New Vermilion Parish AD gave presentation to school board about paying volunteer coaches
Those who volunteer as coaches in high school and middle school in Vermilion Parish may finally get compensated for all of the work they put in.
Paul Hebert, the assistant superintendent, was recently named the new athletic director of the parish after Mike Dartez retired from education.
One of Hebert’s changes as the new AD is to try and established a pay scale for volunteer coaches or school employees who are coaching but are not teachers.
A teacher is paid 2 to 3 percent of his or her salary to be a coach.
Right now there are at least 25 volunteer coaches who are coaching in either a high school or middle school. Many of those coaches get outside funds for compensation as coaches. Hebert explained that booster clubs sometimes cough up money to help volunteer coaches.
To pay around 25 volunteer coaches would cost the school board around $40,000 a year.
Out of the 25-plus volunteer coaches, a handful are head coaches of big programs.
At Abbeville High, Raymond Frederick is a volunteer head softball coach. AHS has eight volunteer coaches with four in power lifting and one in football. The rest are in softball and baseball.
Erath High has the most volunteer high school head coaches in the parish.
Jeremy Picard is the head baseball coach at Erath High School.
Volunteer coach Mark Theall is a long-time head cross country coach at Erath High School.
David Wiggins is a volunteer head golf coach at Erath.
Kaplan High has four volunteer coaches in football and one in soccer.
Gueydan High has a total of six volunteer coaches. The school has three in high school and two in middle school. Volunteer coaches are head coaches of the middle school baseball and softball programs.
North Vermilion has at least five volunteer coaches with two head coaches in soccer and volleyball.
Hebert presented a pay scale to school board members at Monday night’s committee meeting. He also explained that the volunteer coaches would also have to sign a contract with the school board.
Another reason for compensating volunteer coaches is because some high schools were naming a coach on staff as the head coach of that certain sport, but the booster club was paying money to a volunteer coach to coach that same sport.
“This would allow us to pay a volunteer a lesser amount than what the school system was paying the coach on staff,” said Hebert. “If we had a volunteer named as the head coach, we would not name a faculty member as a head coach. You would reduce some cost to the school board.”
School board member Chris Gautreaux does not like the idea of the school board having to pay a volunteer coach to coach.
“I don’t see why the school board has to take on the burden of paying someone when we do not have to pay anyone,” said Gautreaux. “We are putting this on general fund, which is money we do not have.”
School board attorney Woody Woodruff told the board members that a school employee does not have to attend the sporting event if it is being coached by a volunteer coach.
Gautreaux wanted to know who told the school board that a staff member has to be present when a volunteer coach is coaching a sport.
“That has been a misunderstanding,” Hebert said.
“We have been paying all this money on a misunderstanding?” asked Gautreaux.
School Board member Laura LeBeouf wanted to know the cost to school board to pay all of the assistant coaches?
Hebert did not have an answer.
Hebert will present the projected cost to the school board at Thursday’s school board meeting.
The school board, after hearing the cost, will decide to support or not support paying for volunteer coaches.