Instead of putting one coach in charge, Scotlandville will have two coaches atop its football hierarchy this fall — interim coach Darren Clark and associate coach/coach in waiting Lester Ricard, the former Walker High coach.
Clark is the ninth-grade academy coordinator at the Class 5A school and was a successful baseball coach there. Ricard joined the Hornets staff last week, principal Tiffany Quiett.
“We feel like this is the best approach,” Quiett said. “There will be a period of adjustment for coach Ricard, and we want to give him a chance to know our school and the things we do at Scotlandville. He would assume the job as head coach after one year.”
Ricard led Walker, also a District 4-5A team, to the Class 5A playoffs in 2017 and resigned one game into the 2018 season. He played on a Class 3A title team at Amite High as a prep player and played quarterback at LSU and Tulane. He was offensive coordinator at Hahnville High before coming to Walker and also served as head coach at St. Martin's.
“When I look at this program, I see so much potential,” Ricard said. “There are great kids at this school who carry themselves with integrity. Mrs. Quiett was very direct with me during the interview process. She wants consistency and longevity. This is a great opportunity.”
Quiett added, "Coach Ricard's experience and all the football connections and contacts he has were a big reason why the selection committee made him their top choice."
Clark, played all sports, including football at Southern Lab and Baker. He played professional baseball after starring at Southern.
“I see myself as an adviser and coordinator for coach Ricard and the other coaches,” Clark said. “It's all about me keeping all my assistants on the same page and creating an all-star coaching staff.”
Quiett said Ricard was among 12 applicants for the Scotlandville job. Jules Sullen resigned after the 2018 season, his only year at Scotlandville. LaVanta Davis, now an associate coach at St. James, was head coach for two seasons, leading Scotlandville to a Division I runner-up finish in 2016. At St. James, Davis joined Robert Valdez, the Hornets coach in 2015.
The Hornets added two assistant coaches this semester in Kris Peters and Dio Bernard. Peters was the offensive coordinator for Valdez and Davis and returns to Scotlandville after one season as offensive coordinator at East St. John. Bernard, a former Southern player, came to SHS from Donaldsonville High.