Eighteen applicants were in line to become football coach and athletic director at Donaldsonville High, including some from outside the Baton Rouge area.

Donaldsonville Principal Marvin Evans opted to stay very close to home, hiring former DHS player and longtime assistant coach Brian Richardson for the job.

“This is a dream come true,” Richardson said. “I’ve always wanted to be the head football coach and athletic director at Donaldsonville High. It’s where I’m from and where I live.

“This is going to be a bit of a transition year because we have some top seniors, including Stephen Sullivan, who are leaving. We want the younger guys to continue on in their footsteps. I also want them to develop their own identity.”

The 41-year-old Richardson graduated from Donaldsonville in 1992 and has bachelors and masters degrees from Southern University. He spent one season as an assistant coach with new Baker coach Eric Randall at Southern Lab and has been an assistant at DHS for 15 seasons.

In addition to being an assistant football coach, Richardson has also served as head girls-boys track coach and as an assistant basketball coach.

Richardson replaces Benny Guilbeau, who resigned after the season. The Tigers went 3-7 and finished 3-4 in District 6-3A. Sullivan, DHS’ star wide receiver, has already enrolled at LSU.

“The committee received a total of eighteen applications for the position and interviewed five candidates,” Evans said. “Coach Richardson emerged as the leading candidate based on his experience mentoring student-athletes and coaches.

“It was an overwhelming consensus that coach Brian Richardson has the skill set, qualifications and experience to lead our athletic department and football team.”

Richardson said coordinators Jay Dykes (defense) and Hebert Washington (offense) are set to return to the staff.