Tigers alum eager to lead program in first season as head coach

When Greg Boyne walked the halls of Hahnville High School as a student, he probably would have never envisioned being where he is now: back at his alma mater, preparing to lead the Tigers football program in his first season as a head coach. 

Mainly, because there was another sport occupying his time in those days. 

“I was actually a basketball guy,” Boyne said. 

A lot has changed since then. Boyne has been an assistant coach for two state football championships at Destrehan, the most recent of those as the team’s offensive coordinator. The Wildcats have been a consistent powerhouse, particularly over the past decade, and the part he played in that has led him back to the west bank of St. Charles Parish and his first opportunity as a head coach. 

After graduating from Nicholls State, Boyne began his coaching career in 1997 at J.B. Martin. He credits former Hahnville girls basketball coach Kevin Robicheaux, a good friend of Boyne’s, for the inspiration to do so. Robicheaux coached at J.B. Martin at the time. 

“He said I should give it a try, that it was a noble profession and I’d get to help kids,” Boyne said. “And I loved my two years at J.B. Martin. We had a really good group of kids and parents there, and those guys were extremely talented.”

It was there Boyne gravitated toward the offensive side of the game, and it’s where he’d remain when he accepted an assistant coaching job under then-head coach Stephen Robicheaux at Destrehan. Boyne coached the freshman team offense and worked with an offensive staff led by then offensive coordinator Mike LeBlanc. 

“Coach LeBlanc took me under his wing,” Boyne said. “He came from Jesuit, Brother Martin, and we did a lot of the things they did offensively.”

Boyne also coached basketball under then-boys basketball coach Joe Schick. 

“I learned a lot from him about coaching, handling situations, taking care of little details. And I’ve learned a lot from Coach Robe over the years, about putting the program first,” Boyne said. “I tried to take a little from everybody.

It included learning how a program is built up and strengthened, as Robicheaux and his staff oversaw a program that rose from a string of early round playoff exits to a dominating state champion in 2007, when the Jordan Jefferson-quarterbacked Wildcats went undefeated on the way to the 5A crown. 

“We struggled those first few years … Evangel, West Monroe, Jesuit, we lost to those guys in the first round. But everything really started to work and fit in 2005,” Boyne said. 

At that point, however, Boyne’s coaching journey found a brief interruption. He departed Destrehan in March of 2008, and in fact coaching entirely.

“I went to work at LAS (Enterprises, a windows and siding company) … Mike worked there as well as at Destrehan as a non-faculty coach. I left in March after the state championship, thought it was a chance to make a little more money … I realized pretty quickly it wasn’t what I wanted to do,” Boyne said. 

He wanted to return to Destrehan, however by that point his position had been filled and there were no more openings. There was an opportunity, however, at West Jefferson High School – with head coach Marcus Scott, who Boyne would go on to coach with years later at Destrehan. 

It also represented a chance for Boyne to call plays for the first time as the Buccaneers’ offensive coordinator. 

“I thought I was ready. (Scott) was a first-time head coach. I was a first-time offensive coordinator. We got to cut our teeth on it there,” Boyne said. 

Robicheaux himself left Destrehan after the 2009 season for a brief sabbatical from coaching. He returned to DHS in 2012 and Boyne joined his staff again, this time as offensive coordinator. 

The Wildcats missed the playoffs that season, losing three games by a total of six points near the end of the season. That stands as the last time DHS missed the postseason – from 2013 on, the Wildcats have been to the state semifinals eight times in 11 seasons and to three state championship games – including an unbeaten 5A state crown in 2022, with Boyne and Scott reunited as offensive coordinator and head coach.

Now early in his tenure at Hahnville, Boyne says he speaks and hears Robicheaux or Scott’s words emerge at times. 

“I find myself sounding a lot like Robe and also a lot like Marcus when I’m talking to the kids,” Boyne said. “Those two are similar, but different at the same time … Marcus always would tell the kids that we’re gonna tell you the truth, and I hear myself telling the kids that here at Hahnville. You are what you are. We’re gonna coach you up, but we’re also going to tell you the truth about where you are, because you have to hear it.”

His time with Robicheaux over the years prepared him in many ways. 

“I had the chance to spend 18 years with a Hall of Fame coach and watch how he operates, his demeanor, how he handles interview, how he handles different situations … I feel very prepared,” Boyne said. 

Boyne’s offenses over the years have put up plenty of points – sometimes, that’s come from an all out aerial assault, while others a ground and pound approach. 

As he’s grown from a young coach to a veteran play caller, his philosophy has evolved. 

“I think I’ve got a little bit of a reputation as someone who airs it out, throws it all over the park. But realizing the importance of the running game and controlling the pace of a game with it, the line of scrimmage with it … we’re going to run the football and we’re going to play physical,” Boyne said. 

Don’t confuse that with a conservative plan, however. 

“We’re going to take shots. I’ve always felt that’s important. Defensive backs in high school tend to be a little more hesitant than at the college and NFL levels … we’ve had success doing that over the years. I’ve been fortunate to work with a very good group of receivers through that time. It sets up the run game, and the run game sets up play action. It all goes hand in hand.”

This Hahnville program, he says, will be built on some defined principles. It will begin in the weight room, which he calls the lifeline of your program. As importantly, there has to be buy in and full commitment from players – day in and day out at practice, and absence will not be tolerated. 

“We’ve been very up front – if you’re not there, you’re not going to play. A few guys didn’t believe us, and they’re no longer with us,” Boyne said. “If you do the little things right, success will come. The program comes first.”

So far, he believes the buy in has been there. Boyne likes this team and he’s excited for what this first season may bring. 

“This group of guys, every day … we’ve had six workouts this summer. And we’ve had 80 guys that have not been late, have not missed, they’re six-for-six … I think they get it. They know for us to win, we have to work hard, lift heavy weights and play physical football. They’re doing the little things that need to be done to be successful. I think it’s going to be fun,” Boyne said. 

 

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