The New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans mourn the loss of their longtime statistician, Gayle Letulle, who passed away after a battle with cancer Tuesday, Jan. 18 at the age of 74.
Letulle, who served as a tax attorney for several companies for his full-time occupation, enjoyed a career of unmatched tenure and service with the Saints on gameday as the only member of the statistical crew who worked in his capacity from the franchise's first season in 1967 through the 2021 campaign. Beginning with the franchise's start, Letulle would primarily be responsible for documenting offensively what would happen on the field during a preseason, regular season or playoff game. Eventually with technological changes, Letulle's meticulous notes of offensive statistics on every play would be transferred by another Saints stat crew member to a computer, eventually uploaded to an NFL website. For 55 seasons, Letulle's information would be essential and it would be consumed by and would touch Saints and NFL staff, coaches, media and eventually with the onslaught of the popularity of fantasy football, a multitude of fans. During the Saints' existence as a franchise, Letulle missed only four home games played at Tulane Stadium and the Caesars Superdome. Letulle was also a member of the stat crew for all 10 Super Bowls that have been played in New Orleans.
Upon the relocation of the Hornets/Pelicans NBA franchise to New Orleans in 2002, Letulle served as a member of their stat crew through the 2016-17 season, drawing on his extensive experience in a similar role with his alma mater Tulane University's men's and women's basketball programs, which he also served since being an undergraduate, as well as the NBA's New Orleans Jazz in the 1970s.
Letulle, who received his bachelor's degree from Tulane in 1969 and his law degree in 1972, started his career in sports by responding to an opening as an undergraduate in the school's student newspaper, the Hullaballoo, seeking a student worker, developing into his dedication to Tulane football and men's and women's basketball, the Saints and the Hornets/Pelicans.
In addition to keeping statistics for the Crescent City's NFL and NBA teams and Tulane athletics, Letulle and his stat crew colleagues, which included his older brother, Leon and his nephew Leon Jr. also annually worked the Sugar Bowl, the New Orleans Bowl and the Louisiana state high school football championships. In 2010, he was honored by his alma mater with the prestigious Billy Slatten Award – for extraordinary service, commitment and support to Tulane University and its student-athletes – from Tulane's athletic hall of fame.