Woodlawn offers Beard football coaching post

Woodlawn High Principal Daniel Edwards said he has offered the school’s head football coaching job to Destrehan High assistant coach Brett Beard.

The 32-year-old Beard is a former Vanderbilt and Southeastern Louisiana University defensive lineman. He has served as Destrehan’s defensive line coach and special teams coordinator the past two years.

Edwards said he is hopeful final approval on Beard’s hiring will allow him to begin work at the south Baton Rouge-based Class 5A school next week. Beard replaces Don Jones, who resigned in November after the Panthers finished 1-9.

“I had a group of people who worked with me on this process,” Edwards said. “After talking to Brett, we came away convinced that he was the right person for the job.

“He has all the qualities we were looking for in a coach and believe he will be a great addition to our staff.”

Beard is a Birmingham, Ala., native who attended Vanderbilt from 1999-2002. He had one year of eligibility remaining after graduating from Vanderbilt and then opted to play for Hal Mumme at SLU in 2003. Beard went on to represent the Lions in the 2004 Hula Bowl.

After completing his SLU career, Beard spent a spring semester as an assistant coach at Hammond High in order to finish his master’s degree. He served as head football coach at Franklinton-based Bowling Green School, a Mississippi Association of Independent Schools member, from 2007-10. Beard joined the Destrehan staff in January 2011.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity to be head coach at Woodlawn,” Beard said. “I’ve toured the school and am impressed by the facilities and all the people I met.

“I think things are already in place that will make it possible to build Woodlawn into a successful program. In order to do that, we need to build the best student-athlete we can. I’m looking forward to getting to know the other coaches on staff, teachers, students and the people in the community. I can’t wait to get started.”

Woodlawn failed to make the playoffs in its move back up to Class 5A in 2011 and 2012 after winning back-to-back district titles in Class 4A. The Panthers beat McKinley in a District 5-5A game that closed the 2012 season. Jones compiled a 36-36 record in six seasons at the school. After Jones resigned as head football coach and athletic director, Edwards picked boys basketball coach Elmo Fernandez to take over as athletic director.