After a day that consisted mainly of executive sessions, search committee chairman Todd Guice of Ouachita Parish High made a brief statement regarding the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s hiring of a new executive director.
“All right, here we go,” Guice said. “We did have a very productive meeting. You know we’ve been in there for a while.
“And all that I can say right now is that the process is continuing. Hopefully, we’ll have some resolution very quickly.”
When asked to define “very quickly” Guice said he couldn’t offer a definition on that. With that, the LHSAA executive committee’s two-day meeting came to a close Tuesday. There is speculation the hiring of a new executive director could come later this week.
The LHSAA group spent much of Monday interviewing candidates for its vacant executive director’s job. LHSAA President Vic Bonnaffee, Guice and others declined to comment on who was interviewed and how many applicants there were Monday.
A source familiar with the situation said there were 14 applicants for the LHSAA’s top job that opened up in late October when the previous executive director, Kenny Henderson, and the LHSAA mutually agreed to part ways after seven years.
The applicants interviewed reportedly included four names familiar in LHSAA circles and one that is not. Former assistant executive director Rhonda Dreibelbis, Lutcher football coach/Athletic Director Tim Detillier, ex-LHSAA President William Duplechain of Port Barre and Haughton Principal Gene Couvillion were cited as Louisiana finalists by the source. Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Executive Director Eddie Bonine was reportedly the only out-of-state candidate interviewed.
Duplechain, who served multiple stints on the executive committee, was also a finalist when Henderson was hired in 2006. Detillier is a past president of the Louisiana High School Coaches Association and has served on various committees, including the executive committee and the School Relations Committee. As a football coach, Detillier has 252 wins and won Class 3A state titles at Lutcher in 2003, 2006 and 2008.
Dreibelbis was the first female assistant director hired by the LHSAA in 2007. She retired following the 2007 school year and was a successful basketball coach and administrator. Dreibelbis is also part of the latest induction class for the Louisiana High School Sports Hall of Fame. Couvillion is a former executive committee member who served the LHSAA in a variety of capacities.
During the open part of its Tuesday meeting, the executive committee approved a slightly revamped version of the School Relations Committee proposal that will reunite select and nonselect schools in Class 5A/4A and would divide 3A to 1A select schools into two groups, one for 3A and 2A schools and the other 1A schools.
Also notable was a proposal by committee member Tommy Hodges and Doyle that was amended and approved as part of the January agenda at the LHSAA’s annual convention.
Hodges’ proposal calls for a playoff ban for any member school that takes part in litigation against the LHSAA. His proposal called for a football playoff ban in all sports the year after litigation, but was amended to include all sports. Schools would not be sanctioned for lawsuits brought by parents or other groups.
The 30-item agenda is one of the smallest the LHSAA has had for its annual convention. The school relations committee proposal is one of two that could reunite the select/nonselect schools. An independent proposal by committee members Guice and Ricky Durrett of Ruston that would create a 6A for the top 32 enrollment and would reunite select/nonselect schools in all classes. Many Principal Norman Booker III has separate proposals that would require select/nonselect playoff divisions for basketball, baseball and softball.