Greco, Kilbride, Kinsley, Ritchie join Rummel Hall of Fame
Formidable, totally encompassing, accomplished and deserving.
Those are words to describe the 23rd induction class for the Archbishop Rummel Athletic Hall of Fame which was introduced Thursday night at the Metairie school.
Former athletic director Phil Greco, former Raider football and baseball star Earl Kilbride, former Rummel basketball star Fred Kinsley and former Rummel state champion wrestler Pat Ritchie received much deserved honors.
While his illustrious career included coaching East St. John to the Class AAAA state championship in 1980, along with assistant coaching stints at Nicholls High, De La Salle and Archbishop Shaw on the high School level and at Tulane, Northeast Louisiana, Nicholls and Southern Mississippi on the college level, it was his 24 years at Rummel that Greco cherishes the most.
With Greco at the helm, Rummel won seven state championships, including a pair in both football and bowling, along with one each in wrestling, cross country and baseball. Rummel had 11 runner-up finishes in Greco’s regime as well. It was Greco who started the Rummel Hall of Fame in 1997.
“Rummel is a very, very special place,” Greco said. “We had a son who was going to be in the ninth grade. When I was at Southern Miss and I was coming to Tulane, all the schools told me to send our son there. I told my wife that there was only one place we would send our son and that was Rummel. I’ve been to every school. I’ve recruited every school. This was the best place for him.”
Greco feels that his journey to Rummel was divinely inspired.
“How I got to Rummel was really God’s work,” Greco said. “I worked at eight different schools for 24 years, four different high schools and four different colleges. I had offers. I saw that Rummel was looking for an athletic director. I went to the interview. Brother Gale Condit headed up the interview. I met the principal. It was something that hit me that this was where I was supposed to be. It had to be the hand of God in it, there is no doubt in my mind. This was the place for me. I never even looked at another job once I got here.”
A three-sport star, Kilbride (class of 1988) was a prominent member of the 1987 Rummel baseball Class 4A state championship team and was an all-metro player in football, setting the all-time single season record for interceptions. Kilbride won the prestigious “Rufus” award as a senior at Rummel in 1988.
“We won a state championship and won a state championship in legion,” Kilbride said. “Rummel offered an education like no other. None of these things are the reason we are here tonight. Rummel was way more than that. I was in the second eighth-grade class at Rummel. I’m very appreciative of my time here. Once I got here, I loved it. We made a lot of mistakes, we learned a lot of lessons, we built a lot of relationships. If I had it to do it all over again, I would probably do it the same way.”
Part of the “Fab Five” of Barry Barocco, Wade Blundell, Dean Carpenter and Jim Pittman, Kinsley (’78) joins his former teammates in the Hall of Fame who went unbeaten (34-0) and won the Class 4A state championship in 1978. Kinsley was also a prominent player on the 1977 state championship team, and Donnie Schneider, another Hall of Fame inductee, was in attendance along with Barocco, Blundell and Pittman. Those two teams won 49 consecutive games. Kinsley also lettered in golf and track and field.
“It is great being on these grounds again, this is a special place for me,” Kinsley said. “When Jay Roth gave me the news, I was taken back, I was shocked. It’s a phone call I won’t forget. I always knew I wanted to be a Raider. It’s a special place and it was a special four years. I want to thank Coach Jim Robarts. When I sit back and look at my accomplishments as a grown man, father and husband, it all started with Rummel. The idea of hard work scares people today. The idea of competition scares people. He was fair, he was hard, he was tough. He knew what we were made of and were capable of doing.”
One of the great wrestlers in school history, Ritchie (’97) became only the second grappler in school history to win multiple state championships and joins his former teammate Chad Boudreaux as the only wrestlers in the Hall of Fame. Ritchie runs the Scorpion Wrestling program at Archbishop Rummel.
“I can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens me,” Ritchie said. “I consistently repeated this Bible verse throughout my wrestling career to remind me that I’m never alone. It inspired me to overcome my nerves before my matches. I was successful in wrestling because of hard work, heart and grit. I owe a debt to the start and all those who went through it with me, a debt that has no monetary value. The only way to repay that debt is to pass it on to the next generation.”
Greco, who received an honorary degree from Rummel earlier this year, summed up the night’s emotions best.
“I have always been extremely proud to wear my Rummel shirt,” Greco said. “Don’t let anybody ever tell me we’re not as good as this school or that school. That is not true. I am very proud of this school. In 24 years as the athletic director, I have been really blessed to have good people around me, blessed to have good coaches and good kids and blessed to be part of this awesome, awesome school and program.”
2018 Archbishop Rummel Hall of Fame bios
Already a successful football coach and administrator before he arrived at Archbishop Rummel in 1994, Phil Greco served as athletic director for 24 seasons before his retirement this spring. After receiving an honorary degree from Rummel earlier this year, he will be honored again by the school with his induction into the Rummel Athletic Hall of Fame. Less than a year after his arrival on Severn Avenue, Greco hired former Rummel quarterback Jay Roth as head football coach, and since then, the Raiders have won two state titles, reached two other state championship games and captured 12 district titles on the gridiron. The success under Greco’s leadership was not limited to football; in other sports, Rummel teams won five state championships, finished as state runner-up 11 times and captured three regional and 21 district titles. Even in retirement, Greco remains a regular visitor to Rummel athletic events and serves as an analyst on Raider football broadcasts.
Earl Kilbride, M.D. ’88
Three decades after winning the Rufus Award as a senior at Archbishop Rummel, Earl Kilbride claims an even bigger honor – induction into the Rummel Athletic Hall of Fame. Kilbride competed in three sports at Rummel: football, baseball and track and field. In 1987, Kilbride was an all-district, all-metro and honorable mention all-state selection in football as he set the school’s single-season record for interceptions. In baseball, Kilbride was a part of the Raiders’ 1987 state championship team and earned all-East Bank honors as a junior and senior. After attending the LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans, Kilbride has gone on to a career as an orthopedic surgeon, specializing in arthroscopy, sports medicine and joint reconstruction. Kilbride, his wife Renee and their three children reside in Austin, Texas.
Fred Kinsley ’78
A starting guard on Archbishop Rummel’s undefeated 1977-78 state champions, Fred Kinsley joins his former teammates Barry Barocco, Wade Blundell, Dean Carpenter and Jim Pittman in the Rummel Athletic Hall of Fame. Kinsley lettered in three sports: basketball, golf and track and field. In 1978, he earned honorable mention all-district honors in basketball and was named to the Catholic League’s all-defensive team as the Raiders successfully defended their 1977 Class AAAA state title by going 34-0. Kinsley and his senior teammates ended their careers on a 49-game winning streak. Kinsley has worked in the automotive industry for the last 35 years. He, his wife Patti and their three sons reside in Baton Rouge.
Pat Ritchie ’97
Ritchie, only the second wrestler in Archbishop Rummel history to win multiple state championships, becomes the second former wrestler to enter the Rummel Athletic Hall of Fame – joining his former teammate and classmate, Chad Boudreaux. As a junior in 1996, Ritchie won the state title in the 103-pound weight class, and a year later, he moved up to 119 pounds and claimed his second title. The second title capped a senior year in which Ritchie won the city championship and earned outstanding wrestler honors at the Lee High Invitational. Led by the individual titles of Ritchie and Boudreaux, Rummel finished fourth in the state Division I tournament in 1996 and third in 1997. Ritchie is now an ecologist. He, his wife Jessica and their two children live in Metairie.
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