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Ferriday names Oliver new football coach

Ferriday — The Concordia Parish School Board officially approved the hire of Richard Oliver as Ferriday High School’s new head football coach Thursday night.

Oliver comes to Ferriday after one season as an assistant coach at Zachary High School in his hometown of Baton Rouge. He was previously head coach at Scotlandville High School and Istrouma High School, also in Baton Rouge.

“My goal is to win football games first of all,” Oliver said.

“And also to prepare kids for life, and get as many of them as I can to go to college and better themselves.”

Oliver said that Ferriday’s previous football success, its tight-knit community and the perseverance of the players were reasons he chose to come to Ferriday.

“What impressed me is those kids haven’t had the same coach two years in a row (over the past three years, including Oliver) and they are able to win, and have the will to win,” Oliver said.

Concordia Parish school board member Fred Butcher said Oliver brings maturity, work ethic and stability to the program.

“Everywhere he’s been he’s had success,” Butcher said.

“He will be a father figure, and give the kids someone they can identify with. I (also like) his requirement for good academics.”

Ferriday principal Michelle Bethea said Oliver stood out among several qualified candidates because of his football accomplishments and his focus on academics.

“He has a plan to keep the football players on track academically,” Bethea said.

“He wants to be here in Ferriday. I don’t know what the future will hold but I know he has the best interest of Ferriday at heart.”

Oliver’s start date is May 2, he said. He plans to get started as soon as he finds a place to live.

“My expectation is to get the kids to have a good offseason program this summer, and get them as big, fast and strong as I can. I want to establish a good system that kids can be successful and win.”

“(We) want to win district, (we) want to get in the playoffs and (we) want to win it all,” Oliver said.

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