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Paul Dietzel Interview (2009)



Genre: Interview

Place Covered: Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana

Copyright Holder: Louisiana Educational Television Authority

Date Issued: 2009-07-30

Duration: 01:06:04

Subjects: Dietzel, Paul F. | Football coaches | Sports | College sports | McClendon, Charles, 1923-2001 | CANNON, BILLY | Taylor, Jim, 1935- | Middleton, Troy H. (Troy Houston), 1889-1976 | Long, Russell B. | SABAN, NICK | Miles, Les | Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge, La.) | LSU Tigers (Football team)


  • Laudun, Tika Interviewer
  • Dietzel, Paul Interviewee


An extended interview with Paul Dietzel conducted on July 30, 2009, for the documentary “Forever LSU.” Dietzel served as the head football coach at Louisiana State University from 1955-1961. He discusses: his friendship with Charles McClendon; accepting his first head coaching job at LSU; the origins of the Chinese bandits defensive unit on the 1958 team; Billy Cannon’s famous punt return run in the 1959 game against Ole Miss; the athleticism of Billy Cannon and Jimmy Taylor; his first assistant coaching job at West Point; his decision to return to Army as the head coach for the 1962 season; coaching his last game at LSU against Colorado in the 1962 Orange Bowl; LSU President Troy H. Middleton, a Lieutenant General in World War II, encouraging him to take the job at Army; Senator Russell Long criticizing Army for stealing LSU’s football coach on the floor of the United States Senate; coaching his first game against LSU as the head coach of the University of South Carolina; returning to Baton Rouge in 2003; his impression of former LSU Coach Nick Saban; his admiration of LSU Coach Les Miles; LSU fans; and his coaching philosophy.