Central Lafourche High School will have a new football coach in 2020.
Outgoing Trojans coach Keith Menard confirmed to The Gazette this afternoon that he’s accepted the head football coaching job at Assumption, a job that’s closer to his family’s home in Labadieville.
Menard has been at Central Lafourche for the past 7 seasons and in that time, he’s led the Trojans to the playoffs three times, despite playing in a brutally tough Class 5A district that features a litany of local and state powers.
Menard said he’s leaving Central Lafourche on good terms and will forever remember his time at the school fondly.
“Sometimes when people leave a school, the public wants to assume that there was something wrong with the school or something wrong with the relationship between the coach and the school,” Menard said. “There’s none of that here. There’s nothing wrong with Central Lafourche. It’s up there as one of the top places I’ve been in terms of community support and the people there and especially our coaches there. We have a family there. I enjoyed my time at the school, but I live in Labadieville, which is about 10 minutes away from Assumption and that’s one of the big things it boiled down to — commute time. As I’ve gotten older, that commute time has gotten harder and harder.”
With Assumption, Menard is inheriting a local power.
The Mustangs have made several playoff pushes in recent years under former coach Tony Paine, establishing themselves as a perennial Top 10 team in Class 4A.
Menard said he’s excited to work with the Mustangs in the future, a team glittered with talented playmakers and explosive players.
Assumption won the District Championship last season and was in the Top 10 throughout the season.They return several pieces off that team, including receiver Jaden Tyler and others.
“It’s a great program,” Menard said. “It’s an established program. I’m not going there to rebuild. That made it an attractive situation. I have nothing but respect for the job Coach Paine did there. I’m looking forward to maintaining that and trying to maybe even take it a step farther in our time.”
Menard said it’s going to take some work. He has to put in a new system in the coming months — at a time when his interaction with players will be limited.
But he said he’s been told that his new players are willing to put in that work to get the job done.
Menard said it also hurts that he can’t physically see his old team face-to-face because of the pandemic to let them know of his decision.
He said he will send a HUDL message today and will meet with his staff next week to say his farewells.
“That’s the best we can do right now,” Menard said of his plan to say farewell to Central Lafourche. “It’s a great place and a fun time. It took a lot of hard work for us to get where we were, but we enjoyed it. We enjoyed all of the coaches there who have worked with me to get us through that journey. It’s been a fun ride, and now, we look forward to starting on that journey somewhere else at Assumption.”
Central Lafourche will open up its head football coaching position in the coming days in an attempt to find a replacement.