Byrd moves cross-town to Riverside

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Reserve may be losing one of its three high schools at the end of this school year, but it won’t lose a multiple title winning basketball coach.

Reserve Christian basketball coach Timmy Byrd is moving on to Riverside Academy, where he officially accepted the job of head boys basketball coach and athletic director this past weekend.

Byrd will step into those roles at the end of the current school year after fulfilling his obligations to Reserve Christian, which will close the doors of its high school in May.

He held the same titles at Reserve Christian for 14 years.

After mulling over several offers, Byrd says he feels he came to the right decision.

“What stuck me about Riverside was the family atmosphere there,” Byrd said. “It’s a warm, classy institution. Looking at where they want to take their program, I’m really excited about it, and I’m honored to be a part of it.”

While at RCS, Byrd’s Eagles were a dominating force on the landscape of Louisiana basketball. He oversaw seven championship teams, including this past season’s squad. The most recent title, secured Mar. 14 in Lafayette, was the school’s fifth straight. RCS has won championships in Class B and Class C during Byrd’s run.

Now, he hopes to bring that same luster to the Rebels.

Byrd will succeed Tim Taffi as Athletic Director, but Taffi slide into a role as Assistant Athletic Director in addition to his duties as head football coach.

Taffi says the move will allow him to focus more on the latter role.

“Especially during the football season, there will be less distractions,” Taffi said. “It’s hard to handle both jobs by yourself…We think with his experience and other characteristics, (Byrd) will be good for the entire program, not just one particular sport.”

Taffi believes the two will work well together.

“We both have the same goals, to see the young people at Riverside succeed,” he said. “I see it as a pretty smooth transition.”

Byrd agrees.

“We had a very good meeting today (Monday),” said Byrd. “He’s a class act. I came away very impressed.”

The eventual destination of the 13 returning RCS basketball players that played under Byrd is still up in the air. Under Louisiana High School Athletic Administration guidelines, any of them can transfer to a school in the same district without losing eligibility. Riverside, East St. John and St. Charles Catholic would all fall under that option, leaving each player the option to follow his coach to a new landing spot.

“The kids know what their options are,” Byrd said. “Their parents will have to make those decisions. Our students that do transfer will do Riverside proud. They’re really good kids that excel in and out of the classroom.”

Byrd also got a peek or two at his returning Rebel players this season, when Riverside played many of its early home games at Reserve Christian due to renovations being done at the Rebels’ gym.

While most familiar with brothers Kane and Cameron Keller, who each attended RCS before moving on to Riverside, Byrd said that he saw positives with the team as a whole.

“They all play hard, with is a requirement that they’ll need,” Byrd said. “They played as though they love the game. That impressed me. It’s exciting.”

It’s the end of an era for Byrd, who credited all of his former players for building the Reserve Christian program.

Now, it all begins again for him.

“The odd thing is, even when I was notified that the school could be closing, I didn’t become anxious. I was at peace with it,” he said. “I knew God was closing a one chapter for me and opening another one.”