Interview with Head Coach Guy LeCompte
By Reid Althage
LAFM: How many years have you been in coaching?
Next season will be my 20th year in coaching.
LAFM: What is the name of the first school you coached at? What other schools have you coached at?
My first coaching job was at Archbishop Hannan High School. I had graduated with a degree in business, was in management, and had planned on going to medical school. I chose teaching (I taught Chemistry) to get the final prerequisites. While teaching, I got onto the coaching staff for the football team. I had played football in both high school and college. One thing lead to another, I really enjoyed it and the rest was history.
I went to Hannan for 1 year. After, I went to Parkview Baptist for 4 years where I went back to school to receive my certification to teach math. I then went to Salmon High School in 1999 to be the Defensive backs coach. I became the Offensive Coordinator in 2000 and won the state championship in 2000. I stayed with them through Katrina, and the year after that ended up at Mandeville High School.
LAFM: What made you get into coaching? Who or what influenced you the most?
I really enjoyed it and really enjoyed the kids. I always loved the game. I had a great experience in my first year at Hannon. Mr. John Ferio was the principal, I really thought he was great. I like the classes more than I thought I would. The kids I came into contact with were really outstanding. They made me enjoy the job. The coaches, like Nick Saltaformaggio who just won a State Championship at East Jefferson, were outstanding and great to work with. From their I went to Parkview and continued to have a passion for what I was doing. Bill Stubbs hired me at Salmon, and he remains one of my best friends today. The kids and the coaches, like Jerry Leonard who is the head coach now, were great.
All I can say is that I was no longer working when I started to coach. I did not dread waking up in the morning. They say if you enjoy what you do you will never work a day in your life. It has been a fast 19 or 20 years. The coaches, the Comradery, the kids it is all still really great for me
LAFM: Did you go to college? Did you play football in college and if so what position?
I went to LSU and played RB. I was never a starter, but I was on the team. I enjoyed the game and the opportunity.
LAFM: Who are some of the best players you’ve ever coached?
Tristin Smith is hard to not include. He is one of the top players to ever come through through the Metro Area. Another one is Steven Whitehead who was a 2 time All-Conference player for McNeese. A third would be Michael Mauti who is playing for the Minnesota Vikings right now. He went to Penn State.
LAFM: What would you like to see changed in Louisiana High School football?
You know, I do not want say things are fine with the separation because obviously things are not. I have friends who are coaches in both public and private schools. I have seen how it has impacted both. When looking at high school football, the biggest thing that we should have is a level playing field. I think the good suffer because of what the bad has done. I do not know if it is possible to get a level playing field across the state. I am not pointing fingers or putting fault on any of it. I understand both sides of the problem. I know that people are trying to do the best they can to correct it, and believe they should continue to do so. I guess overall, I would just like to see a level playing field across the board.
LAFM: Do you think the brand of Louisiana football is different than anywhere else in the country?
You know I think it is different in different locations. I think each region or each state has positives and negatives that the others do not. Look at Texas, they have more resources and the school systems are set up differently. They have a greater amount of resources so they can attain a bigger school system, a bigger athletic program, and they are set up to succeed more because of those resources.
Now I really, really love our state. I really like the coaches, and quality of coaches we have here. Our coaches are passionate, and they are not doing it for the money. They have a definite passion for football. It is part of the overall culture here in Louisiana. I think it is unique in the sense that we have a great talent pool along with really passionate coaches. In the past I have had chances to leave, but in our culture it is hard to leave here. I really like what we have here. While we are lacking in resources compared to other states, our level of play is not. We are playing some of the best football in the country.
Look at us here at Mandeville. We had an opportunity to play Dekaney High School out of Houston who are past state champions. They had the resources and it was obvious with everything they brought here. Well, we competed and competed well with those guys. Others said we would not have had a chance. I think it goes to the level of competitions we have in our state. The Coaches and players here work so hard.
We are definitely unique. Just looking at the coaches, their is so much comradery here and especially in southern Louisiana. Coach Hank Tierny, who was my high school coach, is now at Ponchatoula. Of course we are going to have comradery and loyalty. I think it is unique in that aspect.
LAFM: Do you feel like the offense/defensive philosophies differ between North and South Louisiana?
I do not think so personally. Looking at the north, Cavalry Baptist will run the Spread while West Monroe is Power Run. Here in the south, you can look at Karr who will run the Spread, but then look at Acadiana who is Power Run similar to West Monroe. Honestly I do not see any real difference in philosophy between the north and the south.
LAFM: Who is your favorite NFL or college player of all time and why?
I have to say Michael Mauti. He is currently playing with the Minnesota Vikings. I know him. I know his character and his work ethic. He showed so much character and leadership through several different things. Through injury in high school and college. I think he has had 3 ACL surgeries along with getting a screw in his foot his senior year in high school. He also had the whole controversy at Penn State which he handled extremely well along with the coaching change.
Michael is the epitome of what we coaches are trying to teach kids on how to handle adversity. He is a very team oriented player with great leadership skills. He is everything in my mind that you teach your players to be like. I know the man he is and has become. I am a character guy, and he has tremendous character. I like the message he sends about work ethic and the one he sends to his team. Michael is definitely my favorite. I have so much respect for what he has overcome and hope younger players look up to him and what he has done.
LAFM: Who is your favorite college or pro football coach and Why?
Honestly, I do not know about many coaches individually. I like the no-nonsense attitude Nick Saban brings to the team. Talking to the players who have played for him, I know they enjoyed him. I do think he teaches them more than just the X’s and O’s. I think he is a hard worker and very professional in the way he handles himself. Now I do not know the inside of his building or really know him well at all. I know he returns phone calls. I know that the relationship he had with the high school coaches here while he was at LSU was tremendous. I like his approach. I mean you can find good in every coach, but it is hard to find one favorite. I really could not tell you a favorite, but he stands out slightly.
LAFM: What makes Mandeville High School a great school?
Their are several aspects here at Mandeville High School. First and foremost our administration does a great job. How they handle their employees is top notch. Just look at how they cared for the staff after Katrina. I have a tremendous amount of respect for entire administration.
I think that as far as the community, our support is excellent. My first year here we were playing Fountainbleau. We did not have a great record at the time. We played a great game and were tackled on the 6-inch line as time expired. We lost the game. Their is a walkway from our field house to the parking lot. The parents and fans lined the entire walkway and it was packed. They applauded our kids and our coaches our entire walk. I still get emotional about it till this day. They cared about the effort and not the result. It was perfect timing because the kids, who were dissappointed,were just raised by their support. In my mind we have the best community and best parents.
Lastly, our coaching staff is one of the best in the state. The relationship they have with the players and the comradery we have on our staff is outstanding. I cannot say enough about those guys. They make this program.