Istrouma High School will re-enter the varsity ranks in Class 4A this fall with two notable new faces in key positions.
Latoshia Clay moves from Scotlandville to become the athletic director for the Indians, while former Istrouma boys basketball coach Marvin Dotson, most recently the coach at Belaire, returns to reprise that role.
“Our goal is to see that our students have the opportunity to succeed in everything they do and that includes athletics,” Istrouma Principal Reginald Douglas said. “Being able to hire two people the caliber of coach Clay and coach Dotson can only help us do those things. They both bring in a great deal of experience and have been successful.
“Coach Dotson was successful the first time he coached at Istrouma and knows the area, along with the history of the program. Coach Clay has been the athletic director at Scotlandville for the last 10 years … a program that is successful in multiple sports. She knows how to run a program and the school did not have any issues with the LHSAA under her watch. Before that, she was a successful basketball coach.”
Istrouma reopened as an East Baton Rouge Parish School System school in the fall of 2017-18 following a $24.1 million renovation. It was closed for three years. The Istrouma athletics reboot started that year with the school rejoining the LHSAA in a transitional basis that included phasing in varsity competition for 2019-20.
Dotson’s first head coaching job was from 2007-13 at Istrouma. He also spent two seasons as coach at McKinley, two at Belaire and has a career record of 216-81.
“I want to thank (Belaire Principal Angela Jones) for the opportunity to coach at Belaire,” Dotson said. “There are no ill-feelings. Istrouma is a place that is so close to my heart. It was my first job as a head coach and it is the last place my dad saw me coach. Moving up to varsity competition this year won't be easy. These guys are excited and ready to put in the work.”
Clay spent 22 years at Scotlandville, restarting the girls basketball program that was suspended during part of the school’s magnet era.
“This situation does remind me to some degree of what it was like when I started at Scotlandville as a basketball coach,” Clay said. “There are challenges you face when you are trying to build a program up. I look forward to working with Mr. Douglas, the coaches and athletes as we work together to build.”