The East St. John Wildcats (Reserve, LA) dedicated last night's 49-14 football victory over Destrehan to Coach Larry Dauterive, who abruptly resigned Friday. In doing so, the team showed more class, wisdom and respect than their supposed role models in the community can muster.
Coach Dauterive resigned under pressure from the St. John the Baptist Parish School Board over supposedly racially insensitive remarks he made this week to the New Orleans Quarterback Club. Dauterive's remarks concerned the challenges of being the white coach and, for some, the only male role model, for a public school football team 100% comprised of black players.
East St. John High coach's racially charged comments investigated
In his speech, Dauterive refers to the Reserve school as "the Gaza Strip" and talks about the challenges of being "a white coach coaching 100 percent black children."
"You have to understand that when I look at those birth certificates every year that I have to send in and you see the name of the father with just asterisks -- no name -- and the name of the mother and age 15, 16 at birth -- the kid's birth, the mom was 15 years old -- so you do the math," he said.
"What they have to do is they have to go get a job, quit school, they can't read, consequently they go to McDonald's and work for $7 an hour to support their child and when the child gets here the child can't read, so we're in an endless cycle," the coach said.
School Board representatives imply that there's more to the story:
Dauterive was suspended for one game last year and put on probation after using a racial slur during a locker room talk with his team.
The district's investigation did not indicate that Dauterive called his players the N-word, but that he told them that he overheard their opponent's fans referring to them as such.
Written statements taken from other East St. John coaches, the players and Dauterive, indicate that Dauterive used the word in relaying what he said the fans said after East St. John players stomped off the field, throwing their helmets and kicking a trash can, Wise said.
"(Dauterive) told them that he overheard fans saying, 'Now they are acting like a bunch of n-----s,'" Wise said.
I'm quite sure that's a word the players had never heard before, or used in reference to one another.
Do you think Larry Dauterive is a closet racist who is just putting in his time for a pension, or is it possible that he really loves these kids?
Dauterive, who is in his ninth year coaching at the school, said he stands on his record, which includes a 45-year career, and two district championships since taking over at East St. John in 2002. He said he has had a hand in sending more than 60 players to college on athletic scholarships.
The parents and community of St. John Parish were lucky to have their young men exposed to a coach and mentor like Larry Dauterive. They're idiots if they let him go.