Coach C.D Baldwin
DeSoto Parish Training School Coaching Pioneer
Few men in any endeavor have brought the kind of success and good character to their endeavors as has former DeSoto Parish Training School coach and athletic director Clarence D. Baldwin. Coach Baldwin was a graduate of Grambling State University and a former football player under the tutelage of the legendary Eddie Robinson. Baldwin’s legacy to athletics is that he was a great coach, a great character builder, an uncommon man, and a role model par excellence.
Baldwin created teams of champions at DeSoto and the list of athletic greats he has coached is both long and extensive. Among them of course was the great baseball pitcher Vida Blue who was also a star quarterback for the DeSoto Tigers. Many of Baldwin’s great athletes have played college and professional sports. Even more have gone on to become successful citizens in other walks of life. All however have one thing in common… The desire to be something special, the ambition to be a winner and the spirit to succeed, all of which was embedded in them in the classroom and on the football fields and the gymnasiums.
Baldwin is one of the genuine heroes of Mansfield, DeSoto Parish, and Louisiana. He has left indelible imprints on the lives of many student athletes and has compiled a record of winning and success that is virtually unmatched in coaching circles. His winning teams gave DeSoto students a sense of pride and achievement and gave the community the feeling of being in a place where success and winning were both commonplace and expected. The great coach rarely disappointed those who had come to expect winning teams from him in either football or basketball. A stern disciplinarian and a smart tactician, he was a coach’s coach and a player’s coach.
A DeSoto Parish native, Baldwin is one of the few coaches in the history of high school football in Louisiana to win as many as three consecutive state football championships! His teams won LIALO AAA State Championships in 1956, 1957, and 1958. In 1958 against McKinley High School of Baton Rouge the Tigers scored the most lopsided victory in the history of championship games in Louisiana blasting the Baton Rouge team 58-0.
In 26 years as the DeSoto coach Baldwin won 70 per cent of his games… a total of 189 wins.
His 1963 DeSoto basketball team also won a AAA State Championship.
It was Clarence D. Baldwin who helped build DeSoto into a school of champions and who served as the architect of a winning legend that will never be forgotten in Mansfield by students, parents, and supporters of the blue and white DeSoto Tigers!