Capitol High football coach Claude Coleman resigned Friday morning, citing pending administrative changes as the basis for his decision.
Coleman, a longtime middle school coach in the Baton Rouge area and a former Grambling basketball player, also served as the Dean of Students at Capitol.
Coleman led the Class 2A Lions to a turnaround season in 2013. Capitol finished 6-5 and tied for second in District 6-2A with Dunham and East Feliciana before losing to Homer 34-32 in the first round of the playoffs.
“I wish the people here nothing but the best,” Coleman said. “There’s nothing I’d like more than to see this program succeed. The new charter group that is coming in is bringing in a new administration and I can’t see being part of that.
“I had the opportunity to stay, but I’m a very loyal person. I think (Principal Roy Walker) and the staff worked hard to make this a respectable school academically and athletically. We feel like we’ve made a difference. Our scores improved during his two years. But I understand changes have to be made in some situations.”
Capitol is part of Louisiana’s Recovery School District and is scheduled to go through a major transition in the fall. The RSD has run the school in recent years, but is bringing in a charter group to run it again starting in the fall. The school was previously run by a charter group before transitioning to RSD control a couple of years ago. Capitol is also set to absorb students from Istrouma, another RSD school, which is closing at the end of the 2013-14 school year.
Coleman spent two seasons at Capitol. He was originally hired to be the school’s boys basketball coach in 2012-13. But when Dameion Mills was relieved of his coaching duties during the fall of 2012, Coleman stepped in and took over as head football coach, scrapping a pass-oriented offense for a more run-oriented attack that really clicked during the 2013 season.
Though his current plans are incomplete, Walker said he plans to continue working and coaching in the Baton Rouge area.