LOREAUVILLE — Terry Martin faced a dilemma. His son Jack David is entering seventh grade at Loreauville High and the Breaux Bridge High School head football coach knew he had to decide whether to keep his son in Loreauville where the family lives or bring him to Breaux Bridge with him for high school.
“I think that anybody who has kids that play sports, you kind of think about that time where they come up and you get to be with them,” Martin said, telling the story of being at Breaux Bridge when his son was born and then-head football coach Mike Mowad asked Martin what he was going to do when his son reached high school. “I think that (former St. Martinville head football coach) Carroll Delahoussaye said, ‘Well he’s going to take him with him when he moves, of course.’”
The Louisiana High School Athletic Association allows coaches and administrators to take their children with them to new schools but the stipulation is that they have to be at the new school for at least a year, Martin said.
“We lived in the Loreauville area and it was something always in the back of my mind when he got that age,” Martin said.
The former Cecilia and Breaux Bridge head football coach didn’t have to make that tough decision after Loreauville head football coach Rhett Peltier resigned to take an assistant coaching job at Destrehan Monday. Instead, when Martin found out about the LHS opening, he quickly applied for the job and was named the new head football coach and athletic director Tuesday.
“I was getting nervous because I knew that I had to make a decision,” said Martin, who was 9-12 in two seasons at Breaux Bridge after spending 12 seasons coaching at Cecilia. “They let the sixth graders play with the seventh graders (at Loreauville) last year and I think I caught the second half of two games and I missed every away game.
“I got to the point where I knew I couldn’t keep doing that.”
Those family reasons led Martin to leave Breaux Bridge and agree to take over for Peltier, who went 3-8 including a first-round playoff loss to St. Helena in his one season as head coach after spending nine seasons as an assistant coach and offensive coordinator.
“On one hand I think that Rhett has a great opportunity and he is one of the most respected coaches I know,” Martin said. “It’s kind of bittersweet to not see him here but at the same time I never thought that this would happen, to have this chance.”
Peltier declined comment about leaving Loreauville and heading to Destrehan but released a prepared statement on the subject.
“I would like to thank everyone involved for making my 10 years at Loreauville High School very memorable,” Peltier said in the statement. “This decision was very difficult for my fiancé and I due to the timing of this development.
“I’m certainly going to miss the support I’ve always felt from the Loreauville community. It was much appreciated. Also I would like to congratulate Terry Martin on his new role as head football coach at Loreauville High School. We’ve had a great relationship over the years sharing offensive ideas. He has a sharp offensive mind. I’m happy he’s now in a position where he can be around his family more and feel that he will do great things for the football program.
“I wish Terry, his assistants and the players all the best. Geaux Tigers.”
Martin said he has been very familiar with the Loreauville program dating back to when former head football coach Kirk Crochet was in charge and Martin attended Loreauville’s 2010 Class 2A quarterfinal game against Evangel Christian Academy.
The new LHS head football coach is looking forward to taking over and to the support the LHS football team enjoys from the community.
“I’ve seen it first hand and I’ve always admired it and thought that it was one of the better places to be at in the area,” Martin said.
“Sometimes small town football is the best because you get so much support from the community.”
Martin knows coming in that Loreauville is in a down cycle after several strong years, but he said he is ready to jump in and help get the football program back on the rise.
“When I took over at Breaux Bridge two years ago, the program was also in a down cycle and we played Acadiana in the spring game before I left and I thought that it was the best football that we’ve played,” Martin said. “Acadiana coach Matt McCullough and I were talking after the game and he said that he went back and looked at the film of the last two springs and said how bad we looked and we were.
“We worked hard and gradually got better and we had about 10 back on defense this coming year. Just when you getting there, there’s that change again.
“At the end of the day, I want to win more than anybody else but a lot of times in my career I had a choice to do what was right rather than just get the win. Let’s get the program going and do what’s right, then we’ll worry about the wins.”