West St. John community mourns death of coach slain outside Baton Rouge nightclub _lowres

Advocate Photo by VERONICA DOMINACH Former West St. John teacher and football coach Skip LaMothe gives a speech at a memorial service honoring former West St. John's High School football coach, Juan Joseph, 27, who was fatally shot early in 2014. LaMothe was named football coach at Helen Cox.

Good things come to those who wait.

For Derek “Skip” LaMothe, it means another chance at coaching.

LaMothe was named the football coach at Helen Cox after the school’s inaugural coach, Willie Brooks, suddenly resigned from the position in December.

LaMothe, 55, boasts more than a decade’s worth of coaching experience, primarily with O. Perry Walker and L.B. Landry, and more recently at John Ehret, West St. John and McDonogh 35.

“I appreciate everyone who offered me jobs, from Corey Lambert to Robert Valdez to Wayne Reese,” LaMothe said. “Those were good programs that wanted to have me on their staffs. For me, it was a big deal and I appreciate it. It helped me keep my career going.

“Whether I was an assistant or a head coach, it’s different responsibilities, but at the same time, we’re trying to make a difference in children’s lives. Coaching is coaching.”

LaMothe began his coaching career as an assistant at O. Perry Walker before Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. There, he coached alongside former LSU assistant coach Frank Wilson, who was recently hired as the head coach at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

In 2005, LaMothe was named the head coach of L.B. Landry. After the storm wiped away that season of football, LaMothe returned to O. Perry Walker, where he was the head coach until 2008.

LaMothe returned as the head coach and athletic director of Landry, his alma mater, from 2011-12.

Since then, he has applied for numerous head coaching position — at St. James, Higgins and Hahnville — before finally get another chance at Cox.

“I always felt like I could help the team and children.,” LaMothe said. “To me, I just want to be in a position where I can make a difference and help children’s quality of life and help the team in any way I can. Football is a vehicle to do that.”

LaMothe will inherit a program that’s had only one head coach in Brooks since it became a high school in 2004.

The Cougars are coming off a 3-7 campaign and a fifth consecutive year without a postseason appearance.

LaMothe credited Brooks for what he built in Harvey, and only hopes to build off that foundation.

“Coach Brooks set up a nice program and had things in order, and I just want to be able to add to whatever he did and improve it,” LaMothe said. “I played against (Cox) at Ehret, so I watched it from afar. He went through some years where his teams were young. He had some good teams that had a slew of injuries. I just want to extend and improve wherever I need to in order to improve them. Hopefully, we can get better.”