Tait Dupont returns to Plaquemine as baseball coach, athletic director

John Dupont, Contributing Writer
PHS Athletic Director Tait Dupont will also serve as the Green Devils' Head Baseball Coach this year.

A 24-year career has taken Tait Dupont full circle.

Dupont begins the 25th year of a coaching career the same place he began – but with extra responsibilities.

He will return to Plaquemine High to serve as head baseball coach and athletic director.

Dupont, 49, took the two positions after an 11-year stint at Brusly High School, where he worked as head football coach and later took over the helm of the Panther baseball program.

"I'm excited about it," said Dupont, a 1988 St. John High School graduate. "They've done a lot with the facilities. They did a lot of improvements to the football field, and I can foresee some changes to the baseball stadium."

Dupont brings a record of 389 wins during his career in baseball.

He hopes to spark the Green Devil baseball program, which has assembled talented lineups but won only three playoff games over the last 17 years, according to the Louisiana High School Athletic Association website.

"I was talking to the players about how we went to the state championship game and lost to E.D. White my last year at Plaquemine High – and we had to win four playoff games to reach the state title game," Dupont said.

It will take more than the current roster to revamp the program. Dupont wants to work with the middle schools to nurture up-and-coming talent.

Travel ball will also play a role. He plans to launch a 14-U program and add each year with programs for 13-year-olds and ages down to nine years old.

The goals for success extend to all athletes, but it goes beyond the work in their respective sports.

"I want all of our sports to be successful, not only on the field or court, but also in the classroom," he said.

Dupont took the job after the departure of Erik Willis, his longtime friend and fellow coach at Brusly.

Head football coach Paul Distefano coached at St. John after Dupont took over the baseball program at the now-defunct North Iberville, but the two have never worked together.

Dupont began his career in 1995 as an assistant coach at Plaquemine High. He coached under Dennis Lorio his first year and Tommy Minton for the next two years.

His return to PHS reunites him with other coaches – those who played under him earlier in his career.

He coached Matthew Zito and Brian Troxclair, who now serve as offensive and defensive coordinators, respectively.

The coaching staff also includes assistant baseball coach Donald Williams and girls' coach Peter Villia, all who played under Dupont.

Dupont also coached Roderick Jones at St. John High. Jones served as head baseball coach but stepped back to the assistant's job.

He and Jones will oversee a very young – but talented – baseball program.

"We had a really good summer, and I like our chances," Dupont said. "And to get my 400th win after 25 years and back at Plaquemine would be pretty nice, as well."