Travis Uzee hired as St. Amant basketball coach

After spending six years as an assistant at East Ascension High, Travis Uzee has been hired as the boys basketball coach at Ascension Parish rival St. Amant High.

The 34-year-old Uzee, a 1997 Catholic High graduate, also spent two seasons as a nonfaculty coach for the Bears before becoming an assistant to Kenny Almond at East Ascension. St. Amant High Athletic Director David Oliver declined comment, citing Uzee’s pending transfer between schools.

Uzee met with members of the EAHS team on Monday to tell them he was taking the St. Amant job. He said he is set to meet with the Gators on Tuesday. Uzee replaces Gary Duhe, who resigned late last month to become director of the Louisiana High School Coaches Association.

“I’ll be honest with you, the last couple of weeks have been tough,” Uzee said. “I didn’t apply for it (St. Amant job) at first because of how much I love the program and the people at East Ascension.

“But being a head coach has always been my goal. Getting the chance to be part of a program and a school like St. Amant was too good of an opportunity for me to pass up.”

Uzee served as acting coach for EAHS for a couple of weeks during the 2012-13 season when Almond underwent cancer-related surgery. The Spartans went on to advance to the Class 5A semifinals, losing to Monroe-based Ouachita.

“I’m ready to get started and to work with the staff at St. Amant and players,” Uzee said. “Last year’s (St. Amant) team had a lot of seniors. There are a lot of young guys coming up and I think this is the perfect time for me to come in.”

EAHS’ Almond noted, “It’s a big loss for East Ascension and big gain for St. Amant. We’ll be pulling for him in all but two games every year.”