Saturday, April 1, 2017

Rabalais: Ben Jobe was a great basketball coach, but so much more than that as a man

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana -- Once during a basketball game Ben Jobe was coaching at Southern, a fan sitting behind the Jaguars bench called one of the referees “a blind S.O.B.”

The official wheeled around in the direction of the voice and gave Jobe a technical foul.

"After the game, I walked up to the ref and said, 'Mr. Official, someone sitting behind me called you an S.O.B,’ ” Jobe later recounted. “ ‘I do not use that vernacular. But I do agree with him.’ ”

That was Ben Jobe. Passionate. Direct. Intelligent, with a mind as sharp as the impeccably tailored suits he wore on the sideline. A basketball man, certainly, but a man of so many other talents and interests, a man who kept those passions alive until his death Friday at age 84.

"Ben Jobe could've been a success in anything," former LSU coach Dale Brown once said of his longtime friend. "He reminds me of an English teacher. Dignified, classy, a very good coach. He understands his ability to coach."


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