Most youngsters grow up wanting to be an athlete or maybe a coach. Lee Sanders adopted a different goal after watching his father officiate high school games.
Now the 46-year-old Alexandria native is set to take on the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s lead role with officials. Sanders has been hired as the LHSAA’s new assistant executive director to coordinate officials.
“I went with my dad to gyms all around the Alexandria area and the state when he worked as an official,” Sanders said. “It was something I knew I wanted to do. By the time I was in high school, I was working youth league games. I did intramural games in college and then started working as an LHSAA official after college.”
Sanders takes over for Keith Alexander, who is set to retire next month. Sanders begins work at the LHSAA office on July 1.
“I have the greatest respect for Keith and the work he has done over the last 10 years,” Sanders said. “I look forward to building on the foundation that Keith and Mac (Chauvin, retired LHSAA assistant commissioner) put into place.”
Sanders is the son of former Alexandria Senior High and Pineville High School Principal Aubrey Sanders. He worked for more than 20 years as an LHSAA basketball, softball and baseball official. Sanders was also a teacher/coach and athletic director at Alexandria Country Day, a middle school.
Finding ways to recruit and retain officials will be among Sanders’ key objectives.
“The last survey by the National Association of Sports Officials found that the average age for a high school official is 53,” Sanders said. “That same survey said that 75 percent of new officials quit during the first two years. We need to bring in new officials and find ways to keep them involved.”
Former White Castle coach Ferrante Dominique has resigned as head football coach at Morgan City. Dominique, who coached WCHS to the Class 1A title in 2010, was hired in January.
Dominque told the Morgan City Daily Review that, “It wasn’t an environment conducive for me to be successful.”
Morgan City is expected to advertise the position until June 22. MCHS has hired Andrew Madden as its head baseball coach. Madden has worked as an assistant at several schools, including Westgate, Catholic-New Iberia, Catholic-Pointe Coupee and North Vermilion.
Albany hires Janis
Mike Janis, most recently the wide receivers coach at Walker, has been hired as the head football coach at Albany. Janis takes over for Blane Westmoreland, who served as head coach of the Class 3A Hornets for five seasons. Westmoreland accepted a job as an assistant coach in charge of the freshman team at his alma mater, Live Oak, last week.
Janis' experience includes coaching stints at both Albany and Springfield as an assistant coach. The 33-year-old Janis said his first teaching job was at Albany from 2009-12, where he served as offensive coordinator. He worked at Springfield from 2012-16. Janis said he served as offensive coordinator at SHS and head coach at Springfield Middle School both in 2012. He is a 2003 St. Amant graduate.
"This is a part of (Livingston Parish) where I have worked before and I enjoy being part of," Janis said. "So far, the kids are excited and receptive to the changes. I'm very pleased."