WSJ chooses Valdez

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 7, 2008


Sports Editor


Staff Reporter

West St. John officially introduced Robert Valdez as Laury Dupont’s successor as Rams’ head football coach at Thursday’s school board meeting in Reserve.

Valdez, 32, was the head coach of Class 4A McKinley High this past season, and is a former assistant coach at East St. John who worked under head coach Larry Dauterive.

“I come to you with a humble heart and a burning passion,” said Valdez, who guided McKinley to a 4-6 record, the most wins the school has had in eight years.

Valdez has 10 years of coaching experience, including stops as an assistant at Southern Lab, Walker and Thibodaux.

The job he takes now is much different than the job he took a year ago at McKinley. The Panthers had won four games over two seasons before Valdez took over.

The Rams, on the other hand, are fresh off of a run to the Class 1A state championship game under Dupont, who won his 200th career game midway through his final season.

“You’ve got some big shoes to fill,” said School Board President Gerald Keller.

In filling those shoes, Valdez says, he knows that it’s not just on the field where he will be measured.

“The success of a coach is judged not just by wins and losses, but what you give back to the community in the long run,” he said.

“It isn’t just about X’s and O’s. It’s about making these students successful in life.”

Valdez lettered three years during his playing career at O. Perry Walker, where he played on the offensive line.

He moved on to Southern University to play under Coach Pete Richardson, lettering all four years.