Woodlawn High has hired former LSU quarterback Marcus Randall as its head football coach. Randall, who spent the 2018 season as head coach at The Church Academy, met with WHS players Thursday morning.
"This is great because I'm coming home," Randall said. "I told the kids this morning that Woodawn has always been special to me. I earned my teacher certification at Woodlawn and got started in coaching here.
"It definitely feels good to be back wearing purple again and coaching a team nicknamed the Panthers ... like my high school, Glen Oaks."
Randall, also a former Glen Oaks High quarterback and the brother of Baker High coach Eric Randall, is best known for the game-winning "Bluegrass Miracle" pass to Devery Henderson that gave LSU a win over Kentucky in 2002.
Woodlawn Athletic Director Elmo Fernandez said one factor that made Randall stand out among 48 applicants he was an assistant at Woodlawn from 2010-12. Randall's TCA team went winless last fall. He coached Southern Lab to two Division IV select titles that the school was ordered to forfeit amid numerous LHSAA sanctions that included a one-year suspension for Randall in 2017-18.
Fernandez said he spoke with LHSAA executive director Eddie Bonine, who told him Randall is in good standing with the LHSAA.
For Daniel Luquet, there was a bottom line on his job status, one that had nothing to do with Woodlawn High’s football record.
Randall's move to Class 5A Woodlawn comes a week after TCA announced it is closing at the end of the 2018-19 school year. The Class 2A school's decision was a shock for many, including Randall, who said he had received calls about head/assistant coaching jobs at other schools. There was a recent call from new Parkview Baptist coach Stefan LeFors, who wanted to gauge Randall's interest in joining his coaching staff.
Initially Randall said he also turned down Woodlawn, but when TCA made its closure announcement he called Woodlawn athletic director Elmo Fernandez.
"I was comfortable with the idea of building something there (at TCA)," Randall said. "The enthusiasm was up and interest was building in the program again. I feel fortunate to be in this situation at Woodlawn and can't wait to get started."
He replaces Daniel Luquet, who resigned last month after three seasons to become offensive coordinator at Hahnville High, which is closer to his home in the river parishes.
"We feel like he is a good fit for our school and our program," Fernandez said. "When he met with the team, he did such a good job communicating with them. He has the knowledge of our school and the area. We're excited to see what happens moving forward."