by Hunter Bower // GeauxPreps.com Owner
Behind The Changes
Number of hires: 14
Best hire: Travis Blaize, Westminster Christian
Hardest to replace: Tommy Minton, Central Catholic
Best job: Catholic-PC
Toughest job: North Central
Most interesting: Toriano Williams’ decision to move over to Magnolia School of Excellence will not only benefit the football program but the school community as well. Williams has been a winner at every program he’s coached and he knows how to do so quickly. He led Delhi to the Class 1A postseason on a consistent basis and even helped bring Peabody its first district championship in two decades in a competitive district. His positive attitude and willingness to lead is the boost that Magnolia needs in order to compete in a competitive district.
Magnolia School of Excellence hired Southwood offensive coordinator Toriano Williams to replace Vern Henderson. With over 20 years of coaching experience, Williams brings a championship pedigree to the young Mariner program. As head coach at Peabody, he led the Warhorses to their first district title in 21 years while helping to lead Delhi to the playoffs each year. He previously served as head coach at Washington-Marion before returning back to the Shreveport area as an assistant.
Cedar Creek hired Matt Middleton to replace Shannon Brown, who moved into an athletic administrative role within the school. Middleton makes the move after serving four years at the helm of the West Ouachita program where he helped lead the Chiefs to their first winning season and playoff appearance (2019) in four years. Middleton has also served as a head coach at Prairie View Academy, CENLA Academy and Caldwell and offensive coordinator at the collegiate level for Central Arkansas and UA-Monticello.
Delhi hired Landry Carter to replace Ramon Lusk, who served as an interim last season. The former Grambling star takes over for the Bears after leaving his post at Madison Parish following three seasons as head coach. Carter was able to build a playoff caliber program during his time at Madison, leading the Jaguars to an appearance in the postseason in 2020, the school’s first in six years.
Northwood-Lena hired Tommy Moore to replace Justin Webb, who left for a coordinator position at Pineville. Moore most recently served as offensive coordinator at Buckeye but has four years of head coaching experience. He helped lead Leesville to a share of the district title during a three-year stint with the Wildcats while having served at Natchitoches Central.
Elton hired St. Louis assistant Marcus Lejeune to take over the program for the departing Donnie Bruchhaus. This will be LeJeune’s third head coaching stop after having previously served at Welsh from 2003 to 2007 and Iota from 2007 to 2011. The St. Louis thrived under LeJeune during his two years with the program which is a boost Elton will need. The Indians are looking to compile their first winning season since 2017.
Merryville elevated assistant Bart Coody to head coach after Randy Jones’ departure. Coody served as the team’s offensive coordinator last season so a familiar face will be helpful with the Panthers preparing for a deep playoff run in 2021.
Catholic-PC promoted offensive coordinator Vinnie Bullara to replace David Simoneaux, who was named head coach at Catholic-Baton Rouge. There was no hesitation by the administration to elevate Bullara, who was instrumental in helping the Hornets advance to the Division IV state title game in 2019 as well as two quarterfinal appearances. Prior to his move to Catholic, Bullara served as head coach at Westminster Christian as well as Acadiana Prep.
North Central hired Jacob Carruth to replace Oliver Thierry. An up-and-coming assistant who served at several North Louisiana schools such as Homer and Glenbrook, Carruth is tasked with taking over a program that has won only three games over the last five seasons. Although a challenging journey lies ahead, Carruth’s determination and goal-oriented demeanor could serve as a fresh start for the struggling Hurricane football squad.
Westminster Christian hired Travis Blaize to replace the departing Patrick Clarkston. The former Vermilion Catholic offensive coordinator looks to transform the Crusader offense in his first season at the helm where he will drop the Wing-T in favor of the spread offense. Blaize’s time at Vermilion Catholic was essential in helping the Eagles to a 29-5 record as well as an appearance in the semifinals of the Division IV playoffs twice. Westminster Christian’s last winning season occurred in 2016. Blaize is the son of former Vermilion Catholic head coach Ossie Blaize.
Slaughter Charter hired Scooter Myles to replace Craig Kuester as head coach for the Knights. Myles inherits the program after having served as head coach for Northwestern Middle in Zachary. Despite making playoff appearances in its first four seasons as a program, Slaughter has yet to record a winning season. The Knights finished with a 3-5 record in 2020.
Thrive Academy hired Devon Breaux to replace Keith Dickerson, who played a key part in starting up the Bulldog football program. Breaux served as a wide receivers coach and co-offensive coordinator before his promotion into the top spot. A former Tulane standout, Breaux will serve as the third head coach in as many seasons for the start-up program. The Bulldogs are 1-13 in their first two varsity seasons.
Ascension Catholic promoted Chris Shexnayder to head coach following the retirement of Benny Saia. Shexnayder served nine years as an assistant, most notably as the team’s defensive coordinator, and is ready to lead an experienced football team. Saia was 17-2 in his two years as head coach for Ascension Catholic.
St. John hired Central Catholic assistant Coby Minton to replace Eric Holden. Minton follows in the footsteps of his father and legendary coach, Tommy Minton, as he prepares for his first head coaching gig. He served as an assistant under his father at Central Catholic over the last six years and was the program’s offensive coordinator for the last two seasons. Minton takes over a struggling St. John football team who last appeared in the playoffs back in 2015.
Central Catholic promoted C.L. Grogan to the head coach position following the departure of longtime skipper Tommy Minton, who accepted a position at Vandebilt Catholic. Grogan, a former player at Northwestern State, spent the last two years as an assistant under Minton with other coaching stops at Natchitoches Central and Patterson.
West St. John named Greg Johnson to the head coaching position following the departure of Brandon Walters. Johnson, who has served as an assistant with the Rams since 2016, takes over a championship-caliber football program that brought home a state championship in 2017. Johnson understands the inner-workings of the West St. John program, as a former player and assistant coach. His coaching experience expands into stints in Texas as well as his time in Edgard. In six seasons as head coach, Walters accrued a 39-30 mark with the Rams.