Held resigns at SMHS, takes Catholic post

Eric Held has decided to approach his future in a back to the future kind of way.

The 42-year-old Held resigned as head football coach at one Baton Rouge parochial school, St. Michael the Archangel, to accept an assistant coaching job at another, Catholic High, on Thursday.

Held cited the opportunity to spent more time with his family and the chance to work with Catholic head coach Dale Weiner as the driving forces behind his decision to return to an assistant’s role. He spent five seasons at Class 4A St. Michael, leading the Warriors to the playoffs each season and compiling a 34-21 record. Held will be the running backs-special teams coach and also will be an assistant baseball coach for the 5A Bears.

“Any time somebody resigns from a head coaching job to take an assistant’s job there are always questions,” Held said. “At the end of the day, I’m the only one who has to answer them. I’m to the point where my kids need to see me as Dad and not on the sidelines all the time where they say ‘There’s Dad coaching.’

“And I really believe this is the best assistant coaching job available in the state. I’ll get the chance to work with coach Weiner, who’s truly a legend, and have a great deal of responsibility handling the special teams.”

Held, who graduated from Brother Martin, spent 10 years as a New Orleans Catholic League assistant. He moved to St. Mary’s-Natchitoches for a head coaching job and was an assistant at Redemptorist before moving to St. Michael as the head coach.

“This all came up recently,” Catholic Athletic Director J.P. Kelly said. “Eric is a friend of mine, and we talk quite a bit. We had a spot come open on our coaching staff, and when it did, I asked Eric about it.

“He’s excited about the direction our programs are headed in, and he’s a Brother Martin graduate, which is also Brothers of the Sacred Heart school, like Catholic is, so I think that’s a strong pull also.”

During Held’s stint at St. Michael, 14 players signed college scholarships. He hopes being an assistant will give him more time to watch those players compete on the college level. Held also has thought ahead to the All-Catholic Jamboree that will match St. Michael against Catholic in August.

“This was one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever had to make,” Held said. “But I believe it’s the right one for me and my family. I’m sure that St. Michael will go out and hire a great coach so they can continue to be successful. And I’ll see those guys again.”