By Kevin Shannahan
The Northwestern State University Community was joined by sports figures from all over who came to campus Friday, July 12 to “roast” retiring Sports Information Director Doug Ireland who will be leaving, at least formally, his beloved Demons after a 30 year career at the university. Over 360 friends, family and well wishers filled the student ballroom to capacity for a lighthearted evening of fun at Doug’s expense.
Father Brian Seiler who served as the media representative for women’s soccer and tennis from 2005-2009 before leaving the Demon sports family family for seminary, opened the event with one of the funnier invocations ever delivered. Louisiana sports writing legend Teddy Allen served as the evening’s emcee, keeping the mood light with a never ending supply of zingers as several colleagues, former players and, above all, friends told stories from Ireland’s childhood and 30 year career in Demon sports. Even President Trump (admittedly looking suspiciously like Jerry Pierce in a wig and hat) made a video appearance. NSU football coach Brad Laird related how a then new sports information director salvaged a rather inauspicious quarter in his first game as a college quarterback in which he threw 3 interceptions by making the performance sound a whole lot better than the facts warranted.
It is easy to see from the obvious respect and affection shown by everyone at his retirement roast that in addition to doing well in his time at NSU, he did a considerable amount of good. The Natchitoches Parish Journal wishes Doug Ireland all the best in his well earned retirement.