2023-24 LHSAA Coaching Carousel

As of 2/16/24


Heading into February, the Coaching Carousel continues to spin with additions and subtractions to coaching staffs around the state.

A notable name joining the carousel is Tommy Tharp, who announced his resignation as head coach at D’Arbonne Woods. Tharp steps down after three seasons leading the Timberwolves, recording a 20-11 record with playoff appearances in all three seasons and a first round bye this past season. He will remain at DWCS as athletic director.

Justin Joseph is no longer head coach at East Iberville according to an ad posted by Iberville Parish Schools. Joseph was 15-27 in four seasons with the Tigers.

Hahnville has hired Destrehan offensive coordinator as head coach. Boyne is a Hahnville alum and had been Destrehan’s offensive coordinator for the past 12 seasons.

J.S. Clark announced that they have hired Juan Thomas as their new head football coach. Thomas comes to Opelousas after five years as defensive coordinator at Glen Oaks. This will be his first head coaching position in football but he has stops as a football assistant coach at Port Allen, Baker, Broadmoor, Tara, and Glen Oaks. He replaces Ross Akpan who resigned after one season as the programs first head coach.

One of the most high profile small-school programs is looking for a new head coach after Jonathan Foster resigned as head coach at Kentwood. In ten years at the helm, Foster led the Kangaroos to state championships in 2015 and 2018 and a state runner-up finish in 2017.

One position was filled and another one opened simultaneously as John Ware departed North Webster to take over at cross-parish Lakeside. Ware had been the head coach at North Webster for the past 12 seasons, notching 100 wins with the Knights.

L.B. Landry hired Nick Foster as their new head football coach, replacing Carl Spicer who had led the Buccaneers through the 2023 season as interim head coach. Foster takes over after spending the past three seasons as head coach at St. Augustine, where he posted a 15-18 record, before he resigned in a “mutual decision.”

Livonia has hired Central running backs coach Khalil Thomas as head football coach and athletic direcotr. Thomas also had prior stops as an assistant at Brusly and Episcopal. At 28 years-old, the former Catholic High and McNeese State star will certainly be one of the youngest head football coaches in the state this season. The Wildcats will be seeking their first winning season since 2019.

Morgan City hired Marc Danos as their new head coach, replacing Chris Stroud who retired following the 2023 season. Danos had spent the last few seasons as an assistant coach at H.L. Bourgeois.

Morris Jeff has secured their first head coach in program history with the hiring of Bill Conides. He spent the last two seasons as offensive coordinator at Northshore and had previously been head coach at Denham Springs and St. Stanislaus in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.

Destin Dieterich announced his resignation as head football coach at Oakdale to move into an administrative role. The Warriors were 28-22 in five seasons under Dieterich and made the playoffs all five years.

Rayville joined the coaching carousel with the resignation of Reginald Nelson, who is reportedly departing to return to the sidelines at Grambling State. Nelson was 8-14 in two seasons with the Hornets.

Vandebilt Catholic went to the college ranks to find their new head coach with the hire of Brian Wallace as the Terriers new head man. This will be the first high school position held by Wallace, who had spent 16 years coaching in the collegiate ranks at Louisiana Christian, UL-Lafayette, and Nicholls State. He was the special teams coordinator for the Colonels  since 2019 and had been with the program since 2015.

Washington-Marion hired East St. John defensive coordinator Dio Bernard as their new head coach and West St. Mary promoted assistant coach Kendall Mouton to head coach.


2023-24 LHSAA Coaching Changes

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

Beau Chene
Out: Marcques Lewis
In: Richard Harris, Beau Chene assistant

Captain Shreve
Out: Adam Kirby
In: Jeremy Wilburn, Huntington OC

Out: Kyron Benoit
In: Eric Cooley, Church Point Middle HC

D’Arbonne Woods
Out: Tommy Tharp

Delhi Charter
Out: Jeremy Foote

Out: Brian Richardson
In: Darnell Lee, former East Ascension HC

East Ascension
Out: Darnell Lee
In: Brock Matherne, St. Louis HC

East Iberville
Out: Justin Joseph

G.W. Carver
Out: Byron Addison
In: Luis Figueroa, Albright College assistant

Out: Daniel Luquet
In: Greg Boyne, Destrehan OC

Highland Baptist
Out: Rick Hutson

J.S. Clark
Out: Ross Akpan
In: Juan Thomas, Glen Oaks DC

Out: Cory Brodie
In: Tank Lotief, Abbeville DC/former Kaplan HC

Out: Jonathan Foster

Lafayette Christian
Out: Hunter Landry

Out: Mike Santelices
In: John Ware, North Webster HC

L.B. Landry
Out: Carl Spicer (2023 interim)
In: Nick Foster, former St. Augustine HC

Live Oak
Out: Hutch Gonzalez
In: Randell Legette, Live Oak OC

Out: Josh Laborde
In: Khalil Thomas, Central assistant

Loyola Prep
Out: Mike Greene
In: John Sella, Loyola Prep assistant

Out: Dwight Collins
In: LaQuintin Lamb, Eunice assistant

Morgan City
Out: Chris Stroud
In: Marc Danos, H.L. Bourgeois assistant

Morris Jeff
Out: New Program
In: Bill Conides, Northshore OC

North Webster
Out: John Ware

Out: Destin Dieterich

Pine Prairie
Out: Charles Hazard

Out: New Program
In: Mike Schmitt, Eaglecrest (CO) HC

Out: Reginald Nelson

Out: Kyle Walker

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

Out: Malter Scobel
In: Damon Page, Crowley (TX) assistant

St. Augustine
Out: Nick Foster
In: Robert Valdez, Grambling State OL coach

St. Louis
Out: Brock Matherne

St. Thomas Aquinas
Out: Shane Mulhern

Vandebilt Catholic
Out: Tommy Minton
In: Brian Wallace, Nicholls State ST coordinator

Ville Platte
Out: Chris Mitchell

Out: Jules Sullen
In: Dio Bernard, East St. John DC

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

West St. Mary
Out: Dwight Fage
In: Kendall Mouton, West St. Mary assistant

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