Today’s conversation is with Ray “Smoke” Laval, Head baseball coach at the University of North Florida. I played for Smoke when he was the head coach at Louisiana-Monroe in 1998-1999. Smoke is one helluva baseball coach and a tremendous leader. We do get into a bit of storytelling, but it’s really hard not to with him. Everyone I know who knows him has their own “Smoke” stories.
We talk about his coaching career and his different stops from when he first started as a graduate assistant to being an assistant at LSU in the early 90’s. We talk about his first head coaching job at ULM and then on to LSU. He spent a couple of years as a scout and then back to the field at UNF.
We also spent a lot of time talking about the differences in today’s kids, and the struggles of being a mid-major program. Please enjoy my conversation with Smoke Laval!