Wainwright steps down as Tors coach
Becomes fourth area vacancy
For the third time in as many seasons, one of the area’s four Class 5A schools is looking for a new head football coach.
Sulphur High’s Jeff Wainwright announced on Friday that he has stepped down from his post after six seasons.
"It is not something that I would have foreseen doing at the beginning of the year," Wainwright said. "I am here with a heavy heart today.
"I am stepping down as the head coach. It has been a tough decision."
LaGrange got a new coach for the 2018 season in Marrico Wilson and Chad Paulk took over the Sam Houston program in 2017.
Wainwright went on to say that his is not the end of his coaching career.
"I will resurface in the coaching community soon," Wainwright said. "I will have my chance to spend more time with my family.
"I felt like I needed to let them know as soon as possible so they can get the coach these kids and community need. There is a lot of preparation to get ready for next year."
Before Wainwright arrived in 2013, Sulphur had gone four seasons without a winning record with two playoff appearances, but he was able to turn the program around. Under Wainwright, the Tors went 34-31, including five consecutive playoff appearances.
"I have really enjoyed my time here," Wainwright said. "I have had a chance to coach some really good players that have given me 110 percent.
"That has been really rewarding as a coach. The kids have worked so hard to put a great product on the field. The new head coach is going to have a really good team and community to come into."
Also during Wainwright tenure, he oversaw the construction of the new Matt Walker Memorial Stadium, which opened in 2015 with an artificial turf surface.
"The facility, community and resources are unbelievable," Wainwright said. "I have nothing but good things to say about this community.
"I am going to miss a lot of people around here."
After a 3-7 record in his first season, Sulphur went 6-5 in 2014 for its first winning record since the 2008 season.
Wainwright’s best season was 2016 when the Tors went 8-4, won their first district title since 2007 and first playoff game since 2006 after they beat Airline in the first round.
Sulphur again shared the District 3-5A title with Barbe and Acadiana in 2017, but the Tors were knocked out of the playoffs in the first round.
In 2018, Sulphur beat archrival Barbe for the first time since 2007 in a 36-35 thriller, but lost to eventual state champion Zachary in the first round of the playoffs and finished 6-5.
Prior to arriving at Sulphur, Wainwright led the Kinder Yellow Jackets for 10 seasons, posting a 65-42 record with a run to the quarterfinals in 2011.
In 16 seasons as a head coach, Wainwright is 99-73.
Longtime assistant coach Randy Baggett was named interim head coach.
With Wainwright’s departure, there are four Southwest Louisiana schools looking for a head coach.
Westlake is looking for a replacement after parting ways with Phil Fontenot after four seasons.
Grand Lake is looking for a coach after Mike Robinson went 1-9 in his lone season and Oakdale is on the market after letting Randall Gordon go after he went 30-48 in seven seasons.