Sterlington's new strength and conditioning coach is ready to hit the ground running.

Even though he didn't get the position he originally applied for, Jeremy Many is happy to be employed at Sterlington High School.

In an ironic twist, Jason Thompson, who was ultimately hired as Sterlington's new athletic director and head coach, targeted Many as an assistant coach from the outset.

“Coach Thompson and I are good friends,” Many said. “He called me when he applied, not knowing that I had applied, wanting me to come with him if he got the job. When I told him I had applied for the job, too, he said, 'That's fine, just go through the process. But if I get the job, I want you to come with me.'

“When he got the job, he called me that night and asked, 'Are you with me?'”

Many soon accepted Thompson's offer to join the Panthers as strength and conditioning and defensive line coach.

Besides Thompson, Many was encouraged to make the move to Sterlington by his former West Monroe High School teammate, newly-hired offensive coordinator Bobby Breen.

“The chance to coach with Bobby is one of the main reasons I came here,” said Many, who played defensive end for the Rebels' first state championship team in 1993. “Bobby and I have been good friends for a long time. We go to the same church and we're in the same Sunday school class.

“I knew Jason wanted to put together a tight staff similar to what they have at West Monroe and Neville. I think we have a good thing going.”

Many spent the previous five years as head football coach and athletic director at West Ridge Middle School and head powerlifting coach at West Monroe High.

“It's a good situation,” Many said of his new gig. “There aren't many strength jobs in the parish. I probably had one of the best jobs in the parish as an AD, but for my career, my goals, this was the next logical step.”

Many, who holds an undergraduate degree from ULM with a master's in education from Louisiana Tech, began his coaching career as a student coach at West Monroe in 1999-2000.

Although he spent the next seven years selling real estate, Many's heart never left the coaching profession.

“I made a lot more money selling real estate, but coaching burns in my blood,” said Many, who was hired at West Ridge in 2008.

Many says he sees immense potential in the Sterlington football program.

“I think the kids are going to respond and we'll see results quickly on and off the field,” Many predicted.

As part of his responsibilities as strength coach, Many is in charge of the Panthers' summer workout program.

“I'm looking forward to starting the summer program,” Many said. “I'm anxious to hit the ground running and I think the kids are, too.”

Many says longtime West Monroe strength coach Casey Sanders has been his coaching role model.

“Casey Sanders is my mentor,” Many said. “I've learned so much from him over the last 23 years. I'm happy I get to apply what I've learned from him at the varsity level.”

Jeremy and wife Amy, a home economics teacher at West Ridge, are the parents of three sons — Mase (10), Kross (5) and Brees (3). Yes, that's Brees as in Drew Brees.

“Brees is our Super Bowl baby,” Many said. “He was born about a month after the Saints won the Super Bowl.”