While Louisiana’s stay at home order came in the midst of the Destrehan High School head football coaching search, the process of hiring the next head football coach at Hahnville figures to present a few more complexities for the school district’s hiring committee.
Days following the announcement that Marcus Scott would be Destrehan’s next head football coach last month, then Hahnville head coach Nick Saltaformaggio resigned from his post to accept the same position at Holy Cross, where he is an alumnus.
For the St. Charles Parish public school district, that meant a process that had just completed was beginning anew. But the DHS coaching search had already gone through a round of interviews before tight pandemic restrictions were put into place. The Hahnville process, potentially, may have to be a predominantly online based.
“Could it be done face to face, or will we have virtual meetings … we don’t know that quite yet,” said school district Athletic Director Kade Rogers, who noted the job opening was officially posted last week. “It’s a crazy time for this to be going on. We’re looking to mirror the same process, largely, in terms of the timeline.”
The job will remain posted until April 27, with the first round of interviews slated to be conducted May 7 and 8 and a second round the following week. Rogers said he hopes the committee will be able to recommend a candidate to the School Board at its May 20 meeting.
Rogers said he expects the job will bring considerable interest, much like its cross-parish rival. Nearly 30 applications were considered for the Destrehan post.
“I would consider both of these jobs among the top five in the state,” Rogers said.
“When it comes to community based support, district and school board support and the never-ending talent pool we’re so fortunate to have here in St. Charles Parish … Hahnville is a place you’ll always be able to compete.”
As in the Destrehan search, Rogers said the goal is to determine a candidate best suited for preparing student-athletes for success not just on the field, but off of it as well.
“Somebody passionate about kids, who will be an ambassador for Hahnville, the community and St. Charles Parish public schools,” Rogers said. “Someone with energy, passion and commitment, who’s enthusiastic. That’s what we got with Marcus and what we’re looking for again. We want someone who knows how to coach fundamental skills on the field but also who will prepare them to be better husbands, fathers and productive citizens in our community and hopefully the world.”
But he acknowledges the process itself takes Rogers and the coaching search committee into “uncharted waters.” He said the decision to take a bit of extra time with this search – opposed to attempting to secure a hire prior to this month’s School Board meeting on April 29 – was made in part to determine if face-to-face interviews would be a possibility after some time elapses and more information is available.
“You get a real good read and feel for people in person … can you do that on a Zoom call or over the phone?” Rogers said. “So we didn’t want to rush it. We’ll see if things may change. If they do, we’ll take the necessary precautions. However it goes, we’re going to put a quality process in place to get the best person for the students and community of Hahnville High School.”
When it comes to making a coaching hire during such an unprecedented worldwide scenario, there is no instruction manual.
“We’re kind of writing the blueprint right now,” Rogers said. “There’s so much that goes with this … how do you build a staff, have meetings, work with players, what does the summer look like, given you’ve lost spring?
“At the same time, it’s exciting. It’s a process I hope we don’t have to go through for a long time to come (after this hire), but it’s a chance to make a hire who can be so impactful on so many levels, in football but also on the whole community.”