Louisiana High School Coaches Association welcomes return of in-person convention

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Rewind the clock four years to 2017,s the last time the Louisiana High School Coaches Association’s Coaches Convention was held in Baton Rouge. Long a staple on the summer calendar for high school coaches, athletic directors and administrators, the Convention hit the road to Shreveport in June of 2018 and 2019, before going virtual last summer in 2020 due to the global pandemic.

With the grips of the pandemic hopefully in the rear view mirror, coaches can retreat back to Baton Rouge during its usual slot on the July calendar and at a familiar site, the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

The Convention, comprised of the two-day clinic on Monday and Tuesday and the golf scramble on Wednesday, will welcome a return to the “in person” event of old where athletic staffs from around the state would catch up with old friends; network and make new friends; listen to great speakers; and add professional development to their educational arsenal.

The LHSCA staff has put together another stellar lineup of speakers from the high school, college, and professional ranks. The two-day event gets underway on Monday, July 19th, at 9:00 a.m. at the Crowne Plaza. Coaches, athletic directors, and administrators can register in person in Premier Ballroom III at the Crowne Plaza Hotel and receive their clinic badge and lanyard to track attendance and be eligible for door prizes. No registration fee – LHSCA Coaches Convention attendance is paid for by individual schools when it purchases its member’s annual coaches card. Tremendous perk of LHSCA membership! The first 500 to register will receive two cool and practical gifts!

ONE NOTE: There have been changes made to the Tuesday agenda with the General Business Meeting moving to a 1:30pm start and the 11:30am session moving up to 11:00am.

Baseball, Basketball, Football, Soccer, Volleyball, and Wrestling highlight the Day One card of the clinic.

Locally, Tulane football assistant Byron Dawson; O.P. Walker alum and current McNeese State defensive coordinator Deron Wilson; Lutcher alum and current Nicholls State offensive line coach Lee Roussel; Xavier University head women’s hoops coach Bo Browder; head volleyball coach Jesse Zabal and Jeremy Kennedy represent Loyola University, and SLU head women’s soccer Christopher McBride and assistant football coach Ross Jenkins highlight the collegiate speakers. Former Holy Cross football and baseball star Lance Lacoste, now Manager of Ochsner Performance Training, will speak to baseball coaches on sports performance in their sport.

On the high school front locally, Edna Karr head football coach Brice Brown and first year St. Charles Catholic head football coach Wayne Stein will present to coaches in attendance.

New LSU head baseball coach Jay Johnson and head men’s basketball coach Will Wade should draw coaches from their respective sports.

Monday night is the LHSCA Coaches Social which will be held at Tin Roof Brewery, from 7 to 9 p.m. at 1624 Wyoming Street in Baton Rouge. The event will give clinic attendees the opportunity to unwind after a day of clinic and professional development sessions. Fun, fellowship, and cornhole will highlight the night.

Day Two will feature speakers in basketball, football, softball, track & field, and power lifting. Looking at local flavor, former Hahnville basketball star Pokey Chatman will entertain basketball coaches for two sessions. St. Aloysius alum Jimmy Tillette, a former head basketball coach at De La Salle and Isidore Newman, will present two on-court sessions at St. Joseph Academy on Tuesday afternoon.

UNO will be represented in track & field by throws coach Jermisha Frazier.

Billy Napier – head football coach for the University of Louisiana – will address attendees on late Tuesday morning. The former Alabama and Clemson assistant has led the Ragin Cajuns to national prominence during his time in Lafayette.

LSU will be represented by longtime football assistant Corey Raymond and D.J. Mangas, the passing game coordinator who was part of the 2019 national title staff. Former college stars in their sports – Bailey Landry in softball and Bennie Brazell in track & field – will be on hand on Tuesday.

Dr. Lakeitha Poole of LSU will focus her talk on advancement of women in athletics. Poole, a NOLA native and Dominican High School alum, is the LSU Adviser to AD Scott Woodward for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

In the professional development department, long awaited Health & Safety Education will be presented. Louisiana state law and BESE standards now mandate that all coaches in the state receive certification on risk injury management. Longtime LSU Kinesiology Department member Dr. Ray Castle and longtime St. Amant Athletic Trainer Scott Arceneaux will be joined by LHSAA Assistant Executive Director and SMAC Liaison Lee Sanders to help educate attendees on what is expected under state law and BESE standards.

Ochsner representative Dr. David Leslie will add to Health & Safety Education professional development with a session on the 3 H’s – Head, Heat, and Heart. Concussion, heat Illness, and sudden cardiac arrest are three of the main causes of death in high school athletes around the country. Dr. Leslie will provide some education and where we go moving forward in terms of meeting necessary state standards and promoting best practices.

The annual Golf Scramble will close out the LHSCA Coaches Convention on Wednesday at Beaver Creek Golf Course in Zachary. Tee time is at 8:00am with golfers competing in Longest Drive and Closest to the Hole competitions. The 1st and 2nd Place finishing foursomes will receive prizes. To register yourself or your foursome, contact eheld@lhsaa.org for all of your LHSCA Scramble information.

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Eric Held

Director, Louisiana High School Coaches Association

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Eric Held is the Director of the Louisiana High School Coaches Association (LHSCA) for the Louisiana High School Athletic Association. Eric has been a member of the LHSCA and the Louisiana Football Coaches Association (LFCA) since 1995, where he is a current board member. Prior to taking on the position with the state athletic association, Eric taught and coached for…

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