Walker High School has never won an LHSAA football championship. But now the Class 5A Livingston Parish school has a head coach who has — Chad Mahaffey.
Mahaffey, who led the University High to three state titles in nine seasons, including the past two Division II select titles, is the new head football coach at Walker.
Walker Principal Jason St. Pierre announced the hiring of Mahaffey on Wednesday afternoon. Mahaffey also met with the U-High team Wednesday to inform them of his move.
“This is a huge hire for us,” St. Pierre said. “Chad is so meticulous and very detail-oriented. That was the first thing that stood out about him when I met him. Planning is one of his strengths and he comes in with a plan for our entire program, from freshmen to seniors.
“And he is also a great person. We’ve made strides and won games. I think (hiring Mahaffey) takes things to a next level. It makes us relevant. Hopefully, we can be one of the teams that contend in 5A every year.”
The 40-year-old Mahaffey led the Cubs to a record of 102-15, which includes Division II select titles in 2014, 2017 and 2018. He has a career record of 106-20 that also includes a one-year stint at Vermilion Catholic.
"The last nine seasons at U-High were great with the kids and all the success we had," Mahaffey said. "I know people have questions, so I want to reiterate that nothing is driving me away from U-High. This is about what I see at Walker as a great opportunity.
"I had never really been out to the school before and when I visited, the facilities and everything they have just blew me away. The challenge of being at a large school with more players and a larger staff is intriguing."
U-High won 26 straight games while winning back-to-back titles in 2017 and 2018. The Cubs finished 73rd in MaxPreps' final national rankings.
Cecil Thomas resigned as the Walker coach in January to become head coach at 5A Sulphur High. Thomas was the interim coach at Walker for most of the 2018 season. The interim tag was dropped the first week of the playoffs. Walker finished 8-3 last fall, including a playoff loss to Hahnville.
University Athletic Director Jill White said associate coach/defensive coordinator Andy Martin will serve as the Cubs' interim coach until a permanent coach is selected.