|Posted on September 9, 2012 at 9:50 PM|
Article courtesy of aausports.org.
Louis Stout, president of the national Amateur Athletic Union and one of America’s most prominent leaders in the sports world, died early this morning at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky.Stout, 73, widely credited with asserting strong and decisive leadership to adopt new policies that better protect hundreds of thousands of AAU youth athletes from any type of abuse, has been highly regarded for decades as one of the sporting world’s leading administrators, educators and coaches. During a distinguished career that dates back to the early 1960’s, Stout championed positive ideals and goals for thousands of young people.
“In our greatest hour of need, Louis demonstrated the vision and determination to positively change the AAU culture into a higher level of safety and protection,” said Henry Forrest, AAU acting president, of Stout, who was just 30 days from retirement from the AAU board when he assumed the role of president. “He will be forever remembered as the architect who established the highest standards for safety and protection at AAU and for ensuring our program’s continued success.”
Stout took the helm of the organization following allegations of sexual abuse of children dating back nearly 30 years ago — leveled against the AAU’s longtime former president.
Stout’s leadership resulted in a range of measures the AAU has implemented to protect its athletes, including detailed background checks required for all adults involved in AAU activities; clear policies and procedures designed to ensure that young athletes are never left alone with individual adults; and the requirement that all AAU volunteers and staff report any incidents of suspected child abuse to law enforcement and to officials of the AAU and related sports clubs. Strong new training programs about preventing sexual abuse for athletes, parents, coaches and volunteers are also part of Stout’s significant legacy.
“In many ways Mr. Stout is an historic figure,” said Lauren Book, founder of the non-profit organization Lauren’s Kids and an advisor who helped the organization develop its new safeguards. “I greatly admire the courage and resolve he displayed in establishing new benchmarks for the security and protection of young athletes.”
“The entire ESPN Wide World of Sports organization is deeply saddened by the passing of Louis Stout and wish to express our condolences to both Lou’s family and the AAU family,” said Ken Potrock, Senior VP/Global Sports Enterprises for Disney Sports. ”He was an exceptional man, one committed to the sporting youth of America. His passion for the Amateur Athletic Union will be greatly missed but his vision will undoubtedly carry forward.”
Louis Stout was born in Cynthiana, Kentucky, on May 17, 1939. His sports journey began at the Banneker School in Cynthiana, where as a sixth-grader he made the varsity basketball team. When Banneker closed its doors, he enrolled at Cynthiana High, earning all-state recognition three times. As a senior, he averaged nearly 31 points and 25 rebounds, numbers impressive enough to garner him All-American honors, and a college scholarship. He played at Regis College for Cynthiana native and later University of Kentucky coach Joe B. Hall.
After graduating, Stout spent a brief period teaching in Colorado before getting the call to replace the legendary S.T. Roach as head basketball coach at Dunbar High in Lexington, Kentucky. When Dunbar High was closed due to consolidation, Stout moved to Tates Creek High in Lexington, first as an assistant, then as head coach.
In 1971, Stout became an assistant commissioner for the Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA), working in that capacity for 23 years under four different commissioners. In 1994, he was named commissioner of the KHSAA, becoming the first African-American to head a state high school athletic association in the country. Stout also officiated softball, baseball and college basketball, earning the reputation as a superb referee and umpire.
Louis Stout was inducted into the 11th Region Basketball Hall of Fame, Kentucky Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame, AAU Softball Umpire Hall of Fame, AAU Hall of Fame, and the Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) Hall of Fame.
“Louis will be remembered for his great warmth, humility and optimism,” said Ron Crawford, AAU national treasurer. “He made a lasting impression on everyone he met, as well as on the lives of the thousands of athletes who play under the AAU banner.”
“Mr. Stout often said that having the opportunity to positively impact young people’s lives was a far greater reward than winning a game, trophy or ribbon,” said James Parker, AAU director of operations. “That gold-medal approach to life will be his enduring legacy.”
Stout is survived by his wife of 51 years, Anna, a son, Juan, and two grandchildren, Louis Stout II and Calvin Em’re Cooks.
Funeral arrangements are pending.