Dec. 12, 2010
NATCHITOCHES, La. - The Louisiana Sports Writers Association (LSWA) announced that University of Houston head softball coach Kyla Holas will be among the eight inductees who will enter the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 2011.
Holas' induction increases in importance as she becomes the first softball player to accept the prestigious award.
"I was shocked to learn that, especially when I think of all of the great softball that took place before me in this state," Holas said. "I hope that all the foundation the other great players before me and I have laid has made an impact. This award makes me feel like it has."
The 30-member LSWA committee selected the 2011 inductees, considering 138 nominees from 22 different sport categories before announcing its selections Saturday night. Holas, and the seven other members of the 2011 class, will be officially enshrined Sat., June 25, 2011 in Natchitoches, La. to culminate the June 23-25 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Celebration.
"I'm really appreciative," Holas said. "There were obviously a lot of people that had an influence on choosing this class. I'm very appreciative of them thinking of me."
Due to her award-winning performance taking place during her collegiate career, Holas will go into the Hall of Fame listed under her maiden name, Kyla Hall.
The Pasadena, Texas native was named an All-American three times, twice as a first-team selection. She was a record-setting pitcher for Louisiana-Lafayette (then Southwestern Louisiana) and led the Ragin' Cajuns to their first Women's College World Series in 1993. Her former coach Yvette Girouard called Holas a "pioneer" in state softball. Those words come from a very respected source as Girouard is now the head coach at LSU, the winningest coach in state history and an inductee into the National Fast-Pitch Softball Coaches Hall of Fame.
In her four-year collegiate career from 1991-94, Holas compiled a 104-20 record (.839) for the best career winning percentage in state history and one of the nation's top 15 all-time marks. She owns a career 0.50 ERA, including an 0.23 mark in 1992 which ranks in the NCAA's all-time top 20, while posting a 30-4 record in that year. She topped that with a 31-3 record as a senior in 1994, which also ranks in the NCAA's top 20 all-time marks.
The Cajuns had a combined 155-24 record in her final three years, and she had a win over top-ranked Arizona in the 1993 WCWS to lead the Cajuns to a third-place national finish. More than half of her career wins (56 of 104) were shutouts, and she holds school records for no-hitters (17) and perfect games (five).
Holas will join elite company when she takes part in the three-day Hall of Fame festivities that includes a Pro-Am celebrity golf scramble, a youth sports clinic and dinner at the induction ceremony, beginning June 23.
The Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame includes nine members of the Basketball Hall of Fame, six of the NBA's 50 Greatest Players, six baseball Hall of Fame inductees, 13 Pro Football Hall of Fame members, seven Women's Basketball Hall of Fame enshrines, 18 Olympic medalists (10 gold medal winners), 32 College Football Hall of Fame members, three National High School Hall of Fame enshrines, jockeys with a combined 12 Triple Crown victories, six world boxing champions, three College Baseball Hall of Fame inductees, three NBA Finals MVPs and two Super Bowl MVPs.
Aside from Holas, the class of 2011 consists of New Orleans Saints stars Morten Andersen, Vaughn Johnson and Buford Jordan, LSU All-American and 12-year major league baseball infielder Todd Walker, NBA standout Donald "Slick" Watts, high school football coaching great Don Shows and innovative LSU athletic director Thomas P. "Skipper" Heard.
Entering her 11th year as the head softball coach of a program she created at the University of Houston, Holas hopes recognitions such as this one will send a positive message to her players.
"I hope that the things that I did when I played pay off for them the way they have for me," Holas said. "I was really lucky to play for a great coach who is very well respected. I do hope that they see when you play the game the right way, then good things will happen."