DHS coach steps down after 310 wins

Led Wildcats to playoffs all 14 years

May 09, 2014 at 3:08 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Wildcat head coach Marty Luquet finished his Destrehan career with a 310-137 record.
Wildcat head coach Marty Luquet finished his Destrehan career with a 310-137 record.
After 14 seasons and more than 300 wins, Destrehan’s Marty Luquet coached the final high school game of his career with his team’s loss in the regional round of the Class 5A playoffs on Saturday.

Luquet finished with a 310-137 record at Destrehan that included 14 straight playoff appearances. He led the Wildcats to the state tournament six times and advanced to the Class 5A state championship game in 2003 and 2005.

Due to his tremendous success at Destrehan, Luquet was named Louisiana’s baseball Coach of the Year in 2002, 2003 and 2005. He was also named District Coach of the Year 11 times in 14 seasons.

Last May, Luquet announced that this season would be his last.

“The original reason was because of my mother. She moved in with us and needed a lot of help,” Luquet said. “Mother passed away on Feb. 15, but I had made that decision and I’m going to fulfill that.”

Luquet began his coaching career at J.F. Kennedy High School and was the head coach at O. Perry Walker from 1982 to 1991. He also served as head coach at St. James High School before taking over at Destrehan in 2001. He finished his coaching career with a 447-251 record, but most of his success came at Destrehan.

“I’ve coached at four different places, but I love Destrehan. It’s been great to me and my career,” Luquet said. “The best part of being at Destrehan is being part of this community. The people I was able to coach and the parents I got to be around made it so much fun.”

From 2002 to 2005, Luquet led the Wildcats to the state tournament each season. Before that impressive streak, Destrehan had never been to the state tournament before.

“We had a run where we had four straight trips to the tournament and went to the finals two of those years (2003 and 2005),” Luquet said. “Those four years were so much fun.”

Those seasons coincided with the emergence of star Destrehan pitcher Beau Jones. Jones was a three-time Class 5A All-State selection and was named Louisiana’s Mr. Baseball during his senior season in 2005.

He was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the first round of the 2005 amateur draft.

Though Jones was a big reason behind Destrehan’s success during those four years, Luquet said his ace pitcher was surrounded by several good players that made the Wildcats a complete team.

In fact, Destrehan was ranked as the No. 2 team in the country during the 2004 season before falling in the playoffs.

“My biggest memory, unfortunately, is not a win. We were 33-1 and No. 2 in the country in 2004 and lost,” he said. “I just knew that was the year we would win our first state championship.”

Though the Wildcats never captured that elusive state title, Luquet has helped mold the lives of more than 30 former Destrehan athletes who have gone on to play baseball in college.

“We’ve been very fortunate to have a lot of great players, but they don’t carry a team. There are plenty of good players that I am proud of, but there are numerous guys that do the daily work in the trenches that made it fun,” Luquet said.

Luquet capped his career by leading the Wildcats to a 24-12 record this season. Destrehan won District 7-5A with a 13-1 record that included two wins over rival Hahnville.

While Luquet has coached his last game at Destrehan, he will still be able to mentor high school baseball players from across the parish. Hahnville and Destrehan have merged their American Legion teams and Luquet will serve as one of the team’s coaches this summer. He will also continue to work at Destrehan until his youngest daughter, who is currently in seventh grade, graduates from high school.

“I’m not going away,” Luquet said. “St. Charles, don’t put me away yet.”

Luquet, who is married to Lori Lyons, has three children - son, Daniel, and daughters, Courtney and Lora Leigh.

View other articles written Jonathan Menard

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