Melancon hopes to set stage for RA future

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 11, 2009


As Riverside prepares for the kickoff of its varsity football season in 2009, Damian Melancon has his eye squarely on the business at hand — not just in 2009, but in 2010, 2011, and even 2016.

That’s because the former Rebels prep football star has been hired to serve as the athletic director of Riverside’s middle school, and he has big hopes for the future of the program.

“I’ve always dreamed of coming back to Riverside,” said Melancon, who has also been hired as wide receivers coach on Mickey Roussel’s staff.

“I see programs like Evangel and John Curtis and how they start their kids off in their system from the third and fourth grades. I always envisioned that if I were ever in a position to make it happen, we could do those things here. When you’re in a school that offers grades K through 12, you have an advantage.”

Melancon, 27, graduated from Riverside in 2001. While there, he earned All-State and All-District honors as the Rebels’ quarterback.

He would go on to attend Southern Arkansas University, where he would again play quarterback and be named Academic All Conference three times from 2004 to 2006.

After graduating in 2007, he looked to take some advice once given to him by an old mentor.

“After high school, I was just planning on going to school and getting a job at the plant, like everyone else,” Melancon said. “I told Coach Mickey, and he told me I’d be wasting myself, that he thought I would be a good coach. I looked up to him more than anyone, and when he spoke, I listened.”

Melancon actually began at Riverside early in 2009, working with the middle school baseball team.

Then, in early June, his hiring as middle school AD became official.

“We were very fortunate to find a young coach in Damian that exemplifies the qualities and character that we are looking for to lead our middle school program,” said Riverside athletic director Timmy Byrd. “His passion, energy and vision will provide the foundation for excellence that we desire for our student athletes.”