Erik Willis leaving PHS; hunt on for new coach

Deidre Cruse

The Iberville Parish School Board is advertising for a new athletic coordinator, whose duties will include coaching football at Plaquemine High School, Superintendent P. Edward Cancienne Jr. said Monday.

“I won’t be there next year,” said Erik Willis, hired only two weeks ago as a teacher and football at Plaquemine High School.

Willis, the brother of School Board Member Brian S. Willis of Plaquemine, was scheduled to be hired as athletic coordinator, but at the last minute the School Board changed the deal to include only coaching and teaching at PHS.

The abrupt change in job status meant a salary cut from the $80,000 range to the $50,000 range.

Willis currently is teaching and assisting the Plaquemine High athletics program, but will be leaving at the end of this school year, Dr. Canncienne said.

Neither the superintendent nor Willis would comment on the early end of Willis’ anticipated tenure in Plaquemine.

“I’m an employee in Iberville Parish, and I really don’t want to be reprimanded for talking to the press,” Coach Willis said.

“The matter has been investigated, and appropriate action has been taken, Cancienne said.

“That’s all I have to say about it...He’s not working there next year.

Because it involved a personnel issue, Cancienne would not explain what the “matter” investigated concerned.

Neither would he comment on widespread rumors that Erik and Brian Willis got into a fight at the

School Board’s Central office on January 13, the morning after the board meeting at which Erik

Willis was hired as coach and teacher, but not for the better paid coordinator’s position.

“I wasn’t around there,” the superintendent said. “I’m not going to comment on any of that.”

One source told the POST/SOUTH the brothers had gotten into a shoving match in the Central

Office hallway.

Later that week, another contender for the athletic coordinator’s job, White Castle High School Football Coach Ferante Dominique, was arrested in Plaquemine on two counts of simple battery after a domestic disturbance on Illinois Street, Capt. Kenneth Payne of the Plaquemine Police confirmed.

Dominique, 27, whose address is listed as 57406 Cpl. Herman Brown, White Castle, went to the apartment he shares with his wife shortly after midnight on January 16, Payne said.

The coach is accused of grabbing his wife by the throat and shoving her backwards, and then hitting a friend of his wife’s when she tried to intervene, the captain said.

Payne said Dominique told police he had gone there to talk, that he backed away his wife’s friend had approached him and that there had been no physical contact.

Police observed marks on his wife’s neck and a small contusion on her friends’ side and arm where she had allegedly been grabbed, Payne said.

He said Acadian Ambulance paramedics treated the two women at the scene.

Dominique was taken to the police station for booking, Payne said. Since there was no room in the jail for suspects in misdemeanor cases, police issued Dominique a misdemeanor summons and released him, the captain said.