Former Sterlington High offensive line coach Boyd Cole inherits a veteran team coming off of an 8-3 season.
Boyd Cole is the new head football coach at Riverfield Academy in Rayville. A long-time Sterlington assistant, Cole spent one year as the Raiders' head junior varsity head coach, before signing on as the school's varsity head coach Monday afternoon.
"The last time I was a head coach was in 1985," Cole said. "I'm excited about the opportunity. We started our off-season program (Monday)."
Cole, who is retired from the Louisiana public school system, joined the staff at the MAIS school in August after spending 19 years at Sterlington.
"I used to make fun of private schools, but I'm really having a good time here," Cole said. "There are some good football players in this league. The difference is the depth. In private school, kids have to play both ways and most of them play more than one sport."
During his time at Sterlington, Cole was the offensive line coach under Dell Ashley and later became the Panthers' offensive coordinator. He was also head coach of Sterlington's highly-successful softball program for 18 years, highlighted by a state championship in 2003.
This is Cole's second head coaching job. He was head coach for five seasons (1981-85) and athletic director for three years at Shreveport Byrd.
A former Northeast Louisiana University (now ULM) quarterback, Cole began his coaching career at West Monroe, before returning to his hometown of Calhoun City, Miss. for two years.
His coaching career also includes stops at Bossier High, Bastrop and West Ouachita.
Though he has only been at Riverfield for six months, Cole has strong ties to the school. Riverfield Principal Sherri Spann Slade was a student in one of Cole's classes at Bastrop. Mike Reans, Riverfield's athletic director, was Cole's center at NLU.
Cole succeeds Rob Newsom, who guided the Raiders to an 8-3 record and a three-way share of the MAIS District 3-2A championship last season.
Last season, Cole directed Riverfield's JV (grades 7-9) team to an 8-1 mark.
"We lost some really good seniors, but out of 22 positions, we have 17 starters back," Cole said. "As of right now, we have 31 (players) on varsity and 28 on JV."
Cole was the offensive line coach when Sterlington put together consecutive state runner-up finishes in 2002 and 2003.
When asked what type of offense Riverfield would run in 2014, Cole replied, "Why did you even ask that question?"
The obvious answer is the splitback veer, which head coach Dell Ashley ran so successfully during his tenure as Sterlington's head coach. Cole says the Raiders' personnel is suited for the splitback.
"(Quarterback) Tristan Oswalt is tailor-made for this offense and we're going to be big up front," Cole said.
Cole said his immediate priority is to find a defensive coordinator.