Woodlawn High didn’t have to look far to find its new head football coach. The Panthers hired Daniel Luquet, who served as the school’s offensive coordinator last fall.

As excited as the 31-year-old Luquet was about his new job, he said he was even more excited by the reaction of his players when told of his hiring Tuesday morning.

“Like I just told the kids I’m on Cloud 9,” Luquet said. “This is a dream come true for me and for my family.

“The way we did it, the kids were all waiting in a waiting room. When they said, ‘Here’s your new head coach,’ I came in the side door. They started jumping up and down and said, ‘We knew it was going to be you.’ They’re excited for me and can’t wait to start working toward next year.”

Luquet, a former Destrehan High quarterback and assistant coach, succeeds Brett Beard, who left Woodlawn last month to become head football coach at Live Oak. This is the first head coaching job for Luquet, the son of longtime Destrehan baseball coach Marty Luquet.

“You don’t get an opportunity like this very often,” Luquet said. “I’m anxious to put the lessons I’ve learned from my dad and other people into practice. I’ve been here for six months, so I know what this place is about.”

Beard, also a former Destrehan assistant, hired Luquet as his offensive coordinator last summer. Before coming to Woodlawn, Luquet spent six seasons as a Destrehan assistant.

“We already knew Daniel since he had been here and we knew what a go-getter he is,” Woodlawn Athletic Director Elmo Fernandez said. “He came very prepared for both interviews we did with him. He had answers and ideas. The players love him.”

Luquet hasn’t made plans to make any strategic changes. One thing he said he will focus on is fostering more community involvement.

“I really want to do is get out in the community and meet people,” Luquet said. “It’s up to us as a team to go out and generate interest in the program. We need to get more people excited about coming to our games.”