Two years after playing for a state championship, Archbishop Hannan football has a new leader.
Scott Wattigny was named Hannan’s football coach this week by school officials. Wattigny comes to the Covington program after serving as an assistant coach at Vermilion Catholic in Abbeville.
This is the first head coaching job for Wattigny, who said he is ready for the challenge.
“I have had the pleasure of competing at a high level in the state of Louisiana,” he said. “I grew up and played in the Catholic League in high school and played at Northwestern State. I have been around great coaches. I had great coaches when I played at Holy Cross and then at Northwestern State.
“I have also been part of outstanding prep programs as an assistant coach at Brother Martin and Vermilion Catholic.
“I feel like this is the right opportunity and the right time for me. Over the last 10 years, I believe I have gotten ready and am prepared for this job. It has been awesome thus far to see what Hannan has to offer, and I think the family atmosphere is something I really enjoy. It sold me, it just feels right and something I want to be part of.”
After Hannan played in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in 2013 for a state championship, 2014 couldn’t have gone worse. Hannan went 1-9 with its only win coming over 1-10 Pope John Paul II on Oct. 3.
“The biggest thing we are going to relay to our players is a willingness and openness to change,” Wattigny said. “Most of the kids on the 2014 team were on that 2013 team that went to the state championship. To fast forward a year later and be in the situation they were in, something obviously has to change.
“For me the first thing I want to talk to our players about is having that openness and willingness to change things from the old way to the new way. For us that means we are going to outwork our opponents in every facet possible. We want to put in more quality work than our opponents do to prepare ourselves for Friday night.”
That work will have to wait a little longer, however, as Wattigny is still under contract with Vermilion Catholic through the end of May, which according to the new Hawks coach means there will be no spring football this year.
“I’m going to honor my contract to Vermilion Catholic,” he said. “That ends on May 31. Then everything becomes about Archbishop Hannan.
“We just aren’t going to be able to do spring football this season.”
Wattigny replaces Pat Lambert who resigned to become an assistant coach at Bogalusa. Lambert led the Hawks to a 25-29 record in his five seasons as coach.