Guin to make his final regular season home game appearance Friday
Rodney Guin will walk onto the field Friday night at Harold E. Harlan Stadium for his final regular-season home game as the head coach of the Haughton Buccaneers.
Guin took over for Will Marston as head coach in 2000 after 12 years as an assistant. He carries a 16-year record of 125-55 going into Friday’s game against Captain Shreve. He’s the winningest coach in the school’s history.
Guin made the decision to resign last spring. However, it didn’t become widely known until August. As he prepared his team for a game against Evangel Christian last week, he hadn’t had a lot of time to think about what that means.
“It’s been so tough the last three weeks around here,” said Guin, whose Bucs will be trying to break a four-game losing streak. “I’m sure next week we’ll think about it a little bit more, but really up to now it hasn’t been that big of a deal to us.”
He has no regrets about his decision, but he will certainly miss it. Particularly the daily contact with his assistant coaches.
“…they’re almost like family members. We’ve been together for 20 years, most of us,” said Guin. “That’ll be the toughest part, not having that kind of camaraderie every day with those guys.”
But Guin says this change will “be better for everybody all around.”
“There’s going to be something else good for us to do,” he said. “We’ll be better for it and Haughton will be better for it.”
In an interview with the Press-Tribune, Guin discussed some of the highlights from his time at Haughton.
The first win
After close losses to Captain Shreve and Airline, Haughton defeated Minden in Game 3 for Guin’s first win as a head coach.
“The big thing I remember my first game at Shreve we tried to kick a field goal to win the game and got it blocked on the last play of the game. My second game I think Airline beat us something like 15-12 so at that point I was wondering what the heck I had gotten into. Just a relief to get the first one after we’d lost those two close ones.”
In 28 years as a coach, Guin has coached hundreds of players so it’s naturally a challenge for him to pick a few that stand out.
One of those, though, is quarterback Dak Prescott, who led Haughton to a 10-0 regular season and 12-1 overall mark in 2010.
“Of course, he’s probably had more success than any of them for sure.”
Guin has regularly attended Prescott’s games during his career at Mississippi State.
Running back Marlon Seets, a teammate of Prescott’s, is another one.
“Marlon Seets will be one of my favorite ones just because of the type of player he was.”
Seth Holloway, who held Bossier Parish career passing yardage records for many years, was Guin’s first quarterback.
“When we started we kind of used him as a sophomore that first year and the group that he played with will always be big because that got us going with what we wanted to do.”
Myron Baker and Tyrone Larkins are two players that stand out from his early years as an assistant.
“Tyrone’s still real close. He keeps up. Every week I talk to him just about. He’s coaching over in Dallas. Some of those guys from way back then kind of still stay in touch, which is a big deal.”
Guin said the best running back he ever coached against was Leesville’s Cecil Collins, who went on to star at LSU.
“He was something else to watch.”
While not naming anyone specifically, Guin said some of the John Curtis Christian powerhouses Haughton faced in the playoffs were filled with Division I prospects.
In 2008 the Bucs lost to eventual state champion Belle Chasse led by quarterback Blake Metherne in the 4A playoffs. Matherne was named Mr. Football by the LSWA that year.
Guin was also impressed with future LSU star Terrence Magee, who led Franklinton to a quarterfinal victory over the undefeated Bucs in 2010.
Guin said the 2010 Parkway-Haughton game probably tops the list of his most memorable games.
Both teams were 9-0. An overflow crowd that started lining up at Preston Crownover Stadium three hours before the game attended. Haughton won 27-21 to claim its final district championship in Class 4A.
The year before, Haughton rallied for a 41-38 victory over the Panthers in the season finale to win the district title.
“That was a big game for us, too.”
In 2011, Haughton’s first year in Class 5A, the No. 21-seed Bucs upset No. 12 East Ascension 25-21 in the first round of the playoffs.
“That was our first year in 5A so to get a 5A win, I thought that was big one for the school in general, that we could get in there and compete that early.”
There were others of course, including a 28-26 win over parish rival Airline in 2014.
Go Red for Rodney
“One school. One team. One heart.”
It was a motto that took the Haughton community by storm after Guin suffered a near fatal heart attack April 25, 2014.
Guin had just returned home from New Orleans, where he and Haughton principal Gene Couvillion attended a softball playoff game, when he collapsed. The EMS team got him to Willis-Knighton and was eventually taken to Baylor Medical Center in Dallas.
Guin made a full recovery and returned to the sideline last fall. The amount of support from the Haughton community during that time was something Guin never expected to see. Yet, it didn’t surprise him either.
“This community has always been supportive of each other in cases like this,” Guin previously told the Press-Tribune. “The town really pulled together when I was sick and supported each other as a big family. We really are one heart beat out here.”
Last year, the school hosted its first Red Out for Rodney game. The school has been a long-time supporter of the American Heart Association, but it now had much more meaning.
Haughton High presented a check for more than $7,000 to the American Heart Association. The school is raising money once again this year by selling t-shirts.
Jill Lucero, Youth Market Director for the American Heart Association (NWLA, NELA, CENLA), said that total is above average for a school donation and is one of the highest the AHA receives from a school.
“It’s all about the fan base and the support of their coach,” Lucero said. “Bossier Parish, as a whole, is very philanthropic. They are at 100-percent participation overall as a district. Every school supports the American Heart Association and they all find ways to support the cause.”
Haughton’s Red Out for Rodney game will be Nov. 6, Guin’s last home game. Proceeds from t-shirt sales and any monetary donations received at Friday’s game go toward funding heart disease research.
“Heart disease awareness is much more prevalent in the community now because Coach Guin has touched so many lives,” Lucero said. “I’m not just talking about Haughton either. It’s Shreveport, Bossier, Mansfield, and many more places because he’s such a renowned person.”
Heart disease is the number one killer of all Americans, according to statistics by the American Heart Association. Lucero says heart disease is the number one killer of women and it kills more people than the top four cancers put together.
“It does not discriminate,” Lucero said. “Just like Rodney…he’s in great shape and sometimes you don’t even know anything is wrong with you.”
Lucero added that heart disease is preventable with proper diet, exercise and routine physicals.
In 2010, Prescott’s senior year, Haughton went 10-0 during the regular season and reached the quarterfinals of the 4A playoffs. The Bucs hosted No. 1 ranked Franklinton led by Magee.
Haughton fell behind 14-0 early then outscored Franklinton 35-7 to take a 35-21 lead in the second half. But Magee rallied the Demons to a 49-41 victory.
“That team was good enough to win the state champonship if we win that game. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. I really thought the state championship game was played that night. That’s disappointing.”
There were some other close playoff losses, but the Franklinton game stands out.
“That was our chance to win the state championship I think,” Guin said.
Early coaching staff
Guin began his career under Marston. Other members of the staff were Gene Couvillion, now Haughton’s principal, Bob Brotherton and Warren Saucier.
“Some of those guys are still my best friends. I learned a lot from Coach Marston. He was big on loyalty to the program and that’s something that really stuck with me. Like I said, regardless of what we do we’re going to always be a Haughton Buccaneer just like he is.”