A few portions of the building have changed and almost all of the staff is different.

That doesn’t matter to Tara’s new football coach Terry Washington.

“It’s good to be home, and this is home,” Washington said. “I went to school at Tara, and I’m excited and happy to be back.”

Washington, who spent the past five seasons as football coach Terrebonne Parish-based Ellender, began working at Tara when classes resumed for the spring semester.

He replaces Cooter Mansur, who remains on faculty as a teacher, Tara Athletic Director Barry Jackson said.

“We’re happy to have him (Washington) on staff, and we’re looking forward to the future,” Jackson said.

Washington is a 1981 Tara graduate who went on to star in track and field at Southern University from 1982-86. He was an assistant coach at Tara and several other area schools in the 1990s and was previously the head coach at Scotlandville in 2004.

After leaving Scotlandville, Washington spent three years as head football coach at Jeanerette, one year as head coach at Sarah Reed and the past five at Ellender.

Washington said his immediate focus is on building the Trojans’ strength and conditioning program.

“I can’t really say what we’ll run on offense or defense right now,” Washington said. “You can always talk about what you want to do, but you need to match the personnel you have to it. So we’ll wait until spring practice to see how that goes.

“We’re going to spend a lot of time in the weight room and working on speed and conditioning. If we improve in those areas, that will be a great start.”

Class 4A Tara finished the 0-10 in 2015. Washington’s 4A Ellender squad was 2-8.