After heading the Fontainebleau High School defense the past three years, Chris Blocker was named head coach at the Mandeville school on Friday afternoon.
Blocker replaces Mike Materne, who led the Bulldogs program the past six seasons, including a return trip to the Class 5A playoffs in 2014. Blocker served as Materne’s defensive coordinator for the past three years and was on his staff for his entire tenure.
“It’s been a hectic last couple of days,” Blocker said. “It’s a very exciting time and I’m very excited. I’m looking forward to moving ahead with the program more than words can describe.”
Before his arrival at Fontainebleau, Blocker was an assistant coach at Covington from 1997-2008 and was at Hammond from 1994-1997.
Coming from within the program, Blocker said he believes the transition to head coach will be a smooth one.
“I’ve been with these players every day at practice,” he said. “Not only on the football field, but in the classroom as well. The familiarity I have with them and knowing their backgrounds is very important and is going to help me out tremendously as we go forth as a program.”
Admitting he faces many challenges moving up to the head coaching position, Blocker said he will rely on lessons learned from coaches he worked for throughout his career.
“There are going to be minimal changes on the current staff, so first off that is going to make my job easier,” he said.
A graduate from Riverdale, Blocker played college football at Nicholls State (1987-88) and Southeastern Louisiana (1989-1990).
Blocker will also be coaching his son, Mason, who is the projected starting quarterback next year for the Bulldogs. It will be the second father-son, head coach-quarterback scenario in the parish, as St. Paul’s coach Ken Sears’ projected starting quarterback in 2015 will be his son, Kenny Sears, Jr.
“We had that talk when (Mason) came into Fontainebleau about the challenges he would be facing as a player,” Blocker said. “Not necessarily what challenges I would have. I can handle the adversities that may arise from players and fans in general. Mason has handled the situation really well, and I couldn’t be more proud of him. I don’t foresee any problems at all.
“He puts in the time and works just as hard as everyone else and he is evaluated just like anyone else. It has worked well so far.”
Blocker announced defensive line coach Stephen Gremillion will replace Blocker as defensive coordinator.