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(Rick Hickman / Special to the American Press)<br />
Barbe assistant coach Paul Demarie is the sixth recipient of the Charles Vicknair Assistant Coach of the Year award.

(Rick Hickman / Special to the American Press)
Barbe assistant coach Paul Demarie is the sixth recipient of the Charles Vicknair Assistant Coach of the Year award.

Barbe's Demarie top right-hand man

Last Modified: Thursday, December 26, 2013 11:49 AM

By Albert Buford / American Press

The Barbe High football team has recently mostly been known for its prolific offense, while the defense has been in the shadows.

But defensive coordinator Paul Demarie has spent almost all of his his coaching career constructing the consistent defensive backbone of the Bucs.

Demarie’s work through the years on one of the area’s top teams has earned him the 2013 Charles Vicknair Assistant Coach of Year award.

The winner is chosen by a panel of local football watchers and is presented to an assistant coach who has not only helped a program that season but also has been an integral part of the football community.

Demarie, who was an all-state running back during his playing days at Barbe, has known Bucs head coach Mike Cutrera since those high school days.

“I’ve known him quite a while and been coaching with him for a very long time,” Cutrera said of Demarie. “He’s a very good coach and an even better person. He loves the kids, loves football and he’s got a genuine concern for the kids. He’s a tireless worker. He does a great job for us calling our defense, being our defensive coordinator and linebackers coach.”

Demarie has been on the coaching staff at Barbe since 1999 and spent time coaching at S.J. Welsh Middle School before moving up to Barbe.

“I just try to get the best out of the kids,” he said. “Each kid has different attributes they bring to our defense and we just try to get them to see what we see in them and get them better.”

It’s been a family affair in recent years for Demarie, as his son and nephew both played on the football team.

“I’ve been blessed,” he said. “Last year, my son was a senior and this year, my nephew is a senior, so being able to coach them through all the practice and hard work and being there to celebrate victories with them has been one of the greatest joys of my life.”

The high-powered Barbe offense might occupy the teams’ spotlight, but Demarie said he appreciates it.

“It’s great having an offense like we have,” he said. “At any point during the season, even in the two losses to Acadiana, we knew if we could get a stop, the offense was going to go down there and score.”

Barbe finished the season 10-3, with one loss to New Iberia and the other two courtesy of Acadiana. The Rams knocked Barbe out of the playoffs in the quarterfinals.

In the Bucs’ playoff loss to Acadiana, the Barbe defense held the Rams to 27 points, which tied their season low point total for a game. Acadiana went on to win the Class 5A championship, defeating Parkway 77-41.

The signature style Demarie wants for his defense is speed along with some physicality.

“We always preach be fast to the ball,” he said. “Knock the heck out of them and let them know you’re there. The first person might not make the tackle, but there’s 10 other blue helmets coming.”

Demarie said the entire coaching staff is worthy of praise and said he, Cutrera and defensive backs coach Jared Chapman know the defense as well as anybody.

“Defensive line coach James Kelly, he’s kind of like our ‘keep-us-in-perspective coach,’” Demarie said. “Eric Leblanc, who coaches corners, is the best person to have around. Not just in football, but all around.”

“We have people on our staff who certainly could have won this award. It’s an honor being able to work with coach Cutrera and he’s helped me become a better coach through the things he does. It’s certainly a great privilege to work with him and to receive the award.”

Posted By: Brian Jordan On: 12/31/2013

Title: Congrats!!

I had the privilege to work with Paul at SJ Welsh and they could not have given the award to a better teacher/coach/person. Congrats, Paul!

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