Detillier cites family in swan song retirement
Published 12:02 am Saturday, January 9, 2016
LUTCHER — Everyone wants to go out a winner. Lutcher football coach Tim Detillier will.
Just weeks after winning his fourth state championship as a head coach at Lutcher, Detillier announced his retirement. The Bulldogs defeated cross-river rival St. James (and former assistant coach Dwayn Jenkins), 41-14, in the 2015 Class 3A championship game in December. Detillier made the announcement during a meeting with his team Thursday afternoon, but he had his mind made up before the season began.
“Only two people knew,” he said. “Me and my wife. Winning the state championship had nothing to do with it. I’m just so blessed that the year went the way it did and ended the way it did. I have a great coach’s wife. She raised my kids while I was raising everybody else’s.”
Detillier, 60, had coached the Bulldogs through 25 seasons, amassing a record of 222-89, with state championship victories in 2003, 2006, 2008 and 2015.
He compiled a career record of 266-112 over 38 seasons, including a six-year stint as head coach at St. Charles Catholic. He also served as an assistant coach (and head baseball coach) at Lutcher under current head coach Frank Monica, who coached Detillier in high school.
In November, Detillier became the River Parishes all-time wins leader, surpassing the legendary Joe Keller. He currently ranks 13th on Louisiana’s all-time wins list.
Monica said Detillier called him early Thursday morning to let him know his intentions.
“He said he wanted to spend more time with his family,” Monica said. “He wants to be able to see his grandkids on the weekends. He didn’t get to see his kids too much growing up. I told him, ‘You’re talking to the choir.’ He’s a great person. He deserves it. I’m jealous that he gets to do it.”
Detillier and his wife, Wanda, have been married 35 years. They have three children and two grandchildren, with another on the way. The grandchildren are living in Texas.
“That’s the problem,” Detillier said. “If they were right there in Paulina, I could go see them.”
Monica said Detillier always had a competitive nature, even as a quarterback and second baseman at Lutcher.
“He was a great left-handed hitter who threw right,” Monica said. “I knew then he would be a real success. We hate to lose him in the coaching profession. I hope he continues to be involved with issues in the LHSAA.”
Detillier has been an active member of the Louisiana High School Coaches Association, the Louisiana High School Athletic Directors Association and the Louisiana High School Athletic Association. He was a finalist for the Executive Director position two years ago.
“I don’t know what I’ll do, but I’ll do something,” Detillier said. “It’s a leap of faith.”
Of course, speculation began almost immediately over who would fill the void left by Detillier. Jenkins was a longtime assistant coach and had moved up to the Bulldogs’ offensive coordinator before jumping across the river to be the head coach at St. James. In three seasons he has led the Wildcats to a 23-12 record and this season’s runner-up finish to Lutcher. He was the LSWA Class 3A Coach of the Year. Current defensive coordinator Craig Zerinque and defensive line coach Troy Borne also are potential candidates.
“If I do this now, the guy who comes after me — whoever it is — will have a very good chance to be successful,” Detillier said. “If I wait a year, will we be 3A or 4A or Metropolitan or what? I did what I thought was best for Lutcher football.”