Lorio resigns as MCHS coach
By GEOFF STOUTE
MORGAN CITY — Morgan City High School is in the market for a new head coach and athletic director for the second time in less than a year as head coach and athletic director Dennis Lorio confirmed this morning he resigned his post in a Dec. 23 letter to Morgan City’s administration.
Lorio cited travel time as the reasoning for his departure, noting that after an assistant coach he was commuting with daily from his home in Geismar could not be kept on long-term position in a faculty position, Lorio was forced to commute 122 miles and more than 2.5 hours to and from work daily.
He noted that while many tried to make the situation work and allow him to continue carpooling with one of his assistants, it just couldn’t. Lorio said the fact that this arrangement be in place was stressed during the interview and upon his hiring.
Lorio, who declined to name the assistant coach, said in the letter to Morgan City High’s administration that with the amount of driving time he had to endure, that “it is not practical or feasible for me to continue.”
He said no one was to blame for things not working out.
“I have great respect for MCHS’ administration,” he wrote. “We enjoy the faculty, staff and students.”
Lorio noted, “I changed my mind twice about the decision because I feel so close to the kids.”
Lorio, who informed the players of the decision via text message, said he had gotten positive feedback from them.
The veteran coach, who was hired in April to replace former head coach/athletic director Brandon Nowlin, who had resigned to take a position as tight ends coach at Nicholls State, said that he was “looking at a three to five year commitment (when hired), but once the logistics didn’t work out, it was unmanageable,” he said.
Morgan City Principal Mickey Fabre said he had no idea Lorio would resign until he received his resignation letter.
Fabre said he has posted an ad on the Louisiana High School Athletic Association website advertising the job and that he already has received resumes.
“The issue for us is it’s a teaching position, and he was scheduled to teach (physical education) at the beginning of the semester,” Fabre said.
Fabre said if necessary, the school can fill the position with a substitute while they conduct interviews.
The Morgan City principal noted that the squad finished the season with more than 50 players and was in some games this year despite their winless mark. He said the record didn’t indicate their achievement, noting the team played hard this year.
“We were in a lot of games. … There were a couple of games that could have gone either way,” Fabre said.
Despite the sudden departure, Lorio reflected a little bit in the letter on the achievements he was able to help the program gain, noting they finished the season with 37 varsity players and 18 freshmen after inheriting a program with 25 players in grades 9-12.
“We do not apologize for the hard work and effort put in,” he said of his assistants and himself.
Lorio also noted a freshmen football program was established this year and with assistance from the administration and school board, he was able to get the locker room air conditioned as well as purchase new lockers, uniforms and equipment.
It has been a tough year for Morgan City’s head coaching. In addition to Nowlin and Lorio, Morgan City also had to replace head coaches in boys’ and girls’ basketball, baseball, track and golf this year as these coaches left for various reasons.