Blanchard will take over at Patterson
Patterson High School will stick with a familiar face to lead its football program.
Chad Blanchard, who has worked with Patterson High School football coach and athletic director Tommy Minton for 14 years, was introduced as Minton’s successor in both capacities during a joint ceremony Tuesday with Morgan City High School to do the same with its vacant coaching position.
Minton, who has led the Lumberjacks for the past 16 years, is scheduled to step down from his positions at the end of February and will retire, effective March 1, with an eye towards a job at a private school.
Blanchard called the chance to lead the Patterson football program “a great opportunity. Coach Minton and I have been good friends for a really long time. We’ve coached together for 14 years now. … He kind of helped to get me there 14 years ago. I’m happy and thrilled to death about the opportunity.”
Blanchard said the players are happy to have him as their new coach.
“Unless they’re pretty good actors, they seem like they were excited,” he laughed. “They seem ready. We’re having a good offseason already. Through this whole process, they’ve done a real good job of not changing the way they get ready for things. … You (would) swear nothing’s ever changed for the guys regardless of what kind of situation they were going through.”
Patterson Principal Rachael Credeur said Blanchard’s relationships with the students, faculty and community and his part of the program’s longtime success all were factors that made him the right choice for the job.
“Other applicants came in,” she said. “I did all the interviews, some really good interviews actually, but whenever the resumes are laid side-by-side, Coach Blanchard was the man for the job.”
Credeur said her decision was made easier, noting that just four applicants — including Blanchard — applied for the job.
While Blanchard said there will be some changes, most things will stay the same from when Minton was head coach.
“The old saying is if it’s not broken don’t fix it. … We’re excited about and the kids are excited about the chance to keep everything pretty similar,” Blanchard said. “I guess that’s one of the advantages of having somebody move in that’s really already been there in a sense with these guys.”
While the new head coach said there will be some pressure in the job, especially at a place like Patterson where the team has been successful, he said he thinks his past coaching experience has prepared him.
“The kids know what to expect from me and I think what it really comes down to is the relationship between me and the kids,” Blanchard said. “That kind of helps to take some of the pressure away because now they know how to respond to me, and I can respond to some different things with them. Yeah, it’s a little pressure obviously, but I’m ready to get started.”