A blockbuster lineup of guest speakers could make the 2011 Louisiana High School Coaches Association Summer Coaches Clinic one of the best ever.
The list of high-profile coaches scheduled to speak includes LSU women’s basketball coach Nikki Caldwell, Texas A&M head football coach Mike Sherman, UTEP men’s basketball coach Tim Floyd and Alabama softball coach Patrick Murphy. And there’s even more to the annual event that begins Tuesday at the Crowne Plaza.
“Over the last couple of years we’ve talked about what we could do to make the clinic better,” Louisiana High School Athletic Association Assistant Executive Director Rhonda McCullough Dreibelbis said. “We looked at some different things, and we kept coming back to figuring out what we could offer in terms of career development for our coaches.
“Obviously, having Nikki Caldwell is huge for us. So is having Patrick Murphy and Alyson Habetz (Alabama assistant softball coach). Having the coaches from Texas A&M gives our coaches the chance to hear a different group.
“And we also have some great coaches, too. LSU is hosting a barbecue for the football coaches and will have two assistant coaches speak. Several schools, like (the University of Louisiana at Lafayette) called us to get involved.”
Dreibelbis is obviously biased, but she said the clinic that begins at 9 a.m. Tuesday will offer something for coaches in a variety of sports. In addition to guest lecturers, the clinic will feature exhibitors who will display sports gear, field/court equipment and software.
Caldwell helps kick off the three-day event with a session at 11 a.m. Tuesday. Two Louisiana football coaches — Matt Viator of McNeese and Mike Lucas of Southeastern Louisiana — also have Tuesday sessions at the same time as Caldwell. ULL men’s basketball coach Bob Marlin leads the list of afternoon lecturers at 3 p.m.
Coaching star power continues on Wednesday. First-year ULL football coach Mark Hudspeth is set to speak at 11 a.m. Several Cajun assistants are also among the speakers.
Texas A&M’s Sherman is scheduled to speak at 1 p.m., while UTEP’s Floyd, a former University of New Orleans and New Orleans Hornets coach, comes up next at 2 p.m. until 5 p.m., covering three topics.
“People think of LSU and Texas A&M as rivals, but this isn’t about a rivalry,” Dreibelbis said. “This is a chance for our coaches to hear a group of coaches speak who they haven’t heard before.
“Obviously, LSU is still a big part of this, hosting the barbecue, and they’ll also have two coaches who will speak there.”
Alabama’s Murphy, who briefly took the LSU softball job in June, is set to speak at 5 p.m. Wednesday. LSU softball assistant Kristen Hobbs Cain will speak at 3 p.m.
Other LSU coaches are not on the clinic agenda, but new offensive coordinator Steve Kragthorpe and defensive line coach Brick Haley will speak to the coaches during the barbecue set for 5:30 p.m. at the LSU football operations building. As per NCAA rules, there will be an admission charge for the barbecue.
The clinic wraps up on Thursday with Louisiana Tech football coach Sonny Dykes set for a 9 a.m. session. Murphy and Habetz are scheduled to speak in back-to-back sessions at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.
Local prep coaches scheduled to speak include Dutchtown High softball coach Nancy Ensminger (9 a.m. Thursday) and St. Michael wrestling coach Kris Kienzle (11 a.m. Thursday). St. Thomas Aquinas-Hammond boys basketball coach Errol Gauff will speak at 1 p.m. Wednesday.
The LHSCA’s general business meeting is set for 10 a.m. Wednesday. Business meetings for several other coaches groups are scheduled.
Dreibelbis said volleyball and football rules clinics are offered, giving coaches the chance to attend a required rules session before the season begins. “I’d like to think there’s something in there for just about everybody,” Dreibelbis said.