Brett Beard confirmed Friday, Nov. 22 that he’ll be the new head football coach at Denham Springs, leaving Hwy. 16 rival Live Oak after five seasons.
Denham Springs found itself in the market for a head football coach/athletic director when Bill Conides and the school mutually agreed to part ways the week of Denham Springs’ regular-season finale against Scotlandville.
The Yellow Jackets went 1-9 this season and were 14-19 during Conides’ three seasons, two of which included trips to the postseason.
"I'm excited about it, very excited about it," Denham Springs principal Wes Howard said. "(Brett Beard) is a larger than life kind of guy and I think he's going to be great for our kids and as a representative of our campus. Outstanding representative for our athletics as a whole on our campus."
Beard guided Live Oak to a 31-27 record and five straight playoff appearances, including a 6-5 record this season that ended last week after a 39-7 loss at Zachary in the first-round of the playoffs.
Live Oak principal Beth Jones also confirmed Beard's departure, while the Denham Springs Athletic Association posted a message on its Facebook page welcoming Beard's arrival to the school.
“We are definitely losing a close friend and at Live Oak we’re definitely family, so it feels like one of our family members is moving," Jones said. “I didn’t realize it was going to happen quite like this. But it did and we’re going to make the best of it and come out of this better than we've ever been.”
Beard helped bring Live Oak to unprecedented heights during his tenure, not only leading the Eagles to five straight trips to the postseason, but helped the program achieve its first wins over Denham Springs and Central, first winning record in district, a school-record seven-win season and an opening-round playoff win and home playoff game.
“I feel like Brett did a great job with bringing our program to the next level, improving our students both on and off the field as well," said Jones, whose been the school's principal throughout Beard's stay at the school. "He was a great person to be around, but now I feel like we can get somebody in here who can continue to grow that success and bring us to the next milestone.”
Live Oak experienced a highwater mark in 2016 when the Eagles reached the school’s first state quarterfinal, falling to state powerhouse Acadiana.
"(He'll) slide into the athletic director role, someone who doesn't just take on head coaching duties, but someone who can encompass and represent all of our athletic needs as a whole," Howard said. "I'm just glad to have Brett Beard aboard, it's an exciting time for Denham Springs High School."
Jones said that anyone interested in applying for the position of head football coach/athletic director can submit resume's to her at email@example.com up to Dec. 9 or call for more information 225-665-8858. She's hopeful of hiring a new coach by the end of the semester Dec. 20
"I know we have a great place, we have great attractions at Live Oak High School and I think it’s the best place in the state," Jones said. "I hope other people feel the same way because we are going to be a force to be reckoned with.”