YOUNGSVILLE — Whenever Mike Desormeaux identifies the most important influences in his life, somehow there is always a former coach involved.
That includes the ones that coached Desormeaux at Catholic High in New Iberia and at UL-Lafayette, where he compiled 6,736 total offensive yards as a three-year quarterback starter.
Those coaches are still available today for occasional consultations, Desormeaux says, as friends and mentors, while he develops his own program at Ascension Episcopal School.
AES is in a seventh season of varsity football and Desormeaux has his Blue Gators 3-1 in his second season as the school’s coach.
The Gators face Ascension Christian at AES Friday night, which serves as another challenge for a school whose Youngsville campus is less than a decade old.
Desormeaux said his coaching mosaic reflects what he learned from those who once coached him.
“As I look back, the coaches I played for in high school and college are first of all, really great men. I know that in my life so far, they really made a great impact on me.
“In high school I had David Comeaux as my head coach and then in college, there were my offensive coaches, Jorge Munoz, Ron Hudson and Rob Christophel.”
Munoz is still at UL-Lafayette as an offensive assistant, while Hudson is now the offensive line coach at Nevada. Christophel is the offensive coordinator at Missouri State.
Comeaux is now the head football coach at Erath.
The coaching legacy also includes his father, Bill Desormeaux Jr., who played tight end at LSU during the 1970s.
“When I was younger (Bill Desormeaux) coached me too,” said Mike Desormeaux.
“I really love Coach Munoz and Coach Hudson (who was UL-Lafayette offensive coordinator and offensive line coach).
“We still stay in touch. The most important thing I can take away from my associations with those coaches is they treated people right. They could also make you feel important,” said Desormeaux.
Desormeaux said his years as a college quarterback were also beneficial in providing the essentials and offensive nuances, which he now includes in his coaching mosaic.
“As a quarterback, the coaches had a way of getting me involved in the planning process. I got to sit in on their meetings and that also meant game planning.
“The fact that I got to go through that really prepared me for my coaching career. The main thing is that coming out of college, I knew how to prepare for a game,” said Desormeaux.
Desormeaux spent time as a Catholic High assistant before leaving the school and looking for his own team.
When he was undergoing the interview process at AES, Desormeaux said it appeared all the pieces there were in place.
“I felt that Youngsville was a great place for me to raise a family. It’s an area that is growing fast and the school has amazing academics. When I interviewed, I was looking for a school that was well-rounded in everything.
“There are some great people here that were already on the athletic staff that I knew could help me,” Desormeaux said.
That would include AES boys’ head basketball coach Eric Mouton and baseball coach Lonny Landry, Desormeaux said. Don’t forget brother Matt Desormeaux, an AES football assistant, who played several offensive positions at UL-Lafayette and caught a touchdown pass from brother Mike Desormeaux.
AES finished 5-6 in 2013, a season which included a first round playoff loss to Ascension Catholic.
Ascension Christian is 2-2 and recovering from a 54-0 loss to Madison Prep. In two games this season Ascension Christian has failed to score.
The Gators have outscored the opponents 98-25 in their three victories. The blemish on the AES record came against undefeated Opelousas Catholic, which scored 40 points during the early part of the game.
Desormeaux said he has emphasized strength and physical preparation since becoming head coach, qualities which are now becoming evident in how the Gators approach the game.
“The kids are responding well. They are the type of kids who have shown up every day and do what we ask them to do. They just go to work,” said Desormeaux.
The emphasis on the physical nature of the game is apparent in the performance of the Gators’ offensive line, which operates in front of quarterback Jake Arceneaux and running back Ja’Ceiry Linzer, Desormeaux said.
Defensively Noah Dodson and Andre Roter, have been beneficial in addition to members of a young secondary that includes two freshmen, said Desormeaux.