McNeese State University is celebrating the careers and accomplishments of former rodeo coach John J. Smith and former rodeo members – and brothers – Philip and David Fournier by inducting them into the 2018 McNeese Rodeo Hall of Fame.
The induction ceremony and reception for the recipients and their families and friends will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, in the Chalkley Room at Burton Coliseum—home of the Rodeo Hall of Fame. The honorees will then be introduced that night during the 64th McNeese Rodeo at the Burton Outdoor Arena.
McNeese rodeo competes in the Southern Region of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association, the collegiate rodeo governing body headquartered in Walla Walla, Wash., which today consists of 12 regions with over 3,400 student-athletes.
Smith, of Roanoke, received his bachelor’s degree in animal science in 1969 and his master’s degree in environmental science in 1974 from McNeese. He began working on the McNeese farm as an undergraduate student and would continue his employment after graduation at McNeese, serving as farm manager, assistant professor of animal science, rodeo coach and head of the agricultural sciences department until his retirement in 2001 with 34 years of service.
He then served seven years as NIRA commissioner and was owner of Smith Agricultural and Environmental Services.
While at McNeese, he was a two-time recipient of the Fritz-Lang Professorship in Agriculture, served as NIRA national faculty president, was named honorary Future Farmers of America Chapter Farmer and received the Louisiana FFA Farmer Award. He is also a member of several professional organizations.
P. Fournier, of Raceland, is a lifetime leader, promoter and instructor of rodeo. He is an active member of the Lafourche Roping Club, a local rodeo association for area youth. He is also a member the NIRA Alumni Association.
At McNeese, P. Fournier was the 1980 Southern Region champion in bull riding, reserve champion in saddle bronc riding and the NIRA Bob Miller Memorial Rookie of the Year and the 1981 Southern Region champion in bull riding and in bareback riding, reserve champion in saddle bronc riding and a member of the region’s championship men’s team. He qualified for the 1980 and 1981 CNFR finals in bull riding, bareback riding and saddle bronc riding. In 1980, he was all-around men’s reserve champion as well as reserve champion in bull riding.
He transferred to Southeastern Oklahoma State University in 1982 where he continued to win regional championships and qualify for the CNFR finals. He also competed in the professional World National Finals Rodeo circuit in bull riding.
D. Fournier, of Raceland, is owner of the Rockin F Cattle Co. and Fournier Land and Cattle. He is also vice president of the Lafourche Roping Club.
A McNeese rodeo team member from 1982-86, D. Fournier was a three-time Southern Region all-around men’s champion and reserve champion and a two-time Southern Region champion and reserve champion in saddle bronc riding and in bull riding. He did not compete in 1983 due to an injury. He qualified for the 1986 CNFR finals in bull riding. He also was the recipient of the 1982 NIRA Bob Miller Memorial Rookie of the Year Award.
He is also the founder, owner and competitor of the Professional Bull Riders and a competitor in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association circuit, where he was 1996 reserve champion in bull riding.
The McNeese Rodeo Hall of Fame preserves the rich rodeo traditions at McNeese and houses national and regional championship trophies, plaques of Hall of Fame inductees and historic photos. There is an interactive video that provides more information about the Hall of Fame and its members, as well as the history of McNeese rodeo.
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