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Braves part ways with football coach


Jack Phillips Jr.


H.L. Bourgeois High School has parted ways with head football coach Jack Phillips Jr.

H.L. Bourgeois Principal Matthew Hodson confirmed the move Friday morning.

Phillips, who coached indoor football in Houma from 2002-04 with the Bayou Bucks, was named head football coach at H.L. Bourgeois in late December, and a week later Hodson was named the school's new principal.

"We just decided we needed to go in a different direction," Hodson said of the move. "We just felt it was best for H.L. Bourgeois, the athletes and the community that we take it in a different direction."

Phillips, who when contacted declined to comment on the situation at this time, was chosen over five other candidates for the Braves' vacant football job, which opened when former coach Ben Powell resigned during the 2012 season.

Phillips, who served as an assistant coach/teacher at Yazoo City High in Yazoo City, Miss., last season, said he was thrilled to move back to the Houma area and reestablish the connections he had in the community with the Bayou Bucks when he got the job.

Phillips played college football at Alcorn State and was selected in the 1989 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs.

He is the son of former longtime Carver-New Orleans High coach and former Grambling State player Jack Phillips Sr.

The Braves (2-8 overall last season) have gone 12-36 over the last five seasons, losing 23 straight district games.

Hodson said the coaching vacancy will be advertised in numerous places, including through the Louisiana High School Athletic Association.

"That search starts now," Hodson said. "With the ninth graders coming here now, we are looking for someone who will be in it for the long haul. We want someone who is going to build a winner here for the community. There are coaches out there. We are going to recruit them and go find them."

The new Braves coach will be the fourth head football coach at H.L. Bourgeois since 2010. In the meantime, Braves assistant coach Joe Riley will handle the offensive duties during spring football, and assistant coach Randy Breaux will handle the defensive responsibilities.