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Wise heading to Central Catholic


Latashia Wise (Photo by Chris Singleton/Staff)


Latashia Wise wanted to keep Vandebilt Catholic's winning tradition going when she took over the Lady Terriers' volleyball program two years ago.

After inheriting a state semifinalist team in 2010, Wise guided the Lady Terriers to two more state semifinals appearances in 2011 and 2012.

Although Vandebilt failed to get past the semifinals in each of the last three seasons, the 25-year-old Wise put together a 55-28 overall record with one District 5-III championship in two years as coach.

Now she is ready to hand over the reigns of the program to someone else.

Wise, a former Assumption High and Xavier-New Orleans athlete, is leaving Vandebilt at the end of the current school year to become the new head volleyball coach and assistant girls basketball coach at Central Catholic High of Morgan City.

Wise announced her decision to leave for Central Catholic earlier this year, but she stuck around to finish the school year as a teacher at Vandebilt.

Wise said leaving Vandebilt was tough, but choosing to go to Central Catholic was "a personal decision" and "a career opportunity."

Wise said she is leaving Vandebilt on good terms, and she thanked the school and community for their support in the last two years. Her job at Vandebilt was the first head coaching gig of her career.

"I am very appreciative and thankful for the opportunity that Vandebilt gave me," Wise said. "Everyone has been pretty supportive from the faculty, administration, staff and student body. I'm not leaving on a negative note. I'm very grateful for everything Vandebilt has done for me."

Vandebilt athletic director Laury Dupont said Wise is one of the best young coaches in the area, and he praised her maturity and leadership ability.

"She's an outstanding coach," Dupont said. "Unfortunately, we couldn't keep her. I wish her nothing best. She's leaving us on good terms. I wish she would have stayed, but she decided to move on."

Wise said she is leaving behind a very talented roster at Vandebilt (21-18 overall in 2012).

"They are going to have some key players returning this year in Sydney Lerille, Erin Crane and Maggie Hamilton," Wise said. "They will be very good. I think whoever Vandebilt selects as a new coach, I think that with coaching and their ability to develop talent, they will still be successful."

Dupont said the search for Wise's replacement is still ongoing, but he is confident a hire will be made soon. The Lady Terriers will start summer workouts next week, and Dupont said assistant coach Sam Schexnayder will lead the drills until a new coach is hired.

"We need somebody that is very knowledgeable, very good with the kids and wants nothing but the best for the kids," Dupont said. "We've got a good nucleus returning with two all-state players. The expectations are high."

Wise will take over a Division V state power in Central Catholic, a team that has advanced to four straight trips to the state tournament in Kenner under former coach Kindra Halverson. Halverson, a former Nicholls State University player, resigned after last season.

Just like Vandebilt, Central Catholic has suffered three straight losses in its respective state semifinals bracket.

Wise said winning a championship is important, but her main mission is to continue Central Catholic's success on and off the court.

"When I get to Central Catholic, I just want to maintain what they already have," Wise said. "I want to maintain the same things that I talked about here at Vandy, such as establishing a program of tradition and making sure the girls are developing skills to become skilled volleyball players and well-rounded student-athletes."