ESJH football coach search nears end

Published 12:02 am Saturday, April 7, 2018

RESERVE — East St. John High should have a new football coach and athletic director in two weeks.

St. John the Baptist Parish Public Schools Superintendent Kevin George said his phone rang off the hook from potential candidates interested in the positions.

“We have a good pool of candidates to choose from,” George said. “There are some local guys that I think the community is going to be happy about, and we have some guys coming from outside who have some impressive résumés.”

George vetted applications this week to screen for serious candidates, with plans next week to begin formal interview scheduling.

Complicating the process slightly is George’s search for a new East St. John High principal in 2018-19. Current principal Tabari Simon is leaving the school district.

George hopes to have a new principal named by Thursday, with the coaching position sorted out a week after that.

“I do want the new principal to have some say, because that coach will be working directly for that person,” George said. “I anticipate having (coaching) interviews the week of April 16 and, hopefully, by the end of that week on April 20 we will have a new coach and A.D. named for East St. John High School.”     

George, who acknowledged the program has fallen on hard times that did not match River Region standards, removed Alden Foster as Wildcats football coach and athletic director last month.

The Wildcats are in the middle of three straight below .500 seasons, a stretch of sub-par play unheard of in recent memory (12-20 since 2015).

ESJH is the only River Region high school to not have appeared in a football state championship game in the last four years.

Foster compiled an impressive record in his seven seasons at Amite before joining East St. John High in January 2015. His overall record at Amite was 68-21, with five seasons of 10 wins or more.