The SEC announced today a new set of SEC Storied documentaries that will air this September. One of them will cover the life of Bo Rein, the Ohio St and NC State sports great whose time as LSU's head football coach ended tragically before it even began.
A 2 sport star at Ohio St., Rein was an offensive leader for the 1966 CWS Champion Buckeyes, and was Ohio St's leading rusher the same year. After a short time in the minors, Rein left baseball to become an assistant coach under Lou Holtz at William and Mary, starting a career that would eventually make him the youngest head coach in college football when NC St hired him to replace Holtz in 1976. After 2 bowls and winning the ACC in 1979, Rein was hired to replace long time LSU coach Charles McClendon, but tragedy would prevent him from ever coaching a game in Baton Rouge.
On January 10 1980, just a few weeks after being hired, he left Shreveport to return to Baton Rouge after a recruiting visit and his plane was detected heading east and far off course. Pilots intercepting the plane over North Carolina could see no one in the cockpit, and the plane eventually ran out of fuel and crashed in the Atlantic. The bodies of Bo Rein and his pilot were never recovered.
Rein's tragic death is often discussed as a pivotal "what if" moment in LSU sports history. If Rein hadn't perished, would LSU football's meandering 80's and 90's have happened? With less focus and pressure, would Dale Brown's tenure as head basketball coach lasted longer or been more successful? Would Skip Bertman ever be hired to take over LSU baseball and build not only that juggernaut program, but have such an impact as athletic director to usher in LSU's Golden Age of the 2000's?
"The Bo You Don't Know" will air on Tuesday September 15th