Just 10 years ago, Wesley Laurendine was playing point guard at Rummel.
Shortly after that, he was attending Southern Miss, studying kinesiology and hoping to someday become a physical therapist.
After graduating and doing some internships, he took a few months off to figure out just what he wanted to do.
“I started coaching in a playground and fell in love with it,” Laurendine recalled.
Five years later, Laurendine landed his first head coaching job, being named coach at Archbishop Shaw last week.
Laurendine, who spent the past five seasons as an assistant at Jesuit, replaces John Quilter. Quilter coached the Eagles for the past two years but resigned to return to Australia, his home.
“I’m honored that (Shaw) believed in me and gave me an opportunity,” Laurendine said. “I can’t say enough about what (Jesuit) coach (Chris) Jennings did for me at Jesuit. He has shown me the right way to work.”
Laurendine, a 2005 Rummel grad, knows there is plenty of work to be done at his new gig in Marrero.
Shaw has won just one Catholic League game over the past two seasons.
“I just want to change the culture,” Laurendine said. “The motto at Shaw is ‘Excelsior’, which means ever striving, ever achieving. That’s what I’m working on. I’m not necessarily worried about wins and losses now. I’m trying to change the mindset and have people come out to watch us play because of the way we play. Obviously I want some wins. But I want us to play hard all the time. Play with passion, play with heart, play with pride.”
Jesuit senior forward Trey LaForge believes Laurendine can get the job done at Shaw.
“He’s an uptempo coach who brings a lot of energy and playing experience to the table,” said LaForge. “He is personable and will make a good coach.”
Since his hiring, Laurendine has made the drive from Jesuit (he’s still working at Jesuit through the end of the school year) to the Westbank, conducting offseason workouts.
“We have a good senior leader in Jeremy Horn,” Laurendine said. “We have a couple younger guys that have some talent. We just have to learn how to work.”
For Laurendine, who is just 28, the job is a dream come true.
“I set a goal to be a coach in the Catholic League before I was 30,” he said. “Did I think it was going to happen? To be honest, no I didn’t. You look around at the positions and don’t know if people would give me that chance. I’m just so glad they took a chance on me and I appreciate that. They believe in me and I believe in myself.”