Editor’s note: After two months in an interim role while completing his duties as a teacher-coach at Catholic High, LHSCA Director Eric Held is now on the job fulltime. He shares his views about the LHSCA convention set for Monday and Tuesday at the Shreveport convention center and a few other topics.
What are you most excited about going into the LHSCA convention?
“Just seeing it all fall into place. Over the last couple of months I’ve been lining up vendors and speakers. It’s been crazy putting all the pieces together. The goal is to make sure the coaches get professional growth and development. And that they also get some time together to share ideas and information. Having it the first week in June is tough because some coaches take vacations and others are busy with camps. I hope a lot of people take advantage of this opportunity.”
LSU coach Ed Orgeron, defensive coordinator Dave Aranda and passing game coordinator Joe Brady are huge draws as speakers on Tuesday. How would you characterize the group of speakers overall?
“No doubt, all of those guys are speakers a lot of coaches, and other people, will want to hear from. I really like the balance we have. It was great for me to work with all the different coaches associations on this because they play a role on who we get for the different sports. Penny Lucas-White, a former LSU volleyball player, is going to be very dynamic. We have two soccer speakers, one who just won a high school title and another who started a college program. There are so many speakers from the state colleges, many of whom are former high school coaches, which also is good.”
What made you want to pursue the LHSCA director’s job?
“Several years ago, I was at a golf tournament with Gary Duhe, who was the first LHSCA Director. When he told me about the job, I thought it was the coolest thing. I knew then that if I felt fulfilled in my coaching career and my family was in the right place at some point, I would pursue the job if it opened up. That’s what I did.”
You spent your entire career as a coach at parochial schools and also attended one, Brother Martin. Given the LHSAA’s select and nonselect schools issues, what makes you the right fit for the job?
“When I interviewed for the job, most of the people on the committee were from nonselect schools. At the end of the day, if you cut me open it’s pretty simple … I’m a coach. There may be some coaches who see themselves as select or nonselect coaches, but I believe most of us see ourselves as coaches. Many have coached at both select and nonselect schools.”
What do you believe your most important role as LHSCA director is?
“Reaching across the aisle to bring coaches from different sports together and help those coaches grow in their professional. And to make sure the LHSCA and LHSAA work smoothly together. A lot of people see football first. But during my career I’ve been a football coach, a baseball coach, a golf coach and a track coach. Coaches fill a lot of roles that are important.”