Bourgeois returns as new Dutchtown soccer coach

Kyle Riviere
kriviere@weeklycitizen.com

After nearly a five-year hiatus from coaching, Rene Bourgeois is back, and he couldn't be more excited.

The former St. Amant soccer coach took over the vacant position at Dutchtown last week to become only the second Griffin soccer head coach in the school's 13-year history.

Bourgeois had been retired as a teacher and coach for nearly five years but when the Dutchtown job became open, he saw it as an opportunity just too good to pass up. He took the position because he said that "it's an established, winning program."

He's certainly right about that. Dutchtown has made the playoffs for 10 straight seasons.

Just last year, the Griffins went 12-9-2 and upset 13th-seeded West Monroe on the road during the opening round of the playoffs. They were eventually eliminated in the second round by fourth-seeded Mandeville.

That was the final game of head coach Larry Chambless' tenure. Chambless had been the Griffins' head coach ever since the school started back in 2002. Due to a move out of state, this past season was his last at Dutchtown.

Now, Bourgeois will take over the program. If his track record is any indication of the amount of success the Griffins will have under him, Dutchtown should be a shoe-in to extend their playoff streak.

Before retiring, Bourgeois coached at St. Amant from 1996-2004. During those years, he led the Gators to four district titles, and he was named Coach of the Year during all four of those seasons.

Prior to going into coaching, Bourgeois was a All-SEC punter for LSU back in the late '80s.

Bourgeois is not looking to give the team a total facelift. He's planning on evaluating his talent before he decides on the style they will implement next season.

"I'm just going to implement a playing style that fits the players; I'm not going to force something on them that they can't do," Bourgeois said. "Too many times, you see coaches too set in a certain system, and they try to force that system onto their team. I'm not going to do that."

Either way, Coach Bourgeois can't wait to lead his new team out on the field and try to make another run to the postseason.

"I can't wait until Oct. 26," Bourgeois said. "I already have that day circled on my calender. That's the first day that I can start with conditioning drills and player development."