Interview with Robert Arvie
by Reid Althage
LAFM: How many years have you been coaching at Richwood High School? Where was your first ever coaching job?
This will be my 2nd year as the head coach. I was actually here during another stint as Defensive Coordinator. Between that stint and now I was the HC at Woodlawn high school.
My first job ever was at Ruston High School as an assistant. I went in and interviewed with the head coach. He put an offer on the table and I accepted.
LAFM: Did you grow up in the Louisiana area? Where did you go to school and did you play football?
I grew up in Opelousas Louisiana and went to Opelousas High School. I was an All-State TE in 1986. I went on to play at the University of Louisiana Lafayette or University of Southwestern Louisiana as it was called in my day.
LAFM: What made you get into coaching?
I just always knew that was what I wanted to do. I remember doing a player interview in either my junior or senior year at University of Southwestern Louisiana, and saying I wanted to become a high school football coach. I wanted to give back to the kids and give back to the football programs that gave me such a great opportunity.
LAFM: Who are some coaches that had a great influence on you?
Back in my high school days, my OC was Mac Barousse who won a state championship as the head coach at Carencro. He pretty much got me going and put me on the map. I have really been fortunate at all of the schools I have been to. They all have had some great coaches and great players. I pretty much took a little from every coach and coordinator that I have coached under. I have been blessed with great situations where I have been able to learn and grow as a coach. Hopefully, I have learned enough to be successful for the rest of my career.
LAFM: Who are some of the great players that you have played for you?
The number one would have to be Marcus Yanez. He was a LB at Bastrop and went on to play a couple years at LSU. Brent Brooks from Ruston High School is another guy. He made it much easier on me coaching in my first job. He was Michael Brooks’ (Pro Bowl for Broncos 1992) nephew. Robert Peace ( Tennessee Vols) is another from Ruston who was a great talent. Kyle Williams (LSU, Buffalo Bills), Kenny Wright (Northwestern, Minnesota Vikings), Michael Green (Northwestern, Chicago Bears), Jack Hunt (LSU, Miami Dolphins) are 4 guys who played in the League. Like I said I have been blessed with some great players.
LAFM: Is there a common characteristic among great players?
Well, first of all is the talent. Those guys had that talent. Next, it was the work ethic, The hard work these guys put into their game was amazing. I can remember Kenny Wright (who was a DB) insisting on working out with the DL. He wanted to work out with the strongest guys on the team. Any great player I ever coached had a work ethic that was 24/7. They never had a phase where they took a couple days off. They constantly worked at trying to be the best.
LAFM: Do you think the brand of Louisiana football is different than anywhere else in the country?
Well, my coaching career has completely been in North Louisiana. I can tell you from being in this area that the love of football in North Louisiana is just different. People here breath, love, and get excited for football. Now I am sure their are other states with areas such as ours. All in all we have some good areas around our entire state that can challenge the best in the nation. From my experience, North Louisiana is just different. The love of the game in our communities and in our kids is absolutely incredible. Our entire community gets so excited for football that it has become a major part of our lives.
LAFM: What is your advice to high school students in regards to the recruiting process?
The main thing is to take care of your business in the classroom. Your first priority should be to make sure you have your 3.0 + GPA. Once you have that solid base of education you can go get that 20 or higher ACT which puts you in a perfect situation for recruiters. Once you have your GPA and ACT in check, you will have the leeway to be successful and get to the next level. If you do not have that in check, you will not make it. Take care of your grades starting with you freshman year, so when your senior year comes around you do not have to worry or hard press yourself into making yourself eligible.
LAFM: What does your team need to do to be successful this year?
We had an 8-4 record last year. In our 4 losses, our opponent out rushed us. Our main focus this year is stopping our opponents running game and making sure we can run the ball. I have been preaching all through spring that we have to run the ball well and stop the other teams running game. If we can do that, we will be successful.
LAFM: What makes Richwood great football program and what are you looking forward to this year?
Like I said earlier, Northeast Louisiana loves their football. Our kids know the kids from West Monroe, Neville, and Ouachita. It creates good competition. The kids here are great guys who work hard. Since December our kids have really been working hard in the weight room. They are excited to get going again. I am excited about the young men we have on our team this year. Our community is behind us and excited as well. The only thing I ask is to please be there when it gets to playoff time. When playoffs come some of our fans think it is automatically time for basketball. If we can draw the fans in that we have early in the year, we got a chance to have a great season. I cannot wait for this season to get started.