A Tiger Gives Back
Joe is from Bogalusa, Louisiana and first found an interest in athletic training at his high school while working under “Buck” Jordan. Joe also played baseball in high school. It was his coach who recommended Joe to Mel Didier who suggested Joe meet with Dr. Marty Broussard about working in the Athletic Training Room as an Athletic Trainging Student.
Joe was accepted into LSU for the 1968-69 school year. His dream was to follow in the footsteps of his athletic training mentor, Mr. "Buck" Jordan, who is now a member of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. Joe’s favorite sports to work were baseball and football, however it was not long until his plans soon changed. Joe also enjoyed playing baseball and while playing at a tournament in Pontchatoula the summer of 1970, his coach Jim Smith asked him to try out for the LSU Baseball team. Playing on the LSU Baseball team meant he would have to give up athletic training and his scholarship. With a reluctant blessing from Doc Broussard, Joe ended up playing baseball in 1971 and 1972 and served as both player and athletic trainer when they traveled. Joe injured his wrist during the season, but recalls being very pleased by how helpful “Doc” Broussard was throughout the rehabilitation process.
Today, Joe Melancon works at Lee Finance Company in Franklinton, LA which is a family owned business. Because Joe did not come from a wealthy background, he knew and appreciated the worth of a dollar and how much a little extra money can help while being an athletic trainer. Mr. Joe Melancon has been gracious enough to donate a generous amount of money to our program and our athletic training students. He recently donated his first installment and has pledged to donate an additional $2500 each year for the next 4 years. Mr. Melancon has made a donation to the Athletic Training Special Assistance Fund which is used to help our students and GAs get through these challenging financial times.
|Dr. Joe Serio and John Purdy|
Another recent donor to our Special Assistance Fund is former Head Athletic Trainer, Mr. John Purdy. Mr. Purdy worked as a Graduate Assistant Athletic Trainer at LSU from 1978-80, then as an assistant Athletic Trainer from 1980-88. He he was promoted to Head Athletic Trainer for LSU and served with Football from 1988-96. In 19976 he became the Head Athletic Trainer for LSU Men’s Basketball and served in that capacity until 1998. After a distinguished career at LSU, Mr. Purdy moved to Tennessee to work for the Vanderbilt Orthopedic Institute. After many years, John returned to LSU's Tiger Stadium this season to route on the Tigers as they took on Mississippi State University.
We are so thankful to Mr. Joe Melancon and Mr. John Purdy for their continued support of the Athletic Training profession and for our program!