Interview: Longtime assistant Frank Daggs Jr. named McDonogh 35 head football coach
What was a virtual foregone conclusion has taken place at McDonogh 35.
Long-time Roneagles assistant coach Frank Daggs Jr. has been promoted to head coach, succeeding legendary coach Wayne Reese, who passed away on April 2 of complications from the COVID-19 virus.
Daggs has been at McDonogh 35 since 2003, serving as Wayne Reese’s right-hand man. He has served as assistant head coach for the last five years.
“Coach Daggs has been an integral part of the McDonogh 35 football program for nearly two decades and has established himself as a leader not only for our football team, but for all of our scholars,” said InspireNOLA CEO Jamar McKneely. “I have no doubt that he will continue to instill the values of leadership, sportsmanship and integrity in our athletes as he pushes them to be the vest they can be on and off the field.”
The promotion is a dream come true for Daggs.
“It means a whole lot because of my love for the school,” Daggs said. “I wish it had been under different circumstances but we intend to carry on the tradition and the pride of the 35 program. It is going to be a smooth transition because we have everyone in place and a great administration.”
Daggs is still emotional talking about Reese.
“Wayne meant so much to me,” Daggs said. “He trusted in me as a young coach, talking all the time, to coach his defensive line. He trusted me from that day on. We understood each other and what we wanted to accomplish. We had some wonderful times. We went through Hurricane Katrina, came back and did it all again.”
Following a legend, who won 255 games as a high school coach, will not be easy.
“The expectations and accomplishments and just the respect that Coach Reese attracted will be hard to match,” Daggs said. “I am ready to embrace the challenge and to continue the class and dignity with the program that he brought to it.”
Daggs, 42, played football at St. Augustine under Tony Biagas before attending Nicholls State. Daggs sees great things ahead for the Roneagles.
“The ceiling is high,” Daggs said. “The sky is the limit. We are doing great things to attract students in academically. Coach Reese helped us go around and spread the name and established a great tradition.
“It is not a hard decision to send your child here. You will get a good education, to go to college and participate in an outstanding athletic program. This is a great place and it is a great opportunity for me.”
McDonogh 35 reached the semifinals in 2011, 2012, 2016 and 2019 under Reese and with Daggs. The Roneagles reached the quarterfinals in 2015.
“We’ve been close,” Daggs said. “For a while, we had trouble getting out of the second round but once we broke that, things improved. We are ready to take that next step.”
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…