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Central Lafourche hopes to have a new coach soon

By the end of the week, Central Lafourche High School could name its next head football coach.

The Trojans football program was stunned on Oct. 15 when former coach John Callahan decided to resign six games into the 2012 season.

Callahan, who previously worked in Vermont, was hired a week before spring practice and didn't settle in at Central Lafourche until right before August practice.

After guiding the Trojans to a 3-3 record, Callahan resigned after a meeting with principal Chris Kimball.

At the time of his resignation, Callahan said his reason was a difference of opinion between he and Kimball. The job was posted immediately after Callahan's resignation

Central Lafourche athletics director Travis Douglas said the process of finding a new coach has entered the interview stage.

"We closed out application last Thursday. We sat down on Friday and went through what we have. We actually had seven applicants, and we are going to interview five of them on Wednesday," Douglas said. "I think for this process, we have some interview questions that are very specific to what we need here at Central (Lafourche). We also want to give them an understanding in what are looking for in a head coach. Mr. Kimball is committed to hiring the right guy and be the right guy for Central Lafourche."

The five applicants scheduled for interviews are: Ronald Turpin, assistant football coach and head baseball coach at Woodlawn-Baton Rouge; Chris Towery, assistant football coach at Dunham High School; Keith Menard, athletics director and head football coach at Catholic-New Iberia; Brandon Nowlin, athletics director and head football coach at Morgan City; and Rick Cauley, assistant football coach at Murphy High School in Mobile, Ala.

The Louisiana High School Athletic Association is hosting its high school football state championships at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans starting on Friday. The weekend also serves as a convention for high school football coaches from around the state.

High schools in search of new head football coaches have used the state championship weekend to network and speak with possible candidates.

Douglas said with such an early start in the search process, candidates had ample time apply so there is no need to wait another two weeks.

"I don't think we had anyone apply from any of the teams in the state finals. We felt that if any of them were interested, they would've contacted us by now," Douglas said. "If those coaches wanted to join in this process or show interest, we felt like they would've done it and there is no reason to wait any longer."

Douglas said if the interviews go well, he expects to present a candidate to the Lafourche Parish School Board on Friday.

"If we waited two more weeks after the finals and start the process, we wouldn't be able to get the guy in January," Douglas said. "We felt we needed to have that new coach hired in January, so he can implement his program as soon as possible. We've been through a process where our coach wasn't here until the end of the summer. I don't think that worked out well, so we want to get the guy in as soon as possible.

"We are looking for the right guy and we are committed in finding the right guy. If he is in the five, then we hope to put in his nomination at the end of the week. Hopefully, by the end of the week, we may know who our new head football coach will be," Douglas added.