Former Baseball: Eunice coach Paul Trosclair steps down amid pandemic; Andre Vige will be interim co
Bobby Ardoin, Special to the Daily World, The Advertiser, June 23, 2020
During the past several years Paul Trosclair has seen his cancer diagnosis remain in remission, and he wants to keep it that way.
Trosclair, with the advice of his doctors and family, has decided that in order prevent any further health risks, he is stepping away from his head coaching position at Eunice High.
That decision Trosclair said, comes as he continues to receive regular chemotherapy treatments for a 2014 multiple myeloma diagnosis, which has also required stem cell replacement.
This year Andre Vige, the Eunice High offensive coordinator since 2009, will serve as interim head coach, a decision that Trosclair said became almost inevitable when he consulted with his oncology team last week at MD Anderson in Houston.
“I knew that going over there, the doctors were going to tell me that it was in my best interest health-wise not to coach. They had told me that before and I didn’t listen, but this time because of the health threats, they had my attention.
During the past couple of months I sort of got a sense of what that would be like, since I stayed away from the school building and large crowds,” said Trosclair, 64.
'Bobcat Magic': Players, community helped Trosclair through illness
Trosclair said further discussions with his wife and family recently convinced him that the COVID-19 threat is too serious to decide otherwise.
“I called my principal (Mitch Fontenot) about a month ago and I told him then I was almost 100 percent positive that I was not taking this chance. It looked as though this virus was not going away,” Trosclair said.
Vige says he has been somewhat prepared for taking over the Bobcats this year, especially after the onset of COVID-19, which has shown no signs of abating in Louisiana, which remains in Phase 2 of a statewide reopening plan.
“I had an idea this day might come and it did after (Trosclair) went for a visit with his doctors and after listening to what they had to say, thought about his condition. He saw this coming and had forewarned me.
“I don’t think that (Trosclair) will just walk away. I feel at this point he will still be involved in helping in some way, although what that involvement will be has not been decided."
Eunice High coach Paul Trosclair looks over the playbook with assistant coach Charlie Mahfouz and some of his Bobcats during his early days there. (Photo: File Photo, The Advertiser)
Multiple myeloma, according to the Mayo Clinic website, is generally considered to be an incurable — but treatable — form of cancer.
Normally multiple myeloma involves bone marrow cells that tend to degenerate and start multiplying while attacking different organs, the website indicates.
Vige said following in Trosclair’s footsteps along with the head coaching responsibilities is something he has accepted with mixed emotions.
“I’m excited while at the same time I’m sad. I’ve always prepared myself to possibly take over the team, but I didn’t want to do it on these terms,” explained Vige.
Vige said the coaching staff this season will still contain a direct member of the Paul Trosclair coaching tree.
Trenon Trosclair, the youngest son of Paul Trosclair, will become a varsity assistant, said Vige.
“Trenon played quarterback for us and knows the offense that we run. Last year he was at (Eunice Junior High) and now he will be at Eunice High,” said Vige.
Trosclair said Eunice should have a good team this season after the Bobcats were co-champion of their Class 4A district last year.
“I wanted to put (Vige) in a position to be successful and I wanted him to be able to make his own decisions as he moves forward,” said Trosclair, whose teams have reached two state championship games in addition to winning the 2018 Class 3A title.
The Bobcats have a large number of starters returning on both sides of the football, Vige said.
Trosclair said instead of making game and practice preparations, he plans to exercise and play rounds of golf.
“If they need me to help in any way, then I will be there to help, as long as I can remain away from people,” Trosclair said.
Trosclair said he will look back at the way he helped influence players and the people that he’s met along the way. Those relationships, Trosclair said, are what he will certainly miss most.
Eunice high school's head football coach Paul Trosclair receives the Courage Award as the Daily Advertiser hosts the annual Sports Awards Ceremony at the Cajundome on Wednesday, May 15, 2019. (Photo: James Mays/Special to the Advertiser)
St. Landry Parish Athletic Director Jerome Robinson said he spoke with Fontenot about Trosclair’s decision on Sunday night.
Robinson said Trosclair, who has had the longest tenure of any parish football coach, has provided a successful imprint on parish athletics.
It’s a formula that he learned firsthand, Robinson added.
“Coach Trosclair was a mentor for me," Robinson said. "I coached there for a year and I appreciated how he took me under his wing when I was an assistant. I was new to football and he taught me a lot.
“Most of all he taught me how to do things the right way and much of what I know today about coaching has come from him."
Athletic Network Footnote by Dr. Ed Dugas.