In 1983, Kevin Foote, a junior in high school got his first opportunity to work as a sports writer through a part time job at The Daily Advertiser in Lafayette, Louisiana.
Joining a professional newspaper at such a young age came with one condition from then sports editor Bruce Brown: he would take Foote on if he promised to graduate college.
He took the job, kept his promise by graduating from USL and became a recognizable figure for sports fans in the Acadiana area.
Foote covered both high school and UL Lafayette athletics at The Daily Advertiser. He covered a wide arrange of sports ranging from prep football in the fall to Ragin’ Cajuns baseball in the spring for over 35 years before leaving to join The Acadiana Advocate in 2019.
“There’s not too many guys who can be in the same city, be a reporter for 37 years and, at the age of 53, have a new experience like this,” Foote said. “It was tough. I had been at the Advertiser for almost 36 years. I would have never even considered moving. I’ve lived here my entire life.”
Staying in the Acadiana area was essential for Foote, and he said his departure from The Daily Advertiser was a unique opportunity: he would still get to cover the same local teams for the same audience in his hometown.
“It was totally crucial,” Foote said. “A lot of professions, you have to move to get a change. I was able to get a change without moving. It didn’t change anything, really.”
However, one major change Foote experienced was being a journalist before the growth of technology and online media coverage. When relating it to sports journalism, he discussed how the internet has changed the way he writes stories.
“Everything’s at your fingertips now,” Foote said. “Back then, when you found a cool fact for a story, it was more of an accomplishment. Now you can just punch it in, and the cool fact is there, so it’s kind of a little different now.”
Foote committed himself to providing the Acadiana area with the same coverage, adapting and utilizing the new options that technology provided to enhance his reach among the community.
Tim Buckley, the reporter for the Ragin’ Cajuns at The Daily Advertiser, worked with Foote for eight years, learning about how proficient he was with local sports information.
“In journalism, it’s called institutional knowledge,” Buckley said. “He knows pretty much everything and anything about Acadiana sports. He’s basically a walking encyclopedia of local sports. It’s something that’s a dying breed, and something that every community needs and Kevin is able to provide that.”
Foot (left) and Buckley (right) interviewing UL Lafayette Head Baseball Coach Matt Deggs (center) in a post-game press conference.
Buckley praised Foote’s passionate yet professional coverage that has stayed consistent with his work for decades.
“Kevin, at his heart, is a fan who has figured out how to balance his fandom with being a professional journalist, and not everyone can pull that out,” Buckley said. “The ones who can are really fun because their passion comes through in their work, and it’s an approach that certainly works for him.”
“Kevin, for around eight years or so very quickly was not just a co-worker, but a really good friend. I’ve got a ton of respect both for his work, and just as importantly, as a person. He’s what you call good people.”
Despite the change in scenery and evolution of how media is transmitted, Foote will continue to entertain readers of the Acadiana sports section with the same coverage he has provided for decades.