Longtime Barbe coach Castillo dies

Longtime Barbe basketball coach David Castillo, who led the Bucs program for 18 seasons, passed away Saturday. According to a pair of local coaches, his impact on lives went far beyond the boundaries of a basketball court.

According to a Baton Rouge newspaper, Castillo died at age 61 after a short illness.

Barbe baseball coach Glenn Cecchini, who got his start in coaching assisting Castillo in hoops, said Castillo’s impact on his was greater off the floor. He and Castillo remained close friends after Castillo left Barbe to coach at schools in the New Iberia and Baton Rouge areas.

“He was a great Christian, a great man, a shining example,” Cecchini said. “He impacted others and led by example.”

Cecchini and wife Raissa started their coaching careers under Castillo in 1986-87.

“I will always be grateful,” Glenn Cecchini said. “Us being his assistant in basketball opened the door for me to coach baseball at Barbe. He was great with the Xs and Os. He was always very prepared and left no stone unturned. He was a great defensive coach. He loved coaching, it meant the world to him. He was thorough and tough on the kids, but he loved them. He was a demanding coach, but in a good way. From him I learned about preparedness, attention to details and how to adapt and adjust to each team.”

Cecchini said Castillo’s on-court accomplishments, which include leading Barbe to their first state tournament appearance, don’t tell the whole story.

“His biggest legacy will be that he really impacted so many lives,” Cecchini said. “Not by telling people how to live, but by being an example. Every morning you could see him highlighting passages in his Bible. He was a pure man, he did not drink or smoke.”

The two traveled the country together, visiting historic sports venues such as Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium.

“He loved watching sports and always enjoyed an adventure,” Cecchini said. “We traveled the country together. He was proud of his Louisiana ties. He graduated from LSU, as did his dad and grandfather. He always got on me because he said I didn’t love LSU enough. For the first time in my life, I am going to wear a purple shirt to a funeral.”

Current Vinton head coach Keith Kelley was another longtime friend. Kelley said Castillo usually left him laughing. “He was one of those guys you liked being around,” Kelley said. “He was always smiling and cracking jokes. I can be a serious person, but he always brought out the best in me. He always found a way to get me laughing and cutting up. He made you forget about the serious part of life.”

Kelley said he saw Castillo change over the years, with his competitive spirit taking a back seat to more important aspects of life.

“We went on a few overseas missions together, that is when I really got to know him and our close friendship started,” Kelley said.

“Over time, you could see a transition in his life. He never lost that competitive spirit, but he started to prioritize better. Family, friends, relationships with players became more important. I watched him evolve as a man. Sometimes us older coaches can get stuck in our ways but I saw him become a better man. That showed me that I can change. It had a big impact on me.”””David Castillo

Crime

Sulphur High student arrested after threat made

Crime

Sheriff: Escapee shot after firing at officers

Local News

Governor optimistic about federal hurricane aid for SW La.

Local News

Eastbound lane of I-10 bridge remains closed after fiery crash

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column:Finally, a feel-good movie

Business News

$21M rice mill should be complete by next harvest

Crime

Three more linked to Oakdale bar shooting

Local News

State confirms seventh pediatric death from COVID-19 in fourth surge

Local Business News

Jeff Davis hoping to join program designed to attract business

Local Business News

EMS Academy looking for ‘right people in right spots’

Local Business News

Four state amendments await voters Nov. 13

Local Business News

George Swift column: Recovery, rebuilding after storms

Local Business News

Names in the News: People making a difference in the Lake Area

Local News

Breaux has honed some serious culinary skills since his Crock-pot days

Local News

Cemetery Association asking for help with hurricane-damaged graves

Crime Brief

Fort Polk soldiers charged in DeRidder drive-by shooting

Crime Brief

Lake Arthur man loses hunting privileges

Local News

Higgins says he will vote against raising debt limit

Local News

Field of education plays major role in Broussard household

Local News

Driver, passenger killed in collision with 18-wheeler

Local News

Colo. man struck, killed in Calcasieu

Local News

The Last Island Hurricane of 1856: Killer storm wiped out a pre-Civil War resort island

Local News

Volunteer of Week: Stanford dedicates life to city

Local News

Slow rebuild: Local officials say recovery still a ways off