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sweetwaterbilly
LSU Fan
Nashville
Member since Mar 2017
18538 posts

Can y’all tell me about Smoke Laval?

I grew up a Florida State fan and my LSU fandom didn’t start until 2007. Went to the LSU/Auburn football game and was hooked.

I just remember when Jay Johnson was hired they made a huge deal about Skip and Paul being there. Obviously Smoke wasn’t on their level, but I do know there was the few years between those two.

I’m guessing it was resign or be fired for Smoke? Clearly he didn’t win enough and who would want to follow Skip, but was he well liked by the fans?

Every time I see him mentioned it sounds like people weren’t a fan, but wasn’t sure if that was just because he didn’t meet expectations.


Honest Tune
LSU Fan
Louisiana
Member since Dec 2011
9344 posts

Made Omaha a few times. Skip hand picked him but he also had to fire him. Loves cheese fries.


CoyoteSong
LSU Fan
Colorado
Member since Aug 2021
1050 posts

Where there is Smoke….there is fire!!!

Average coach who took over from a legend. He was handed a loaded team and a program that recruits itself. Smoke made a few CWS but was a major disappointment. LSU was too much for him.


josh336
New Orleans Saints Fan
baton rouge
Member since Jan 2007
69872 posts

Good baseball coach, not a good promoter, recruiter, or leader. He got to omaha off his coaching ability with the back end of bertmans teams. Once those players were gone, the program and fanbase started to erode. The play on the field dropped and people stopped going to the games. Skip fired him. He wasnt happy, and tried to get lsu in trouble with the camp money stories. frick em
This post was edited on 6/1 at 9:45 pm


Morpheus
LSU Fan
In your Dreams
Member since Apr 2022
669 posts

Tough spot to be in following a legend and Smoke wasnt hated at least I don't believe. Problem was he continued with the talent who knew of LSUs success problem was each time 2 or 3 we went to Omaha was 2 and Q so the spiral was beginning and the next thing you know he was gone. Fairly painless and really didn't do anything to be remembered unless we are talking Black jerseys mane.


AtlantaLSUfan
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge and Atlanta
Member since Mar 2009
19957 posts

Smoke had an awesome personality. Everyone loved him until he became coach and we started underachieving.


Fat Bastard
Atlanta Braves Fan
Member since Mar 2009
60336 posts

0-4 in omaha

2 and a barbecue twice

his favorite quote?

" THAT'S BASEBALL"

to explain his shortcomings and underachievement
This post was edited on 6/1 at 9:52 pm


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352
TBoy@LSU
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2012
4669 posts

Did manage to be named 2003 SEC Coach of the Year,


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180
Bassmaster
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Feb 2005
130 posts

Great guy. Didn’t have enough fire
This post was edited on 6/1 at 9:50 pm


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151
RockChalkTiger
USA Fan
Double Mountain, AL
Member since May 2009
7704 posts

Skip knew baseball inside and out, and how to motivate kids, but not the best people skills. Blind loyalty to Smoke when it was obvious there were better candidates. Turned out just about like everyone expected!


BilJ
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2003
155466 posts

I don’t so much hold him failing against him…it’s him tattle tailing as he walked his fat arse out the door. frick smoke lava he tried burning the place down on his way out


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192
BilJ
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2003
155466 posts

Blind loyalty….or hiring the one guy that was fine not getting the camp money


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180
Honest Tune
LSU Fan
Louisiana
Member since Dec 2011
9344 posts

Not sure who could’ve lived up to expectations after Skip retired. Canevari never did much at SLU and Turtle wasn’t ready. Skip got his guy and the results weren’t surprising.


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30
The Boat
Duke Fan
Tim McGraw Country
Member since Oct 2008
147301 posts
 Online 

Skip and Turtle wasted too much time recruiting guys who were never going to step foot on a college campus.


josh336
New Orleans Saints Fan
baton rouge
Member since Jan 2007
69872 posts

Turtle went to arizona st and continued doing that at an impressive rate


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131
Honest Tune
LSU Fan
Louisiana
Member since Dec 2011
9344 posts

I’m sure I’ll get shite for this, and yes I realize he won it in 2001, but LSU should have thrown the checkbook (they didn’t do that back then) at Jim Morris from Miami. He was the best coach not named Skip or Augie.


shutterspeed
LSU Fan
MS Gulf Coast
Member since May 2007
53772 posts

Coasted on Skip's legacy. Pretty much a lazy Coach O hire (without the embarrassing off-field shenanigans). Had absolutely no ability to fix problems or maintain the program, and the fans had no confidence in him, which is why he was canned so quickly after "successful" seasons (like Coach O).
This post was edited on 6/1 at 10:09 pm


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82
The Boat
Duke Fan
Tim McGraw Country
Member since Oct 2008
147301 posts
 Online 

Skip's ego made him want his selection to be someone from his legacy and someone he hand picked. They actually hired Smoke before the 2001 season and he spent the whole season sitting in the dugout doing nothing. 2002 was his first year.

If Skip made it have to be a legacy hand picked hire he should have gone with Jim Wells from Alabama. I know LSU fans kind of think of Jim Wells as a joke with the way his career tailed off. But in 2001 Jim Wells had the second best baseball program in the SEC. Alabama won 50+ games in 3 out of 5 seasons leading up to 2001 and gave Skip and LSU all they could handle on a regular basis. He still had a lot of fire at that point in his career.


Adam4848
LSU Fan
LA
Member since Apr 2006
17368 posts

The worst thing Laval did was change the uniforms during 2002-2006.

Other than that recruiting was extremely top heavy year after year and while they recruited the JUCO’s at a great rate he never really developed any pitchers. Those 2006 and 2007 rosters after the mass exodus in 2005 was awful.


Honest Tune
LSU Fan
Louisiana
Member since Dec 2011
9344 posts

I started my freshman year at LSU in the fall of 2000, so very familiar with how it all played out. Truthfully there wasn’t a glaring option for anyone to replace him so Skip went with his pal. In my opinion, Skip left a few natty’s on the table as well. He was getting old for sure, but players busted their arse for him. He just let Turtle sign some big egos.


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