Former La Porte High School head football coaches Carroll Lundin and Forrest Wiegand, along with former trustee Pat Studdert have been named as the 2020 La Porte ISD Distinguished Alumni; Longtime newspaper editor and publisher John Black has been selected as the district’s 2020 Citizen of the Year.
Honorees are nominated at-large and chosen by a committee of community and district volunteers, who submit their selections to the Board of Trustees for approval. Distinguished alumni and citizens have typically excelled professionally and served the communities in which they live. Following are brief biographies of the 2020 honorees:
John Black is known to many residents as the longtime editor and publisher of a local newspaper and, more importantly, as someone who used his influence to champion many causes important to La Porte’s vitality.
Black, during his 20-plus years as editor and publisher of the Bayshore Sun, was the epitome of a community-minded journalist. Every edition during his tenure included numerous articles surrounding La Porte ISD – school board meetings, elections, sports, and features.
Not only did Black charge himself with keeping residents informed about city and school happenings, he was also committed to finding positive solutions to problems. He served as a La Porte City Councilman from 2008 to 2011.
For his volunteer service and contributions to various community causes, Black in 2008 received the Gus Groos Humanitarian Award from the La Porte-Bayshore Chamber of Commerce. The Texas State Teachers Association awarded him its School Bell Award in 1989 for continuous outstanding coverage of La Porte ISD.
As evidenced by his life’s work – professional and otherwise – Black possesses a strong love for public education and his community. La Porte is a better place as a result.
Carroll Lundin’s status among Texas high school football coaching greats is legendary. Humble as he is, however, Lundin is quick to credit others for his success.
In 1974, Lundin moved his family to La Porte, where he became head football coach and athletic director. During his 14 years at the helm of the Bulldogs, his teams posted 107 victories and advanced to the state playoffs eight times. He was named as the district’s Coach of the Year four times, and the Greater Houston Football Association and Texas High School Football Coaches Association subsequently inducted him into their halls of honor.
In Lundin’s own words at a Hall of Honor induction ceremony in 2010, his opportunities were only a result of support from La Porte ISD’s Board of Trustees, administration, coaches, players, their families, and fans.
His humility and resolve have earned him much deserved praise over his 45-year career in education. Carroll Lundin has also made an extraordinary impact on the lives of students and families – on and off the field – well beyond the boundaries of La Porte ISD.
When Pat Studdert first ran for La Porte ISD’s Board of Trustees in 1985, he learned that either some people did not remember his last name, or they could not pronounce it. With that, his campaign signs just said “Pat: Enthusiasm for Education.” He won and was re-elected for the next 12 years.
Studdert is the CEO of Buffalo Marine, a company his father founded in 1935, and has been recognized as an industry leader by Ernst & Young, Kauffman Foundation, USA Today, and NASDAQ. His long list of service to people is equally impressive.
Before he came to the family company full time, Studdert coached football at multiple Houston-area high schools, all of which were either being built or resurrected. His dedication to struggling programs resulted in a revival of sorts to thousands of student-athletes and their fans. Then there were his years of service to La Porte ISD as a dedicated school board member.
Studdert served this district until he had to vacate his seat when he moved to Houston. His generous support has continued since then, by providing La Porte ISD’s District Teachers of the Year thousands of dollars annually to spend as they please. Pat Studdert describes himself as authentic and enthusiastic. It could also be said that he empowers everyone who is fortunate enough to know him.
If there are families in the La Porte area that have not been touched by Forrest Wiegand, they are few and far between. If his past is any indication, there are still many people who will be positively influenced by his compassion.
During almost 50 years in La Porte ISD as a teacher, head football coach, and these days as a substitute and testing proctor, Wiegand has mentored thousands of students. He has made it his goal to elevate those around him with an aim to educate students on how to be successful in sports and life, in their career as husbands, fathers, and citizens through respecting their parents, having a fear of God, and loving their country.
Wiegand’s accomplishments are many beyond the classroom. In 2017 he was inducted into the University of Texas Hall of Honor in recognition of being the starting center on the 1969 National Champion Longhorns. He was head coach at La Porte High School for 15 years succeeding Carroll Lundin. His teams advanced to the state quarterfinals in 1993 and the state playoffs nine times. In 1993, he was a finalist for Houston Area High School Coach of the Year.
Several generations of La Portians regard Forrest Wiegand as a constant. He retired twice from La Porte ISD – first in 2003 and again in 2016. Yet he has remained here throughout because of his strong love for the La Porte community and his constant desire to make it a better place for future generations.