Former LSU running back and New Orleans Saints broadcaster Hokie Gajan died on Monday night at age 56 after a battle with cancer, according to WWL Radio.
Gajan, a Baton Rouge, La., native, spent his entire football career in Louisiana and earned the nickname the “Bayou Bowling Ball” from quarterback Ken Stabler. At LSU, he tallied 1,563 rushing yards and was a tenth-round selection in the 1981 NFL Draft.
— LSU Football (@LSUfootball) April 12, 2016
His NFL career lasted just four seasons, but he finished with 1,358 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns, along with 515 receiving yards and two touchdown receptions. Knee injuries eventually ended Gajan’s career and he transitioned into a job in the Saints’ scouting department, where he worked for 14 years, before moving to the team’s broadcast booth in 2000.
“Hokie Gajan was a true New Orleans Saint, as a player, a valued member of our scouting staff and later as a broadcaster,” Saints owners Tom and Gayle Benson said in a statement on Tuesday. “Overall, he impacted our whole organization and had a special relationship with our fans for 36 years. We will miss Hokie dearly and our thoughts and prayers go out to Judy, their four daughters and the entire Gajan family.”
Gajan left his job in the Saints broadcast booth for the 2015 season after he was diagnosed with liposarcoma, a rare form of cancer, in the fall.