Donaldsonville High selected former Opelousas High and Notre Dame football player Benny Guilbeaux as its new head football coach and athletic director.

The 36-year-old Guilbeaux spent the 2012 football season as an assistant at nearby Assumption High. It is the first head coaching job for Guilbeaux, who played strong safety at Notre Dame.

Donaldsonville Principal Esrom Pitre said Guilbeaux was one of 16 candidates who applied for the Tigers’ job. Guilbeaux succeeds Terence Williams, who left the school to become head coach at Redemptorist last month.

Guilbeaux met briefly with Tiger players Monday and will officially begin work at the school on Friday.

“I’m excited about the chance to be a head coach and athletic director,” Guilbeaux said. “I look forward to helping shape students, not just athletically, but academically as well.

“Donaldsonville has a rich tradition in basketball and football. I was here when the ladies (DHS girls) won a track title. The goal is to make every area of the school the best it can be.”

Guilbeaux graduated from Opelousas in 1995 and then from Notre Dame in 1999. He spent seven seasons as an assistant coach at East St. John High. Guilbeaux was an assistant at Donaldsonville in 2010-11 and Plaquemine in 2011-12 before moving to Assumption.

“We started out with 16 and narrowed that to six and finally to two,” Pitre said. “We like his (Guilbeaux’s) athletic and academic credentials. We feel he will be able to help lead us academically as well as athletically as we work to improve our school.”