Michael Roach has been a football coach and cabinet maker for more than 20 years. Now the former Southern Lab coach will get a chance to combine the disciplines.

Roach accepted the job as football coach at Madison Prep and will also start a cabinet-making technology program for the Baton Rouge-based charter school.

“There were some other things I was looking at,” he said. “I talked to a couple of colleges. Madison Prep was something that has intrigued me. It’s the chance to get in there and build up a program and to help kids on and off the field.”

Roach, who was out of football for the 2012 season, was defensive coordinator at Alcorn State in 2011. The year before, he led Southern Lab to the Class 1A quarterfinals and an 8-5 record. In 2006, his SLHS team, led by future LSU star Chad Jones, advanced to the 1A semifinals.

Madison Prep, a four-year-old Type 2 charter school that is not part of Louisiana’s Recovery School District, is in Class B and will play varsity football for the first time in 2013. The school has played at the junior varsity level since its inception.

“We wanted a coach with experience, and coach Roach has that both on the high school and college level,” Madison Prep Athletic Director Jeffery Jones said. “And if you look at his record, you see he’s been successful on all levels. He’s someone we think will be not only a good coach but a good ambassador for our school.”

Roach spent six seasons at SLHS before accepting the Alcorn job. He also was Southern Lab’s coach in the mid-1990s. His coaching résumé includes assistant coaching stints with Grambling coach Doug Williams at Grambling and Morehouse.

After accepting the job over the weekend, Roach was scheduled to meet with Madison Prep players for the first time Monday. He’ll then begin assembling a staff for the high school and middle school programs, looking to add up to five coaches.

Roach said he’s just as excited about the school’s cabinet-making technology program, which he will formulate and teach.

“We’ll focus on design and building cabinets,” he explained. “The idea is to give the kids a chance to learn skills they can apply.”