Interview with Rick Hutson
by Reid Althage
LAFM: How many years have you been coaching? How many years have you been at New Iberia High?
This will be my 30th year in coaching. I have been at New Iberia for 15 years all as a Head Coach.
LAFM: What is the name of the first school you coached at? Where else have you coached?
My first coaching job was at St. Frederick High School in Monroe. I was an assistant coach and then later became the head coach. I coached at Bastrop, Kilgore High School (Kilgore, Texas), and Ouachita Parish High School in Monroe.
LAFM: What made you get into coaching?
My dad was a high school football coach, so I was around coaching my whole life. My dad coached me at Hope High School in Arkansas. He coached 42 years in Texas and then came over here and volunteered for us the last 8 years. I always loved the game. After about a year of college, I decided I was not going to be happy in my field. I decided to go back to what I knew which was football.
LAFM: What are some of the best players you have ever coached? What made them great?
One who just finished at Texas A&M was Michael Lamothe. He was one of our better players. He was a great player in football and baseball. Another would be Colby Delahoussaye. Colby is the kicker at LSU right now and probably one of our more notable players. Both of the players were near to 4.0 students and just great students in the classroom. They both had a tremendous work ethic on and off the field.
LAFM: Do you think the brand of Louisiana football is different than anywhere else in the country?
I think it is a cut above most of the states in our country. I coached in Texas for about 2 years, and I think the football that is played here is every bit on par with them. The only thing is we do not have the numbers they have. Still, our best can play with their best on any day.
LAFM: How has the recruitment process changed over the last several years? What is your advice to high school students in regards to the recruiting process?
The recruitment process has changed more recently. It has certainly changed with the early signing period and with how colleges seem to be getting more commitments from the junior class than they ever did in the past. It probably starts in an earlier stage now than it use to as well. Colleges can go on the web and look at our Huddle account if they have a player they are interested in or just want to check out our team.
I think the number one thing is too take care of your academics. If it comes down between you and another player who is no different than you on the field (which happens a lot) than colleges will go with the better student. They look for students who easily qualify more than students who are borderline on academic requirements.
LAFM: Can you name one of your favorite games at New Iberia High School? What made it special?
The last game we won HA! It is always the last game we won. I mean we beat Barbe this past year which was a great win for our program. The year before we beat Acadiana. Those are two programs we have not had much success against and any time you can get a win against one of them it is always a big win for our players.
LAFM: Have any coaches had an influence on how you coach now?
Well, of course their is my dad who I have talked about. I was fortunate to work with Mike Vallery for a couple years in Kilgore, Texas. Mike is a very successful coach who won a state championship in Louisiana and a state championship in Texas. Not many coaches can say that. I learned a lot about the way he worked with kids. He did an outstanding job with the way he worked with his players. I also got the privilege to work with a guy named Kenny Ferro. From an O-Line stand point, I learned more about offensive football in terms of pass protection and run blocking schemes from Kenny than I did with anybody else.
LAFM: Do you think it is advantageous for football players to play other sports?
Absolutely. I was actually talking about that with another coach today. When a kid goes and plays basketball, he is going to have more agility and movement skills for when he comes back for football. If he runs track he is going to come back faster and in great shape. We encourage all our players to be multiple sport athletes.
LAFM: What makes New Iberia High School a great school, and what are you looking forward to with your football program next year?
Well, I just think their is a lot of quality people in our community at NISH. I have coached at several different high schools as I said earlier. Some of the finest I have ever been associated with are from this community. The people make our school a special place.
Looking forward, we are getting a new stadium next year and a new field house. It is long overdue, yet it easily could still be overdue if not for the tax payers who passed the bond that is going to get that done. We are excited about the new facilities and think our kids deserve it.