Coach leaves lasting legacy

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 23, 2010



RESERVE – Larry Dauterive’s resignation as East St. John football coach Friday morning officially brings to an end a run that saw Dauterive cement himself as one of the most accomplished head coaches in the state.

His Wildcats were 7-0 entering Friday night’s game at Destrehan.

Dauterive’s record at East St. John finishes at 72-26, and his career record stands at 227-76-1.

“I regret that I can’t finish this season. I think those kids know that I love them and that I wish them the best. I want to see them continue to make noise,” Dauterive said after his resignation Friday.

East St. John advanced to the Class 5A quarterfinals three times during his nine-year run at the school. His 2006 team, led by quarterback Johnnie Thiel and tailback Johnny Owen, secured the team’s first undefeated regular season since 1980.

Dauterive has said in the past he is most proud of the 60 athletes he has helped attain scholarships to move on to college and play at the next level.

He was known as something of a “mad scientist” of an offensive coach, one who would pull a trick play out of his bag at any given moment. His last victory at the school represented that perfectly: a fake field goal on a fourth-and-1 resulting in a touchdown pass from Darion Monroe to Andrew Taylor. It gave ESJ the lead midway through the fourth quarter, one the Wildcats held for good in a 48-31 district win over East Ascension.

Dauterive was thought to be moving on during the summer, when it appeared he would fall victim to school board budget cuts.

His status as a tenured teacher kept him on, however, and he entered the season in charge as usual.

But as of Friday morning, it appeared that one of Louisiana’s winningest coaches would no longer be walking the sideline in Reserve.

“It hurts that it’s come to this,” said Dauterive. “In a way, if we were 5-2 and not 7-0, I wouldn’t have even been at the Quarterbacks Club on that night. Things happen for a reason, and God has His reason for this.”