Wolfpack baseball player Luis Anguizola was just drafted by the San Diego Padres in the MLB draft. This isn’t the first time a Loyola student has gone on to an illustrious athletics career, and one surprising example from the archives comes from a sport that just keeps coming back to campus.
Rumblings of a Karate Club at Loyola began as early as 1964, but it wasn’t until 1969 that the club took on full force. Ferdinand Bigard, a junior journalism major and black belt in karate, began offering free instructional classes for all students.
Unfortunately, once Bigard graduated, the program was in danger of being cancelled. Karate Club was allowed to continue only if student fees would not be used to pay Bigard as an instructor. The Karate Club prevailed and not long afterward, the Loyola club won 2nd place in a regional Karate tournament:
But whatever happened to Bigard? According to their official Facebook page, Bigard founded the Official Kuro Bushi Kai Karate Do Kempo International club in 1972, and in 1989 he was inducted into the International Karate & Kickboxing Hall of Fame. He passed away in 2003, and his Times-Picayune obituary (Loyola login required) also notes his accomplishments as co-founder and teacher of many local and regional Karate associations and clubs, flag boy of the Young Cheyenne Mardi Gras Indians (Bigard’s father, Frederick Sr., was Big Chief of the Cheyenne Mardi Gras Indians and a noted Mardi Gras Indian costume designer and maker), founder of the New Orleans Mardi Gras Indians Performance Troupe, member of the Congo Square Drummers for Life and board member of the Umoja Institute.
Congratulations to Luis Anguizola, who follows in the footsteps of many great Loyola Athletics stars such as Ferdinand Bigard .
Found in the Archives is a recurring series of crazy cool stuff found in the Monroe Library’s Special Collections & Archives.