Smoke Laval

From BR Bullpen

Raymond Laval


Raymond "Smoke" Laval began his coaching career shortly after his days playing catcher for Jacksonville came to an end. In 1977 Laval was named an assistant coach with the Dolphins. He would spend the 1978 season coaching a high school team before returning to the college assistant coach ranks for the next sixteen years. He would spend that time with LSU (1979, 1984-1993), Gulf Coast Community College (1980-1981) and Florida (1982-1983). In 1994 Laval got his first chance as a Head Coach. He took over at the University of Louisiana at Monroe and would lead the team to three Southland Conference titles during his seven years with the school. In 2001 he left Monroe to take an administrative role with LSU. This was done as preparation for Skip Bertman's retirement after the season. As planned Laval took over the team following Bertman's departure. He would lead the team for 5 years and bring them to two College World Series appearances and NCAA tournament appearances in all but his final season. After leaving the college ranks he has become a scouting advisor for the Toronto Blue Jays. In 2011 Laval replaced longtime coach Jack "Dusty" Rhodes as head coach at the University of North Florida. He went 237-160, including 45 wins in 2015, but was fired following the 2017 season.