Norm Picou has been named head boys basketball coach at Haughton, principal Gene Couvillion announced Wednesday.
Picou was the head coach at Plain Dealing last season after serving as an assistant at Haughton in 2016-17. The Lions went 13-17, falling to No. 3 seed North Central 76-64 in the second round of the Class 1A playoffs.
Picou said being at Plain Dealing was a “great situation,” and the decision to leave wasn’t an easy one.
“I hate to leave but sometimes we have to make decisions that are just better for our family,” he said.
Picou called Haughton a “special place.” His wife, Megan, teaches at Haughton Middle School.
“Great administration,” he said. “Athletic director (Jason) Brotherton is great. For us, Haughton is becoming home. When the opportunity came up to come back it was the right thing to do.”
Before coming to Haughton, Picou was the head coach at Southwood. He guided the Cowboys to the playoffs seven times. In 2015-16, his final season, Southwood went 22-7 and shared the District 1-5A championship with Parkway.
He said the opportunity to coach at the Class 5A level again was another factor in his decision to take the Haughton job.
Former head coach Brian St. Andre will remain on the boys staff as an assistant, Couvillion said. Picou said he’s glad to have the opportunity to work with him again.
“He’s got a wealth of knowledge to share,” Picou said.
In addition to the one season working together, Picou said he and St. Andre have been friends for a long time.
“He and I have been friends since he was coaching at Haughton and I was on the other sidelines at Southwood,” he said. “When I made the decision to get into Bossier Parish he is the one that helped open the door for me to get into Bossier Parish.
“So being able to come back and work with him is going to be fun. We have a great relationship. It’s just going to be nice to be back.”
Haughton went 2-20 last season. The Bucs have won a combined nine games in the past three seasons.
Picou believes the opportunity is there for him and St. Andre to turn things around.
“Haughton has a rich tradition,” he said. “I think what we’re going to do is we’re going to reignite the fire of basketball in the community. We’re going to start working with the younger kids and start building from the ground up and putting a lot of time this summer in the gym.
“We’re just going to reach out to former players and community members that are willing to help us and we’re going to make it a family effort at turning this thing around.”
Picou has two daughters, Baileigh, currently a sophomore at Caddo Magnet, and Maci, who’s is going to be a freshman at Captain Shreve in the fall.
Like Haughton, Shreve is a member of District 1-5A, which means the teams will face off at least twice in 2018-19.
“That started a joke at our house,” Picou said with a laugh. “Who’s she going to cheer for?”
— Russell Hedges, email@example.com