This Thursday evening, April 12, the Longview Independent School District (LISD) Foundation, Inc. will honor Pat Collins at the Lamplighter Awards Banquet by presenting him with the tenth annual Cornerstone Award. This special award is given to recognize a retired LISD employee who has been instrumental in the success of the school and in the lives of the students.
Coach Collins came to Longview High School in 2000 to coach the Lobo football team, making what he admits is “the best decision he ever made.” In 2003, he ended his coaching career to become the school’s full-time Director of Extra-Curricular Activities. During his tenure at Longview High School, Coach Collins directed a multitude of improvements, not only to the athletic facilities, but also to the academic life of students with programs such as No Pass, No Play, No Practice, showing them their academic success comes before their athletic success. He also implemented a tutorial program and mandatory drug testing to help ensure the success of each athlete. Coach Collins retired from Longview Independent School District in 2011.
“In my mind, athletics is important, but only to the extent that it aids in developing the student-athlete to his or her maximum potential as a member of society,” Coach Collins said. “This is what motivates me to serve.”
Coach Collins is a member of the Texas Football Coaches Association, the Lombardi Award selection panel, and the Louisiana Coaches Association. He is district chairman of the American Diabetes Association, serves as chairman of the Northeast Louisiana Special Olympics, and participated on the VIP panel for the United Cerebral Palsy telethon.
Originally from Shreveport, Louisiana, Coach Collins graduated from Fair Park High School in Shreveport. He obtained both his bachelor and master degrees in education from Louisiana Tech University. Coach Collins and his wife, Bonnie, have been married 52 years and have three adult children, five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Two of their children and two of their grandsons have followed in Coach Collins’ footsteps and are also coaches.
The Lamplighter Awards Banquet will be held at Pinecrest Country Club, beginning at 6:30 p.m., and will also give students an opportunity to express their genuine appreciation to educators and school staff whom they respect, admire, and will remember long after they graduate from high school.
All proceeds from this event benefit the LISD Foundation's Grants-to-Teachers Program. Since 1996, the foundation has funded 491 grants, returning more than $425,000 to LISD teachers, counselors, librarians, and nurses so that they can provide the very best education possible for their students. The foundation has also funded eleven Campus Initiative Grants to enhance programs that align with campus and district improvement plans to increase student achievement.
“My family and I can truthfully say how proud we are to have been associated with such a great community and wonderful neighbors and friends,” Coach Collins said. “I am so proud to have been selected as someone in the community who has made a difference.”