BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Governor John Bel Edwards announces the passing of former First Gentleman Raymond Blanco at the age of 87.

Raymond “Coach” Blanco was the husband of former Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco. Coach was the first Gentleman of Louisiana and also worked as an administrator and football coach.

Read Gov. Edwards’ statement below.

Some people make a lasting impression from the moment you meet them. Coach was one of those people. The son of immigrants and a devout Catholic, Coach believed in social justice and educational opportunities for all, passions he shared with his late wife Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco. He was Louisiana’s first, and so far only, ‘First Gentleman,’ but he’d be the first to tell you that he won’t be the last. A legend in his own right, Coach led countless teams to victory before moving to an administrative role at his beloved University of Louisiana at Lafayette. His love for this state and devotion to his wife and family were effervescent. I will forever cherish his quick wit and sage counsel – as well as his recipe for the perfect Old Fashioned.

While this is a great loss for our state, we can be comforted in knowing that Coach is once again reunited with his best friend and soulmate, as well as their son Ben.

Donna and I ask that you join us in praying for their children and family during this difficult time.

Governor John Bel Edwards