NATCHITOCHES –Avoyelles Coroner Dr. L. J. Mayeux, Jr., the former national president and Chairman of the Board for Ducks Unlimited, is the 2012 recipient of the Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership Award presented by the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.
Mayeux, who is called “Dr. Duck” by members of Ducks Unlimited, is known for his efforts to restore duck habitat across North America, including Louisiana. He will be among the 11 honorees at the 2012 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Dinner and Ceremonies presented by Chesapeake Energy on Saturday evening, June 23, at the Natchitoches Events Center.
The Induction Dinner and Ceremonies are the culmination of the 2012 Induction Celebration beginning Thursday afternoon, June 21, with the La Capitol/Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Press Conference and Kickoff Reception.
Louisiana sport stars Roger Carr, Warrick Dunn, Eddy Furniss, Mark Guidry, Aaron James, Deuce McAllister, Pete Richardson and Terry Robiskie are the eight 2012 athletes and coaches who will enter the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.
Also honored with enshrinement will be two recipients of the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism, long time New Orleans States-Item and New Orleans Times-Picayune sportswriter Bill Bumgarner and Baton Rouge Advocate Sports Editor Butch Muir.
Tickets and other event participation opportunities will be available this spring through the website.
Construction on the 27,500-square foot Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame museum in historic downtown Natchitoches is on pace for a grand opening next year. It will be a two-story showcase of state sports history managed by the Louisiana State Museums system.
The Dave Dixon Award is presented annually by the LSWA’s 30-member Hall of Fame selection committee to an individual who has played a decisive role as a sports leader or administrator benefiting Louisiana and/or bringing credit to Louisiana on the national and international level.
Dixon Award winners are enshrined as Hall of Fame members and will be recognized in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame museum.
The award is named in honor of Hall of Famer Dave Dixon, the driving force behind bringing the NFL to Louisiana with the creation of the New Orleans Saints franchise. Dixon, who passed away in 2010, is also considered the “father” of the Louisiana Superdome, developing the concept for the innovative domed structure and pushing state officials for its construction in the late 1960s. His wife, Mary Dixon, will present the Dave Dixon Award to Dr. Mayeux at the June 23 ceremonies.
Dr. Mayeux, a native of Moreauville and a Marksville physician, rose through the ranks of Ducks Unlimited membership to become national president and board chairman and an innovator in environmental education and promotion.
Mayeux founded an “Adopt-A-Classroom” program for kids grades 3-5 at parish/county, state, national and international levels in 1994. He received DU’s highest award (“Wings of Innovation”) 11 years later for the “Cygnet” curriculum he wrote including 32 weeks of teaching guides highlighting conservation in the environment, wetlands and for waterfowl. In 1999 he was the runner up for the 1999 Budweiser Outdoorsman of the Year award.
Mayeux took the helm of Ducks Unlimited, Inc., as National President in 2000. After that two-year term, he took over as DU chairman of the board for a two-year term and for only the second time in the organization’s history, his term was extended by a year. He and two other DU officers met with President George Bush in 2004 to discuss conservation and wetlands.
Mayeux has served in a myriad of capacities for local, state, national and even Canadian DU organizations. As the state chairman from 1993-94, he increased membership by 30 percent, income by 25 percent to over $2 million, and was recognized for being No. 1 among the national state DU organizations in increasing “Greenwings” (kids) membership (by 2,650) and sponsors (plus 535).
He was instrumental in development of the “MARSH” program which has greatly benefitted hunters and fishermen. He played a vital role in obtaining matching funds from the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe for wetlands restoration throughout North America.
He was the 1994 recipient of the national Conservation Award (Soil, Waters, Minerals, Forests, Wildlife) presented by the Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society. In 2010, the leadership of DU in Louisiana hosted a tribute dinner in honor of Dr. Mayeux which generated more than $450,000 in one evening for the organization, which was leveraged into over $2 million for conservation work in Canada and the United States. This included a conservation area totaling 1,400 acres dedicated in honor of Dr. Mayeux in Saskatchewan, Canada and 1,200 acre project at the Grand Cote Wildlife Area in Avoyelles Parish in his honor.
Nine men have previously been presented the Dixon Award since its inception in 2005. The first winner was Randy Gregson, a New Orleans native/resident and former president of the United States Tennis Association. In 2006 the winner was Emmanuel “Boozy” Bourgeois, president of Louisiana Special Olympics since 1972.
The 2007 recipients were Don Landry, a longtime collegiate administrator, and Doug Thornton, the executive director of the Louisiana Superdome.
In 2008, the Dixon Award went to world renowned orthopedic Dr. James Andrews, a Homer native, LSU graduate and SEC champion pole vaulter.
The 2009 recipients were George Dement, a Bossier City boxing and youth sports activist; and “Mr. Softball” Benny Turcan, a New Orleans native and long-time state ASA softball commissioner.
In 2010 the Dixon Award winner was Gerald Boudreaux, the longtime City of Lafayette recreation director best known as one of the country’s top college basketball referees in the last three decades.
Last year, the committee honored Elmo Adolph, a world-renowned boxing official, and Billy Montgomery, who as a highly-regarded state legislator championed sports causes including construction of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame museum.
Dr. Mayeux and his wife, Roseada Brouillette, make their home in Marksville.