St. John of Plaquemine didn’t have to look far to find its next head baseball coach, hiring Chase Mancuso, most recently the school’s volleyball and girls basketball coach, on Wednesday.

“I interviewed a couple of weeks ago,” the 29-year-old Mancuso said. “I got the word this morning in a meeting with the principal and the athletic director. I’m excited, and I’ll be honest with you, not a whole lot will change.

“The program is established. The only thing missing is a state title, and that’s what we’ll continue working toward.”

Mancuso is a 2002 St. John graduate. He succeeds Heath Whittington, who resigned earlier this month to become head softball coach at Ascension Episcopal located in Cade.

Whittington led the Eagles to a 25-6 record and a berth in the 1A semifinals. SJHS lost to Sacred Heart-Ville Platte in the semifinals.

Mancuso, who played baseball for current Plaquemine High football coach Paul Distefano for two years and Brusly High baseball coach Tait Dupont for two years as a student at St. John, has led the Eagles to a string of state volleyball tourney appearances in Division IV.

He worked as a baseball assistant to Whittington for four years before stepping aside in 2013-14 to take on the girls basketball duties while also serving as St. John’s middle school athletic director.

“I’m going to still be coaching volleyball,” Mancuso said. “But I’m giving up the other two (duties) for baseball. The guys have been playing some summer games this year with volunteer coaches. There’s scheduling and some other things to do. I can’t wait to get started.”