Eric Randall got used to juggling duties as an assistant principal and assistant football coach at Baker High School last fall.
The former Southern University quarterback will expand that act as the head football coach and athletic director at Baker. Randall’s hiring was announced at a Baker School Board meeting Tuesday.
Randall’s move back into coaching comes about six months after he resigned as head football coach at Scotlandville, where he spent three seasons.
“This wasn’t something I was looking for,” Randall said. “But when coach (Richard) Oliver resigned, the possibilities came into focus. I’m vested … I think Baker is a great community.
“And I also feel like I’m young enough and bring enough energy to have a positive impact on the lives of kids as a coach. For me, this is really a good fit.”
Randall said he also will continue to be an assistant principal at Baker.
The Class 3A Buffaloes were 3-7 last fall under Oliver, a former Istrouma and Scotlandville head coach who spent four years as the BHS head coach.
In addition to compiling a 23-10 record and three playoff appearances, including a Class 5A quarterfinal berth in 2014, Randall has championship experience from his stint at Southern Lab. He was an assistant coach when SLHS won the Class 1A state title in 1996 and was the head coach in 2000 when a Southern Lab team, led by future LSU star and NFL player Marcus Spears, finished as the 1A runner-up.
Randall’s younger brother Marcus, a former LSU quarterback, led Southern Lab to a Division IV select title last month.
Randall left coaching to move into administration after the 2000 season at Southern Lab and was an assistant principal at Baton Rouge High when he was hired by Scotlandville.
In his first 24 hours on the job, Randall has concentrated on the basics. He’s planning a parents meeting, is set to talk to community leaders and has started reaching out to former Baker standouts, including ex-quarterback Jerald Sowell.
Sowell and Randall were rivals when Sowell played for Baker and Randall was a star for Glen Oaks in the 1990s. Sowell then went on to play Tulane and with the New York Jets.
“The Baker I remember from when I played was one that pulled together for everybody,” Randall said. “(Sowell) was one of the first people I texted, and I’m waiting to hear from him and some other alumni. They know the history and the possibilities.
“I think we can bring that togetherness back with the school and the community. I want to make it personal. I’m going to invite kids to come be part of the program.”
Randall said he plans to ramp up the Buffaloes’ offseason conditioning program to mirror what his Scotlandville teams did.