Patterson High School football coach Zach Lochard
(The Daily Review/Geoff Stoute)
Lochard discusses plans for Patterson football
New Patterson High School head football coach Zach Lochard doesn’t want to just win. He wants to do it quickly.
Lochard, who recently was hired after serving as defensive coordinator for Division I state semifinalist Brother Martin last year,
“My goal is to build a championship program fast, very fast,” Lochard said Thursday. “I understand the high expectations here at Patterson, and I invite them because I have the same expectations of myself as well as my coaching staff. I will take the time to assemble the best staff in America. I’ve been working on that now. I’ve made hires already.”
Lochard, who prepped at Class 5A Longmont High School near Boulder, Colorado, where he played linebacker before continuing his football career at Adams State College in Colorado as a strong safety, comes to Patterson with high school and collegiate coaching experience.
His collegiate experience includes stops at the University of Northern Colorado, Western State Colorado University, the University of Louisiana where he spent a portion of his time coaching outside linebackers and as co-defensive coordinator and head strength and conditioning coach at Pearl River Community College.
The 36-year-old also has high school experience at Central Lafourche, where, among other things, he was the co-defensive coordinator. He also worked at Chalmette High and Brother Martin, where he also coached linebackers for a squad that fell to eventual state champion Archbishop Rummel in the semifinals.
“I’ve got a passion and a love for coaching football,” Lochard said. “This is absolutely my dream job being the athletic director and head football coach here at Patterson High School. I want to strive for a culture of excellence here in everything we do, on and off the field, in the classroom and in the community. … One of my biggest jobs here is to assemble the best coaching staff possible, not only for the football team, but also for all the athletic programs here at Patterson High School. Players are going to respond to my passion. I’m going to bring a lot of energy every day.”
Lochard has met with the players and already is working with them coaching in offseason lifting.
He said things have been “tremendous” with his interactions with the team.
“I’ve got tremendous excitement and energy from the men,” he said. “My first day here, I got to sit down and I got to talk with them about my vision for the program and my expectations and my goals and what the plan for us going forward will be. We’ve got a tremendous nucleus of hard-working young men who are passionate about the game of football and will do anything to find a way to help this team be successful and to reach our goals fast.”
While the Lumberjacks have struggled in recent years, Lochard said that the key to turning the program around will be hard work.
“I am blessed to have such an incredible, hard-working staff, administration and team, and they are doing the steps here, right now as we speak, to set the foundation for our future success on a daily basis,” he said.
Lochard said he has hired Matt Monacelli as his assistant head football coach and offensive coordinator. Monacelli, who already is on campus, comes to Patterson from Pearl River Community College where he served as offensive coordinator since early 2016. Lochard worked with Monacelli during his time at Pearl River.
“I couldn’t be more fired up to have him on board with me,” Lochard said.
Lochard said he and his coaching staff have watched a lot of film from last year already.
“We’re excited about what we have coming back,” he said. “We have some dynamic football players who are going to be some of the top football players in the state of Louisiana.”
The type of offense and defense the Lumberjacks will run hasn’t been announced yet.
“We’re going to be meeting throughout the spring as a coaching staff, putting together the very best offensive and defensive playbooks as well as special teams playbooks, setting our offensive, defensive and special teams’ goals, evaluating our personnel for all three segments, and this is going to be an everyday process putting together the very best roster, plan to win,” he said.
Lochard said he has an open-door policy and invites the community to the team’s practices, workouts and athletic events.
He said his team goals for the squad right now are the play harder than their opponents, win all their home games, win their district and win a playoff game and be ranked as one of the top 25 teams in the state in all classes.
“Myself and this football team are going to represent this school the very best way that we can,” Lochard said. “We have an accountability to the people in this community, to Patterson and to everyone who played in this program before. Everyone’s got to pull together, and that’s the coaching staff, administration, teachers, players, the community, parents. One team, one heartbeat is what I want people to know the mantra is going forward here for the Patterson Lumberjacks.”