Louis Bonnette, McNeese State's legendary sports information director, has announced his retirement after 46 years. An event to celebrate Bonnette’s career is set for July 24. (American Press)
Last Modified: Sunday, July 01, 2012 2:56 PM
Taking over the family business from your dad?
That’ll be the easy part for Matthew Bonnette, who officially becomes McNeese State’s Sports Information Director today. His father, Louis, retired Saturday after 46 years of service to the school.
The hardest part of the job for the newest Bonnette SID will likely be his very first task — cleaning his dad’s desk.
“You can look at dad’s office and say ‘Good Lord,” Matthew said of the various stacks of papers, photos and records that Louis has kept through the years. “But he really is organized. He knows where everything is, and he probably keeps some of the best records for every sport that I’ve ever seen.”
Though his career was distinguished enough to see the football field bear his name, Louis said he thinks Matthew will do an even better job in an increasingly digital age.
“Whatever I’ve accomplished in 46 years, Matthew’s just going to come in and make better,” Louis said. “That’s a good feeling, knowing who is going to be taking your spot and he’s going to make the position a lot better than it is.
“Now when you hire a coach it seems like everybody knows within five minutes on Twitter. Coaches are doing it. ADs are doing it. Everybody’s doing it.”
Matthew will still use his father as a resource.
“I know there are going to be many times where I pick up the phone or walk over to the house and ask him questions about stuff. Obviously I’m going to need his guidance in a lot of things,” Matthew said. “Taking over a whole department is a whole lot different. You have a lot of responsibilities.”
Louis discovered that leisure can be even more taxing than work while using vacation time in his final month on the job.
“I found out this past week when I played golf in the morning, cut the yard and then went finishing about 6 in the evening, I can’t do all three of those in one day,” he said. “I’ll have to cut back.”
Though Louis is retired, Matthew knows it won’t be long before his dad is asking to do some kind of work.
“He’s excited about retiring, but come August 1, when football reports, I think that’s when it’s really going to hit him. He’ll be around,” Matthew said. “I’ll put him to work now for a change instead of me working for him all these years.”