Minton to replace Fuhrer as CCHS football coach
MORGAN CITY — Central Catholic High School Principal Vic Bonnaffee announced Thursday afternoon that Patterson High’s Tommy Minton will replace David Fuhrer as Central Catholic’s football coach, effective March 1.
In explaining the decision, Bonnaffee said when he came to Central Catholic, he would have liked to have seen his head coaches serve in that capacity in just one major sport to increase competitiveness to the likes of that of a Class 3A school. He said the move to limit a person to a head coaching position in one sport helps them in their personal lives, too.
“I think if you become a head coach of too many sports, what happens is I think it produces stress and anxiety and you get away from your family and hurts all those kinds of things,” Bonnaffee said.
Bonnaffee said through an evaluation as well as the chance to hire Minton, who announced last month he was retiring from the public school system March 1 with an eye toward a private school job, he decided to seek out Minton for the job.
He added that the addition of Minton will allow the school to have no person serve as the head coach in more than one major sport.
In addition to football, Fuhrer has served as head track and field coach.
Bonnaffee said Fuhrer would remain as track and field coach as well as a teacher at the school.
This will be Minton’s second trip to Central Catholic as a head coach as he had his first trip in the 1990s where he stayed at the school for three years before moving on to Plaquemine High School and eventually, Patterson High School where he has been for the past 16 years.
“It was three very, very good years,” Minton said of his previous time at Central Catholic. “I enjoyed the experience, and I always felt that when I retired from the public school system … that this was a place I wanted to return to. I love the community. I love the closeness of the faculty and the student body and I just feel like it’s a place that can create a happy work environment.”
When reached for comment later Thursday, Fuhrer reflected on his time at the school.
“From the day I was told I was being relieved of my duties as a head football coach, I started reflecting on the … years at Central Catholic,” he said. “Central Catholic’s been a home for my family and for me. I’ve grown as a man, a Catholic and a coach. … It’s been a privilege to coach so many gifted athletes and just to watch them grow from boys into young men. It’s been very gratifying, and I wish Coach Minton all the best as a head coach.”
During his tenure as head football coach, Fuhrer has sent several players to the collegiate level.
Fuhrer, who has led the Central Catholic program since the 2005 season, made the playoffs in seven of his nine years at the helm of the program, including back-to-back quarterfinal appearances in 2010 and 2011.
In his first year, his team went undefeated during the regular season.
In 2013, the Eagles finished 5-7 overall and advanced to the second round of the Division 4 playoffs where they fell to eventual state champion and district foe Vermilion Catholic.
Minton comes to Central Catholic after a successful tenure at Patterson High School where he made the playoffs 14 out of his 16 years, including the last 12. His teams finished as Class 3A state runner-ups in 2002 and 2010.
In 2013, the Lumberjacks finished with a 10-3 mark and advanced to the Class 3A quarterfinals where they fell to Jennings High School.
Minton said he is “super excited” about the possibility of building a “champion culture” at Central Catholic that will attract students.
“We want to make this a destination for this whole area where people can come and they can be No. 1 winners as students, winners on the field, winners in the community,” he said.
While at the Class 1A level, Minton said he would have to share athletes more than he did in Patterson; however, he said certain things will have to be in place for a program to be successful “and those things are going to be worked on.”
One thing Minton mentioned was he would be instituting a year-round conditioning program.
“I think that that is of the utmost importance in building discipline — both physically and mentally. … We’re going to work on that and we’re going to instill that,” he said.
Minton said he wants the Eagles’ current assistant coaches to stay and said he would like Fuhrer to join the staff as well.
The new Central Catholic coach said his offense would run out of the spread attack and would be wide-open.
“Just because you’re a spread doesn’t mean you can’t run the football,” Minton said. “It means you’re going to utilize the whole field, vertically and horizontally, and make defenses play the whole field. Defensively, we’re going to be an aggressive defense. Now, our trademark at Patterson has always been to play man coverage and attack up front, but we might have to change that to more of a zone blitz type scheme. I don’t believe we’ll play as much straight man here, but it’s still going to be a pressure type defense because that’s what I believe in. I believe in attacking on both sides of the football.”
As for future scheduling after this coming year’s already set slate, Minton said it would be based on where the team is at after this season.
At Patterson, he said his program had reached a certain “status” where they felt comfortable playing anyone because it would make them better.
It’s something he hopes to have at Central Catholic one day.
“Believe me, at a certain point I want this program to be where it doesn’t matter who calls. I want to be able to say, ‘Yeah.”’