Rams’ Sylvain steps down from post as track and field coach

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 16, 2011



EDGARD – After 14 years of coaching at West St. John, the last six as boys track and field coach, Martin Sylvain is stepping down.

Sylvain, 48, is a native of Edgard and an alumni of West St. John. He has coached at the school as an assistant coach in both basketball and football in addition to his duties as track and field coach. He said that the decision was made to spend more time with his family, specifically his two daughters, Whitney and Ambria, who currently attend Destrehan.

“I have two beautiful daughters who are very active and involved at Destrehan,” said Sylvain. “And I know they enjoy having the support of their father.”

Sylvain‘s track teams have won three district championships and two regional titles. Fittingly, his Rams peaked in his final season, as last year West St. John finished as state runner-up at the Class 1A state track and field championship meet at LSU. It was the highest ranking ever attained by the WSJ track program.

“I just give thanks to God for all the success we’ve had here,” said Sylvain. “I thank the parents of all the athletes I’ve coached, and to the athletes themselves who bought in to my coaching philosophy and my philosophy on life. And of course, my family that’s supported me so much.”

Sylvain said that the success of his athletes on the track, the court, and the field took a backseat to helping them grow into strong young people. He said that he is proud to still maintain a close relationship with many of them as they go forth in adulthood.

“To see them grow into tremendous young men … that’s what is most important to me,” he said. “Whether it’s the guys playing in the BCS championship game or the Super Bowl, or a welder, or a Wal-Mart employee, it never mattered to me. I keep in contact with all of them.”

He said that he won’t rule out a return to coaching someday.

But for now, that chapter in his life is closed.

“It’s like Coach Sean Payton said, ‘Family comes first,’” he said.