Legendary St. Augustine coach Otis Washington dies

NEW ORLEANS - Otis "Coach Wash" Washington the most successful coach in the history of St. Augustine football and an icon throughout the state of Louisiana, passed away this morning.

Washington coached 11 years at St. Augustine High School from 1969 to 1979, accumulating a career record of 113-17-1 and guiding the Purple Knights to 11 consecutive winning seasons, seven district titles and three state championships.

Washington was named New Orleans States-Item Coach Of The Year in 1970 and honored with the Louisiana Sportswriters Association Coach Of The Year award in 1972.

In 2015 he was inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall Of Fame.

"On behalf of the entire St. Augustine High School community, we offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Otis Washington, whose legend and legacy have touched generations of Purple Knights," St. Augustine High School president and CEO Dr. Kenneth St. Charles said. "He was a passionate, innovative leader who helped establish the standard for St. Augustine athletics. Coach Wash shaped St. Augustine football into a program that reflects his dedication to discipline, teamwork, scholarship, and excellence both on and off the field. We celebrate his lifetime of accomplishment and his unwavering commitment to St. Augustine.”

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell also expressed her sadness at Washington's passing.

"New Orleans has lost a leader and a legend with the passing of Coach Otis Washington," Cantrell said. "My prayers and my heart go out to his family, to his friends, and to the St. Augustine community. Coach Washington was a leader on the field and off of it, and he taught generations of players what it meant to have discipline and to achieve excellence. May he rest in God’s perfect peace."

Coach Washington was 80 years old.

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