2023-24 LHSAA Coaching Carousel

As of 4/12/24


With the start of baseball and softball season and basketball season wrapping up in Hammond and Lake Charles, we still see the Coaching Carousel going strong.

Oakdale has their new head man as they have hired longtime Basile head coach Kevin Bertrand to the same position. Bertrand spent the last ten seasons at his alma mater where he compiled a 78-41 record with the Bearcats, winning four district titles and leading them to multiple quarterfinal appearances. He also previously led Elton to an 18-6 record from 2010-11 which included a district title in 2011, and had prior stops as an assistant at Kinder, Jennings, and Iowa. He replaces Destin Dieterich, who resigned from Oakdale to move into administration. Bertrand reportedly beat out Lakeview head coach Andy Boone, two current Oakdale assistants, and Marksville assistant Jonathan Landry among others for the right to lead the Warriors.

Bolton has their fourth head coach in as many seasons with the hire of Cody Corley, who comes over after most recently serving as head football coach at Brame Junior High in Alexandria. Corley replaces Clint Dean, who was not retained after one season after Bolton staff had to reapply with the change of Bolton High School becoming Bolton Academy.

Buckeye has their head man after a competitive coaching search with the hire of St. Mary’s head coach Aaron York. The Florida native and former Louisiana College football player was 41-25 in six seasons with the Tigers, leading them to two district titles and the playoffs in each season. York reportedly beat out East Beauregard assistant Isaac Clark and Pineville defensive coordinator and former LCU and Menard head coach Justin Charles.

After the firing of Cleo Cummings after going 7-15 in two seasons, Ferriday has promoted assistant coach Walter Johnson to head coach. Johnson, a Ferriday alum, was a two-time All-American linebacker at Louisiana Tech before spending three seasons in the NFL with the Houston Oilers. He was also previously Ferriday’s head coach from 2012-15.

Pine Prairie has hired Gueydan head coach Lance Myers as their new head coach, hoping to stabilize a rotating door of head coaches over the last few seasons. Myers spent the last four seasons as the head coach Gueydan and had been defensive coordinator at Church Point and Elton prior to that.

Kentwood has promoted offensive coordinator Cornelius Blunt to head coach, replacing Jonathan Foster who resigned after ten seasons and two state championships.

Natchitoches Central has hired former Northwestern State and Ruston head coach Brad Laird as the new leader of the Chiefs. Laird replaces Jess Curtis, who left after one season to take over at Southside. Laird comes back to the high school ranks after going 16-41 in six seasons at NSU. He had served as head coach at Ruston immediately prior to his tenure at NSU.

Just days after the resignation of Jeff Tannehill, Neville has promoted defensive coordinator Mike Collins to head coach. Collins has over 40 years of coaching experience, specializing on the defensive side of the ball, with collegiate stops at ULM, McNeese, LSU, Northwestern State, and Sam Houston State, most recently serving as defensive coordinator at ULM from 2016-19. His prior stops in the high school ranks were at Ouachita Parish as defensive coordinator from 1985-90, Kilgore High in Texas as linebackers coach in 2004, and most recently serving as Neville defensive coordinator since 2021. His only time as a head coach in high school or the collegiate level was as ULM’s interim head coach during the 2002 season, leading the Warhawks to a 3-6 record during that time. Tannehill was 34-10 in four seasons at Neville.

North Central is back on the coaching carousel with the departure of Julian Rideau. He was 1-9 in one season in Lebeau.

North Webster has hired North DeSoto RBs/OL coach Christopher Wilson as their new head coach. He replaces John Ware, who left to become head coach at Lakeside. Wilson previously served as head coach at Plain Dealing from 2020-21.

2024 LHSAA Football Coaching Carousel

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

Out: Kevin Bertrand

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

Out: Clint Dean
In: Cody Corley, Brame Junior High HC

Breaux Bridge
Out: Zach Lochard

Out: Ben McLaughlin
In: Aaron York, St. Mary’s HC

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

Out: Tony Courville
In: Gavin Peters, Carencro OC

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

D’Arbonne Woods
Out: Tommy Tharp

Delhi Charter
Out: Jeremy Foote
In: Storm Ridgway, Delhi Charter OC

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

Out: Cleo Cummings
In: Walter Johnson, Ferriday assistant

Out: Lance Myers

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
In: Cornelius Blunt, Kentwood OC

Lafayette Christian
Out: Hunter Landry
In: Zach Lochard, Breaux Bridge HC

Lafayette Renaissance
Out: Christopher Davis
In: Hunter Landry, Lafayette Christian HC

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

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

Out: Korey Lindsey

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

Out: Josh Laborde
In: Khalil Thomas, Central RBs coach

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

Natchitoches Central
Out: Jess Curtis
In: Brad Laird, former Northwestern State HC

Out: Jeff Tannehill
In: Mike Collins, Neville DC

North Central
Out: Julian Rideau

North Webster
Out: John Ware
In: Christopher Wilson, North DeSoto assistant

Out: Destin Dieterich
In: Kevin Bertrand, Basile HC

Pine Prairie
Out: Charles Hazard
In: Lance Myers, Gueydan HC

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

Out: Reginald Nelson
In: Lent Bursey, former Rayville HC

Out: Kyle Walker
In: Wallace Foster, Warren Easton DL coach

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

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

Out: Josh Fontenot
In: Jess Curtis, Natchitoches Central HC

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

St. Louis
Out: Brock Matherne
In: Dustin Nothnagel, Newman DC

St. Mary’s
Out: Aaron York

St. Thomas Aquinas
Out: Shane Mulhern
In: Tino Fletcher, St. Thomas Aquinas DC

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

Ville Platte
Out: Chris Mitchell
In: Chris Bland, Istrouma DC

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

Westminster Christian (LFY)
Out: Jim Stomps

Woodlawn (BR)
Out: Marcus Randall

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