Lasseigne said he’s enjoying 2nd tenure as E.D. White coach.
When Kyle Lasseigne stepped down as E.D. White’s head football coach in 2014, he said he was tired and in need of a break.
“I just couldn’t keep on going at the speed I was going,” Lasseigne said at Tri-Parish Media Day. “I was exhausted.”
Flash forward five years to the present and Lasseigne is back on the practice field with the Cardinals again.
The fatigue is gone and lessons from his first tenure have been learned.
And for Lasseigne, there’s just simply no place like home on the sidelines on Friday nights in the fall.
Lasseigne is back in the saddle for E.D. White this season — the start of his second tenure as head coach of the team.
Excitement around the team is high. The Cardinals have more than 100 players. And Lasseigne said he cannot wait to get started on Friday night, adding that he’s so grateful for another chance to lead the program that he loves.
“This is the program I know and love,” Lasseigne said. “There is no place I’d rather be. The response we’ve gotten is humbling and the support we’ve gotten from the community, it’s just been great. Now, we’re just ready to get started and work to getting our young men ready for the season and all of the challenges that are ahead.”
Lasseigne’s first run at E.D. White was incredibly successful.
He coached the team for 10 seasons and posted a 66-49, which included several deep playoff runs — some of the most successful seasons for the Cardinals in recent years.
But Lasseigne said it all wasn’t sustainable.
He said he worked like a dog in his first tenure — posting long hours without 2nd thought.
When Lasseigne resigned, he said he didn’t know if he would ever be a head coach again, because he was burnt out.
“I just was trying to do too much,” Lasseigne said. “I didn’t delegate well enough. I was doing too much.”
He took a little time away, but not much.
Lasseigne stayed involved with E.D. White football as an assistant coach. In the past several seasons, he worked with the Cardinals’ middle school team.
Lasseigne said doing that started to develop that itch and passion for coaching again.
“It was great,” Lasseigne said. “There wasn’t much pressure to win or anything. It was just about coaching the kids and making them better. We had a ton of fun doing that the past few years.”
And then came a second chance.
After the 2018 season, E.D. White head coach Chris Bergeron resigned, citing a desire to spend more time with his family.
The Cardinals opened up the job and there was mutual interest in a reunion.
Lasseigne said he thought about the job long and hard, developing a plan for how he’d make his potential second tenure different from the first.
He was then offered the job, but before accepting it, he had one stipulation.
“I wanted to make sure Chris Bergeron stayed on and worked with us,” Lasseigne said. “I wouldn’t have taken this job without him here — I’ve not told many people that, but I meant that. Having him here makes things just so much easier for us and what we’re doing. We’re so grateful he’s stayed on board and is being a part of our transition.”
So what’ll be different?
Well, Lasseigne said he absolutely cannot be the micromanaging head coach who dictates every, single last facet of the program anymore.
He said that style is not healthy mentally or physically.
This go-round, he said he’s going to trust his assistant coaches to coach more and give them more responsibility.
Bergeron will run the team’s defense and Lasseigne’s former quarterback from his first tenure, Grant Chiasson, will coach the team’s offense.
Lasseigne will be more what’s called a “CEO” coach, working to oversee all aspects of the team.
Schematically, the Cardinals will look different, as well.
The defense will mostly be the same as its been with Bergeron still in control.
But offensively, Lasseigne said E.D. White has to be more balanced after years of being run-heavy.
The coach said the game has changed and he and his staff have to change with it.
“We will still be a run-first team,” Lasseigne said. “But we have to open it up some. We have to make teams respect us in the passing game. I know what we’ve done in the past and I know how teams have defended us. Heck, I know how I would defend us if I were coaching against us — and I’d put everyone on the line of scrimmage and dare us to throw the football successfully. We know that, so we’re working on that. We have to — absolutely have to — be more effective throwing the football. And we will.”
And kids are buying in.
The Cardinals are a rarity locally. Where other teams are lacking numbers, they’re thriving with more than 100 players — a huge amount for a Class 3A school.
Lasseigne said he wants the Cardinals to be a big family, adding that he’s comfortable around his current players because he coached most of them when they were in middle school.
Lasseigne is working to visit every, single player in their home before the school year ends. He said he’s done more than half of the visits so far.
At each, he said he’s reminded why coming back was the right decision — because there’s no place he’d rather be than coaching football in Thibodaux.
“This is my home,” he said. “We had to change some things to fix some mistakes we’d made in our first tenure. But now, we’re ready to get back out there and I’m so grateful for the opportunity. We can’t wait to take the
field on that first Friday night.” •