Justin Morgan was seeking a unique opportunity. Being selected as the baseball coach at University High figures to provide just what the 32-year-old coach is looking for.
“I knew I wanted to be a head coach on the high school level,” Morgan said. “But I was looking for a particular kind of situation and I think U-High is it.
“You’ve got a program that has a tradition and is well-established. There are so many things about it that intrigue me.”
University announced the hiring of Morgan, an assistant coach at Dutchtown High and the head coach of the highly successful Gauthier & Amedee American Legion team, through an email Thursday.
Morgan succeeds former LSU player Burke Broussard, who retired as a baseball coach after 16 seasons at the school. Broussard led the Cubs to a runner-up finish in Class 2A in 2013 and the Class 3A semifinals in 2014.
“The main questions we got were people saying he’s never been a head coach,” UHS Athletic Director Jill White said. “He’s never been a head coach on the high school. He has head coaching experience with Gauthier & Amedee.
“Justin has the ability to manage a budget, handle practice and travel along with being able to evaluate and work with players. We feel like he’s the total package we were looking for.”
A 2000 graduate of East Ascension, Morgan is the son of former East Ascension coach Jamie Morgan. He was a catcher at the Louisiana-Lafayette and played a year and a half in the Chicago Cubs farm system.
Morgan has been an assistant coach at Dutchtown for seven seasons, serving as the pitching coach on coach Chris Schexnaydre’s staff. He has been Gauthier & Amedee’s head coach since 2009, winning a series of state titles and leading the Ascension Parish program to the American Legion World Series last summer.
“This is definitely bittersweet for me in a lot of ways,” Morgan said. “Chris is not only the head coach, he’s also one of my best friends. Dutchtown and (DHS Athletic Director) Benny Saia has been a great place to work. I’m thankful for the chance they gave me.
“I feel fortunate to follow a guy like Burke at U-High. I like the family-atmosphere, and I’m intrigued at the possibilities you have with the school that is affiliated with the university. I think it’s a great situation.”