These days, Hahnville High principal Brian Lumar spends his time finding ways to spur his school to continuous improvement and success, and ultimately helping his students reach their dreams.
But for players who opposed him during his time playing basketball for Loyola University-New Orleans, Lumar was a nothing short of a nightmare.
He established himself as one of the very best to take the court at the school, and those talents were spotlighted when he became the youngest Loyola alumnus to ever have his number retired and to be enshrined in the school’s Hall of Fame in 2001.
Lumar became a two-time inductee to the Loyola Hall earlier this year, this time entering alongside his teammates and coaches on the 1994-95 men’s basketball team, the Southwestern Regional Champion that year, which was honored as one of the school’s all-time great teams. Loyola recognized Lumar and his Teammates during the basketball game and at an elaborate Hall of Fame Ceremony and Reception.
The 94-95 Wolfpack exceeded all expectations as a true underdog- the Loyola basketball program had just been re-established after the cancellation of school athletics in 1971 and did not boast the scholarship athletes and experienced players of their opposition.
But there was talent hidden there, and it became quite apparent early on. The Wolfpack scored an early upset over Spring Hill, then ranked fourth in NAIA Division I.
The Wolfpack turned even more heads, as it turned out, in a loss, playing Iowa State, then Division I’s No. 15 ranked team in the country, tough in a competitive game.
It foretold what would be a dream season for the school, earning a top seed in the Southwestern Conference’s Regional Tournament and going on to win it, clinching a berth in the NAIA national tournament in the process. Lumar earned status as an Academic All-American that season.
A do-it-all forward, Lumar finished his collegiate career as Loyola’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder, tallying over 1,800 points and over 1,000 rebounds.
Following his time at Loyola, Lumar entered the prep coaching ranks, first earning an assistant coaching job at his alma mater Shaw and helping to guide the Eagles to two boys basketball state championships.
He aspired to be a head coach, however, and he grabbed hold of that opportunity at Hahnville, where he guided the boys basketball program to a unprecedented success, culminating with finishes as a state finalist in 2003 and 2009.
But following that success, he determined he could better serve young people in the classroom. He returned to school to earn his masters in educational leadership, setting him upon the path that would eventually make him HHS principal.
“Lumar finished his collegiate career as Loyola’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder.”
“It certainly feels amazing to have been inducted for the second time,” Lumar said. “We had a great group of guys that worked together giving a tremendous amount of effort and always was mentally tough. Our motto was ‘ Play Hard, Play Smart and Play together.”
The team’s on-court accolades were coupled with strong academic work in the classroom, something the educator remains especially proud of to this day.
“I am most proud of that fact that our entire basketball team had a higher grade point average than the entire university,” said Lumar, who graduated from Loyola with a 3.45 GPA. “We were truly student athletes that worked extremely hard in and out of the classroom.”