Like most former collegiate and professional athletes, Patrick Coogan, president and CEO of SportsBR, likes talking about food and where to eat a good meal.
When he’s not busy running SportsBR, a nonprofit that hosts sporting events and activities in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, he’ll quickly point you to some of his personal favorite places to eat like Ruffino’s Restaurant, an Italian-Creole fusion steakhouse where he suggests getting a fillet with the crawfish topping or their gourmet corn dog. His other suggestions: Walk-On’s Bistreaux and Bar for its stuffed shrimp and cheese fries, Phil’s Oyster Bar for the garlic-and-butter oysters and Sammy’s Grill, a sports bar known for its boiled crawfish.
After sharing a personal story about going to a crawfish boil in Dallas where the pile started moving because it wasn’t cooked well enough, he gives me some advice: “If you’re outside of Louisiana, don’t order the crawfish.”
Playing for a LSU Legend
The former Louisiana State University starting pitcher knows the Bayou State—and baseball—well.
Coogan grew up here. He pitched for Skip Bertman, the legendary head baseball coach who transformed LSU into five-time college world series champions during his stint from 1984-2001.
Coogan’s parents were one of the original ticket holders when Bertman began. “He got the community loving baseball,” Coogan says. “From that point on, I wanted to play at LSU and be a Tiger.”
Coogan was on the mound in 1996 College World Series when he gave up the go-ahead run in the College World Series, saved by his teammate, future Olympian and MLB journeyman, Warren Morris, who hit a two-out, 9th inning walk-off home run to win help the Tigers win.
A year later, Coogan and LSU won again. He posted a 14-3 record, 4.46 ERA with 144 strikeouts in 125 innings to become a 1997 All-American and Athletic Director’s Academic Cup Winner.