by the Rev. William L. Gatling.
The active pallbearers will be Barney Smith of Anderson, Earl Clary of Gaffney, Buddy Morehead of Newberry, Allie McDougall of Columbia, Edward (Bru) Boineau of Columbia and Fred Craft of Columbia, all former University of South Carolina athletes; Whitey Rawl of Columbia, former Furman star, and Cy Havird, who played under Laval at Newberry.
Honorary pallbearers will be other former athletes with whom he worked.
Death came to Laval last night from a heart ailment while he was visiting at the home of his son. Mrs. Laval died last fall.
An outstanding baseball player despite never weighing more than 135 pounds, Laval never played football, yet was a highly successful coach. He earned the nickname "Old Fox" for the many ingenious offensive ricks his teams used to exploit opponents' weaknesses.
In 11 years at Furman, his grid teams won 81, lost 32 and tied four. His seven-year record at South Carolina was 39 wins, 26 losses and six ties.
His 1931 Gamecock team beat Duke 7-0, the last South Carolina win over the Blue Devils until 1956, when Warren Giese's first team won by the same score. Laval's 1932 team knocked Auburn out of a Rose Bowl bid by coming from behind a three-touchdown halftime deficit to earn a 20-20 tie.
Laval attended Furman and Trinity College (now Duke University), and began his coaching career at Erskine College in early 1900s, producing four state baseball championship clubs in five years.
Retired in 1950
He became assistant football coach at Furman in 1915, moving up to head coach the following year, and switched to South Carolina in 1928. He was head coach one year at Emory and Henry before taking over a Newberry college in 1936. He retired at Newberry in 1950.
For several years during the summer months, Laval played and managed in professional baseball, with the Columbia Sandlappers of the old Piedmont League, the Greenville Spinners of the Sally League and the Richmond Colts.
Besides being an outstanding football and baseball coach, Laval also enjoyed success coaching basketball. His 1932-33 team at South Carolina lost only two games and won the Southern Conference championship. The 1933-34 Gamecocks were undefeated in regular season play but lost to N.C. State in the conference tournament.
Rex Enright, South Carolina athletic director, said Laval "has meant a great deal to our institution and to athletes in our state."
Ed Bolneau, who scored a record 57 points in 1929 for the Gamecocks, credited Laval with developing him into a star. Boineau recalled he was an end until Laval noticed his movements while playing basketball and "from then on, I was a halfback."
Laval's survivors include one son, one daughter and seven grandchildren.
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