Milestone Win For Coach Monica
Nothing seemed overtly extraordinary about St. Charles Catholic’s 31-3 victory over South Lafourche on Friday night.
For Comets coach Frank Monica, it was a good, season-opening win, which showed some of his team’s strengths and weaknesses, a balanced offensive attack and a strong defense.
It wasn’t until it was over and the players and coaches were gathered around him that Monica learned just how extraordinary this win was. That’s when Ty Monica, Frank’s son and assistant coach, came forward to present his dad (and his boss) with the game ball to commemorate Frank’s 267th victory. That win made Monica the winningest coach in River Parishes football history.
“I was not aware of it at all,” Monica said. “I pretty much keep my head down when it comes to that stuff.”
Friday’s win gave Monica a career record of 267-87, putting him one win ahead of his own former player and former assistant coach, Tim Detillier, who retired in 2015 and spent three years on the top of the win heap.
“Now all is right in the River Parishes world,” said Detillier. “It’s nice to be at the top. I only heard stories about Joe Keller, who I passed. But if anybody should be the all-time winningest coach, the Father of Football in the River Parishes, it should be Frank Monica.”
Monica’s coaching career began as an assistant at Nicholls State. His high school coaching career began at Lutcher in 1971. He became the head coach of the Bulldogs in 1976 after Lou St. Amant left for Northeast Louisiana University (now Louisiana-Monroe).
“A couple of school board members came knocking on my door and said, ‘Guess what. You’re our new head coach,’ ” Monica recalled. “I told them, ‘I don’t want it. I’m not ready.’ I was just a young guy back then.’”
Monica is now marking his 50th year in coaching, his 38 th as a high school head coach with stops at Lutcher, Riverside Academy, Jesuit, and St. Charles and with three state championships to his credit. He also spent 12 years as an assistant coach at Tulane, had a short stint as an assistant baseball coach at Nicholls State. He was inducted into the Louisiana High School Sports Hall of Fame last summer.
“It’s quite an achievement considering the number of great coaches we’ve had in the River Parishes over the years,” Monica said. “It’s a tribute to all the coaches I had with me and all the players who played for me. You know it just means I’ve outlasted everybody else.”
( Story by Lori Lyons of Nola.com and L'Observateur)