Baton Rouge native Dennis Lorio is the new football coach and athletic director at Class 4A Morgan City High.

Lorio is a Baton Rouge High graduate and former LSU baseball player. He led Thibodaux High to the Class 5A football title in 1991.

“The thing about coaching is there really is no age limit,” the 61-year-old Lorio said. “You have several head coaches who are older than me. Frank Monica (St. Charles Catholic coach) and I are the same age. I still have the drive and enthusiam. And I’m excited about the challenge.”

Lorio spent 2011 and part of the 2012 season as an assistant at East St. John High. Before that, he had 22-12 record in his season stint as head coach at Thibodaux from 2008-10. His last THS team was 4-6.

Morgan City Principal Mickey Fabre said the school advertised the position twice and wound up with about 60 applicants before hiring Lorio, who started work at the St. Mary Parish School on Monday.

“The second time we got some impressive applicants, but Dennis was head-and-shoulders above the rest,” Fabre said. “We wanted someone to be an athletic director who had experience, which he has. And his football pedigree is so impressive. He’s come in and hit the ground running.”

For his career, Lorio is 105-70 and has a 14-4 record in Class 5A playoff games. He was 44-18 from 1987-91 in his first stint at Thibodaux.

Before 2008, Lorio worked at a series of Baton Rouge area schools. He served as football coach at Plaquemine High, Tara High and University High. He also served as an assistant at Denham Springs High and Parkview Baptist.

At MCHS, he replaces another Baton Rouge native, former Catholic High player Brandon Nowlin, who resigned to become an assistant at Nicholls State. Nowlin inherited a program that had gone winless and led the Tigers to a 4-6 mark last season.

Lorio said his top priorities will include increasing the number of players out for the Morgan City team. He said he has already meet with 78 boys interested in playing football and said multi-sport participation will be encouraged.

Adding to the current staff of faculty coaches also will be a priority, along with completing $100,000 in scheduled improvements to the Morgan City locker room. The Tigers have not earned a football playoff berth in 15 years, according to Lorio.

Lorio said the school is accepting applications for faculty coaches in a number of roles, including head girls basketball coach, along with assistant coaching positions for football, baseball and basketball for 2013-14. Interested applicants should call Lorio at (225) 936-4921.