Hitting a baseball requires skill and timing. Different timing elements have led to three head baseball coaching changes.
Central’s Mike Forbes and Tait Dupont of Brusly have resigned to seek new opportunities. St. Michael the Archangel has hired its new baseball coach, David Gomez.
Forbes won LHSAA Class 5A titles at Central in 2017 and 2018 and led the Wildcats to the playoffs six times. Dupont leaves Brusly with over 300 wins and five appearances in the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Baseball tournament in Class 3A.
Gomez was born and raised in Baton Rouge until age 11 and attended two years of college in Baton Rouge. He played at South Lafourche High and then at Southern University in 1999-2000 before graduating from LSU. He has served as head coach at Eastern New Mexico University since 2013.
“I have a son who will be entering high school and another who is six and loves baseball,” Forbes said. “I’m a competitor who goes all out. I’ve loved every minute of coaching and Central is my school … the place where I played. We’re at a point in time now with my family that it is the right time to make a change.
“To be honest with you, I don’t know what the future holds, whether I’ll be a head coach or an assistant somewhere. Being an assistant coach for my younger son made me realize I’ve missed some things.”
Forbes was the head coach at Central for eight seasons. The Wildcats lost to eventual 5A champion Barbe in the regional round this spring. Dupont spent 10 seasons at Brusly, two as a head football coach and final eight as head baseball coach/athletic director. Brusly advanced the Class 3A quarterfinals this spring.
“I’m looking for another challenge — something different, that’s all,” Dupont said. “I’ve enjoyed all my time at Brusly. I think Walt Lemoine is one of the best principals you could work for. I’ve loved coaching all the kids and teaching at the school, but it’s time for a change.”
Like Forbes, Gomez said his move is family driven.
“My wife and I have always loved Baton Rouge and we’ve looked for an opportunity to move here,” Gomez said. “I think this will give me more time to spend with my family and it allows us to give our children a Catholic-education base that is important to us. The program has been successful and there are a number of players coming back, so the situation is good.”
Gomez replaces Chris Harrell, who is set to become an assistant football/baseball coach at Dutchtown High. Gomez also has coached at Alcorn State, Frank Philips College, New Mexico Military Institute, along with a stint coaching the French National team.
Lemoine of Brusly and Central Athletic Director Sid Edwards lauded their former coaches.
“Tait and I go back a long way … I coached him in high school,” Lemoine said. “He has given Brusly High some great years and leaves us on good terms. His are some big shoes to fill.”
Edwards noted Forbes’ tireless work not only with his players, but also to refurbish Central’s baseball facility.
“I have no idea where he will end up, but whatever school gets Mike Forbes is one of the luckiest schools in America,” Edwards said. “Great coach … better person.”
Meanwhile, St. Michael Athletic Director Robert Smith is pleased to add Gomez.
“We knew he (Gomez) was the best choice with his experience and insight and more than 10 years of coaching baseball,” Smith said in a school press release. “He brings a wealth of knowledge, and it is great to have someone on staff that we feel can continue to grow and develop the program.”