West Monroe chooses former assistant, leaving Curtis at NCHS

By DOUG IRELAND, Journal Sports

West Monroe High School is announcing its new football coach today and it’s not new Natchitoches Central coach Jess Curtis.

Curtis interviewed for the position last Thursday. After a round of interviews with top candidates, he emerged as one of four finalists and was expected to get a second interview this morning.

But instead, Tuesday night the school issued a press release announcing the hiring of a former WMHS assistant coach, Todd Garvin, who was the sitting head coach at rival Ouachita Parish High School. He will be officially introduced at West Monroe this afternoon.

Garvin spent 16 years at West Monroe as an assistant coach under Don Shows and then Jerry Arledge, but was demoted a few years ago by Arledge amid some staff tensions.

Garvin was hired by Jerrod Baugh at Ruston High as quarterbacks and running backs coach, then got the head football coach and athletic director’s job at Ouachita two years ago. In his first season with the Lions, he took a team that was 1-5 in the pandemic year, and guided his first OPHS squad to a 9-4 record including the school’s first win over West Monroe in 27 years.

He was preparing for his third season at Ouachita before taking the West Monroe job Tuesday night.

Curtis led the Chiefs through their first two spring practices Monday and Tuesday. He was hired in early January after an extremely successful last decade at his alma mater, Many High School, and has brought along several members of his Many coaching staff to NCHS, along with blending a few holdovers from the previous staff and bringing in former Red River Parish head coach Jeff Harper as offensive corrdinator.

Contact Doug at sbjdoug@gmail.com