2023-24 Coaching Carousel Updates (11/16)

The coaching carousel continues to spin faster and faster just over a week removed from the end of the regular season. The headline has been West Monroe removing the interim tag from Kevin Davis, promoting him to full-time head coach.

Two other schools have already filled their positions that opened up during the season with Rosepine promoting defensive coordinator Frank Rosegrant to head coach after Brad Ducote delayed his retirement one year to fill in as the interim for 2023 following the resignation of Troy Gardner just before the beginning of the season.

Archbishop Hannan also promoted their defensive coordinator to head coach with the hire of Steve Soper to the full-time head coach position. The Hawks DC took over as interim coach at the end of September following the resignation of Corey Bordelon.

Two more positions came open this week with 2018 Class 5A Coach of the Year Darnell Lee resigning as head coach at his alma mater East Ascension. Lee, a former East Ascension and McNeese State standout, was 53-35 in eight seasons leading the Spartans. East Ascension finished the 2023 season with a 2-8 record against a brutal schedule.

The second job to open up this week came with the departure of Kyron Benoit from Crowley, per the LHSAA Classifieds page. Benoit was 5-25 in three seasons with the Gents.


2023-24 LHSAA Coaching Carousel (As of 11/16)

Archbishop Hannan
Out: Corey Bordelon
In: Steve Soper, Archbishop Hannan DC/interim HC

Out: Kyron Benoit

East Ascension
Out: Darnell Lee

G.W. Carver
Out: Byron Addison

Morgan City
Out: Scott Tregle

Morris Jeff
Out: New Program

Out: Brad Ducote (2023 interim)
In: Frank Rosegrant, Rosepine DC

Out: Malter Scobel

West Monroe
Out: Todd Garvin
In: Kevin Davis, West Monroe interim HC

Second Round of Football Playoffs Starts This Week

The second round of the LHSAA high school football playoffs commences this week with numerous eye-catching matchups and first round surprises looking to pull another upset and make their own Cinderella runs.


Division I Non-Select

#16 Westgate @ #1 Ruston

#9 Walker @ #25 Northshore

#5 St. Amant @ #21 Mandeville

#13 Southside @ #4 Airline

#14 Belle Chasse @ #3 Destrehan

#11 Salmen @ #6 Zachary

#10 Chalmette @ #7 Dutchtown

#18 Central @ #2 Neville


Division II Non-Select

#17 DeRidder @ #1 North DeSoto

#9 Plaquemine @ #8 Iowa

#12 Opelousas @ #5 West Feliciana

#13 Abbeville @ #4 Lutcher

#19 Breaux Bridge @ #3 Assumption

#6 Wossman @ #22 Northwest

#10 Jennings @ #26 St. Martinville

#15 Iota @ #2 Cecilia


Division III Non-Select

#16 Caldwell Parish @ #1 Jena

#9 Jewel Sumner @ #8 Amite

#12 Loreauville @ #5 Bogalusa

#20 Port Allen @ #4 Union Parish

#14 North Webster @ #3 St. James

#11 South Plaquemines @ #6 Many

#7 Pine @ #23 Avoyelles

#18 Mansfield @ #2 Sterlington


Division IV Non-Select

#16 Franklin @ #1 Logansport

#9 White Castle @ #8 Welsh

#12 East Feliciana @ #5 Jeanerette

#20 General Trass @ #4 Haynesville

#19 Lake Arthur @ #3 Oak Grove

#6 Mangham @ #22 Centerville

#10 Oakdale @ #7 Homer

#15 Ferriday @ #2 Kentwood


Division I Select

#16 Jesuit @ #1 Holy Cross

#9 Carencro @ #8 Acadiana

#21 Woodlawn (BR) @ #5 Edna Karr

#13 Alexandria @ #4 Brother Martin

#14 John Ehret @ #3 Catholic (BR)

#22 St. Augustine @ #6 John Curtis

#10 Tioga @ #7 St. Paul’s

#18 Archbishop Rummel @ #2 Captain Shreve


Division II Select

#17 Istrouma @ #1 St. Thomas More

#9 Livingston @ #8 St. Michael

#12 Evangel Christian @ #5 Archbishop Shaw

#13 Vandebilt Catholic @ #4 John F. Kennedy

#14 Peabody @ #3 Lafayette Christian

#11 McDonogh 35 @ #6 St. Louis

#10 Madison Prep @ #7 Teurlings Catholic

#15 De La Salle @ #2 E.D. White


Division III Select

#17 Ascension Episcopal @ #1 St. Charles

#9 Notre Dame @ #8 D’Arbonne Woods

#21 Lake Charles Prep @ #5 Catholic (NI)

#13 Patrick Taylor @ #4 University Lab

#19 St. Thomas Aquinas @ #3 Newman

#11 Episcopal @ #6 Bunkie

#10 Parkview Baptist @ #7 Dunham

#15 Holy Savior Menard @ #2 Calvary Baptist


Division IV Select

#17 Delhi Charter @ #1 Vermilion Catholic

#9 Ascension Catholic @ #8 Opelousas Catholic

#12 Catholic (PC) @ #5 Riverside Academy

#20 Covenant Christian @ #4 St. Martin’s

#19 Westminster (OP) @ #3 Ouachita Christian

#11 Glenbrook @ #6 St. Mary’s

#10 Central Catholic @ #7 St. Frederick

#15 Hanson Memorial @ #2 Southern Lab

After 2 Championships Are Coaches “Missing the Boat” On Virtual Reality?

     Coach A. J. Smith is an offensive coordinator that has won 2 consecutive state championships, on 2 different teams, in 2 different states, breaking the passing yard title in both championship games, in 2019 & 2020. What do both championship teams have in common?

  • Both QBs (Calvary Baptist Academy & Madison Ridgeland Academy) led the state in passing both throwing for over 3,500 yards
  • Both QBs broke the all-time passing record in both their state championship games (593 yards, 464 yards)
  • Both teams utilize Virtual Reality Training EVERYDAY

Coach A. J. Smith with his state champion quarterbacks Landry Lyddy and Philip Short in 2020 & 2019.

     “High school coaches that want to throw at all are missing the boat on how much value this system brings to the table. My QB this year would have half the reps if we did not use VR. If he has half the reps in his first year of the offense, he is probably missing half the throws he makes in practices or games.” – A. J. Smith

YES! It is affordable

     Before we dig into how it works and the exact method AJ uses, we should point out contrary to belief that virtual reality does not cost over $50,000.00 to purchase. VAR Systems the same virtual reality company that Mike Leach, Hal Mumme, June Jones, and AJ Smith use only cost $6,500 and offers payment plans to help get you going with the system.

Calvary wide receiver Joseph Wilson using VAR. Wilson was 1 of 3 receivers who caught for over 1,000 yards in Louisiana in 2020 and led the state in receptions.

How does it work?

     When you get a VAR, you receive a laptop computer, virtual reality headset, and a 360 camera (4K Resolution). You then film anything and everything at practice that you want to see from that perspective in virtual reality. It does not necessarily have to be team or 7 on 7, you can film drills and teaching tapes you can watch again in VR. You then upload your film from the 360 camera to your laptop computer and can instantly start watching your practice in virtual reality through the headset. Everyone can see what the person in the headset is seeing through the computer or projecting to a TV.

Traditional Film, you teach.

Virtual Reality Film “Game Changer”, VR you TRAIN!

How do you use it?

     “This is where many coaches miss the boat using the technology, they think this is suppose to replace meeting time with your QB. They think they must be in the room with the quarterback every time he is in there on the headset. While doing that is good every now and then, that is not how you take advantage of virtual reality. Coaches still need meeting time with traditional film! Once you train your quarterback how to use the system by himself, he then uses it ON HIS OWN TIME. What do I mean by that? During lunch period, a free hour, after practice, or any free time, he comes in and runs through practice on the headset by himself. He knows all the coaching points, you’re coaching him every day! Now he can slow it down on his own, see the concept, the defense, the reads, and move at his own pace to accelerate his learning process from the exact perspective he sees on the field. He is now getting double to triple the reps! And if he is seeing it in the headset, he will see it on the field.” – A. J. Smith

Where do you get a VAR System?

     Coaches can find out more information about VAR at http://var.systems Once you purchase it, your system arrives in less that 7 days pre-loaded with Air Raid virtual reality content from the college and pro level.

     “Without a question, our virtual reality training is our secret sauce from being good to excellent in the passing game and the thing is we tell everyone about it! It isn’t about if you the coach get it, it is about does it make your quarterback better. After utilizing it these past 2 seasons winning championships, virtual reality is no longer the future, it is the present, but we will gladly continue having the advantage until it becomes the norm in every locker room.” – A. J. Smith