For Joey Thibodeaux, the answer was academic.
After coaching baseball for 25 years in two stints at The Dunham School, Thibodeaux resigned Tuesday and plans to focus on classroom duties as an algebra teacher.
“I’m not really sure what to call this,” Thibodeaux said. “I’d say it’s 90 percent resignation and maybe 10 percent retirement … just in case I get that itch to coach again.
“This past year really became a grind between the classroom, travel and everything else you deal with. At this point in my career, I think I can best contribute by teaching six algebra classes a day.”
Thibodeaux, a former baseball standout at Catholic High and LSU, was one of two baseball coaches who elected to step down Tuesday. Scott Allen turned over the baseball reins at Plaquemine High to assistant coach Robert Primus in order to pursue an administrative job.
“I appreciate the support I’ve had at Plaquemine, and the administration supports my decision to do this,” Allen said. “I’m not sure (what school) I’ll be next year, but I’ll still be around helping out when I can.
“This is also a chance for me to spend more time with family. I have a daughter who will be a sophomore at False River next year and I missed a lot of her softball games this past year. I missed a lot of games my two older children played and I don’t want to do that this time.”
Thibodeaux has been a head football coach, athletic director and baseball coach at various points during his tenure at Dunham, dating to when it was called Trafton Academy and Chapel Trafton.
He spent 20 years as the school’s head football coach, compiling a 155-86 record that included a Class 1A state title in 2004. In baseball, he coached the school to a 2A baseball title in 1987 and a runner-up finish in 1994.
Thibodeaux took a break from baseball coaching after 20 seasons from 2003 through 2010. His 2011 team advanced to the Class 2A semifinals and compiled a 27-5 record. The Tigers were 18-15 and advanced to the regional round of the 2A playoffs, upsetting No. 11 Lakeside to open the playoffs.
Dunham President Bobby Welch said assistant coach Matt Smith will handle the baseball duties on an interim basis.
“I wasn’t totally surprised when Joey came to see me today,” Welch said. “Over the last 10 years we’ve become very close. He’s paid his dues and if there was ever a coach who deserves to leave on his own terms it’s Joey.”
Allen’s Plaquemine team finished 15-11, losing to 1-0 to Cecilia in the opening round of the Class 4A playoffs. Allen’s career includes stints of 13 years at Livonia, 2 1/2 years at False River, 1 1/2 years at North Iberville and six at Plaquemine.
SLU signs Dixon
Southern Lab sprinter Devin Dixon signed with Southeastern Louisiana on Tuesday.
Dixon helped the Kittens win the Class 1A state title earlier this month by placing third in both the 100 meters in 11.16 seconds and 200 in 22.59.