Legendary Louisiana Basketball Coach Turns To Politics, Eyes Run For State Senate
The winningest college basketball coach in Louisiana history is adding a new field to his resume: Politics.
Mike McConathy, longtime head basketball coach at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, is building a new kind of team now, focused on taking this one to Baton Rouge to represent Senate District 31.
Talking to the USA Today Network, McConathy says he's out in the community getting feedback on a potential run.
McConathy, 66, a Republican who lives in Natchitoches, confirmed he will be a likely candidate for the newly-configured, sprawling 10-parish District 31 seat that touches much of northwestern and central Louisiana.
"I'm already working and talking with people and traveling across the district to get a feel for the reception of my potential campaign," McConathy said in an interview with USA Today Network.
"I have a concern and a compassion for people," McConathy said. "I recently read something about serving, and I believe in the impact of service through leadership.
"When you're geared that way you're always seeking opportunities where you can elevate your service, and I think that's possible with this office when I make a final commitment to run."
McConathy spent 39 seasons coaching college basketball, earning 682 victories along the way and making him the winningest college basketball coach in Louisiana history. Of those 39 seasons, 16 were at Bossier Parish Community College and the last 23 with Northwestern State University, where he retired this past spring.
The decision to run would put McConathy, who is running as a Republican, up against a staunch conservative in House Rep. Alan Seabaugh.
Seabaugh has served in the legislature since 2010, but is term-limited. He has been an outspoken critic of current Governor John Bel Edwards and has frequently pushed for hardline conservative policies in the legislature, even bucking Republican leadership at times.
District 31 is a sprawling, 10-parish district that includes the Shreveport-Bossier area and Natchitoches, where McConathy is well known as a coach.