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Mr. Tommy Badon
108 Kentucky Lane
Lafayette, LA 70507
Lafayette, LA 70570
|Assistant Coach for Track and Field, 1988-1997.
Assistant Coach (Sprints/Hurdles) 2018-current.
I just recently took a job at Lafayette Christian Academy as Head Track Coach/Assistant Football Coach after spending the previous 12 years as Athletic Director, Head Football Coach, and Head Track Coach at Westminster Christian Academy.
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First & 10 with Tommy Badon of Westminster Christian Academy
From The Advertiser staff reports September 23, 2009
In what was supposed to be a rebuilding season, Tommy Badon is just a few extra points from a 3-0 start to the season with the Westminster Christian Crusaders. Badon has accumulated a 50-25 record in his seventh season at the helm of the Crusaders.
1. How pleased are you with the consistency the program has enjoyed?
That's actually one of the things we harp on the most around here. We tell them to expect to be good, no matter how many starters you have coming back. That's the difference between having a program and just having a good team.
2. How do you get young, inexperienced players to perform at that level?
I think it's a matter of expectations. I think it's about having that 'no excuses' attitude. If the kids understand that coach expects me to play well whether I'm 13 years old or 18 years old, then they come to expect that.
3. How tough was it to bounce back from the 12-fumble debacle in the opener at Vermilion Catholic?
After watching the film of that game, it goes back to the old saying that you're never as good as you think and never as bad as you think. We saw that the mistakes we made were correctable. We didn't harp too much on the fumbles. We addressed a few fundamental ball-handling things, but that was about it.
4. Are you comfortable winning games with your defense and special teams?
We beat Port Barre by playing great defense and our punter did a great job. Those were the two keys to that game. We've probably punted more in the first three games this year than we did the rest of the time I've been here. I really don't like to punt. You can't score if you punt. I think it stems back to one of my first years here when we lost a game because a punt got blocked for a touchdown and then another one when the ball was snapped over the punter's head.
5. Does that mean that you don't practice the punting game in practice as much as most coaches?
No, we work on punting every day. We work on the kicking game every day. In six years here, we've only had one kickoff return and two punt returns for touchdowns against us. And one of those punt returns was in a driving rainstorm against Port Barre two years ago. We've done a good job in special teams over the years.
6. Is conditioning the biggest reason for your success over the years at Westminster?
We are where we are this season because of conditioning. Both of the games we won were in the second half. Against OC, we were down 7-6 and scored three touchdowns in the second half. It's what allowed us to play so many guys both ways and still compete.
7. Are you getting more used to the approach of playing more guys, instead of playing so many both ways?
In the long run, I think it's going to be better for our program, because it gets more kids involved. It gets more kids under the lights on Friday night. In 1A, if you get 19 guys in on defense and another 15 or 16 on offense, that's pretty good. Coach (Todd) Thompson has been trying to get me to do it for years now.
8. How good of a move was it for your program to drop down to Class 1A?
I think it's going to benefit us. It's just a numbers things. If you've got 230 kids and you're playing against schools with 420 to 425 kids, it's really a numbers thing. It just evens out the talent pool so much. We went from the third-smallest 2A school to the second-biggest 1A school.
9. If you end up staying in 1A, are you concerned about the district you're in?
I'm OK with it, because I'm more concerned about travel than anything. For us, it's a matter of being geographically close. I'm an athletic director, not just a football coach. We can schedule non-district games to address that (power rating). I don't want to be driving to Morgan City or Franklin for a Tuesday night basketball game
10. How important is it for you to play in the Superdome before your career is over?
I think if any coach tells you that's not a goal of theirs, they're lying. We're always talking about what it takes to put ourselves in position to get to that point. In 2004, we had an opportunity to go. One play separated us from an opportunity to get a good matchup (in semifinals) to go to the Dome.
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Former Football: First and 10 with Tommy Badon
First and 10 with Tommy Badon
Tommy Badon has been Westminster Christian's head football coach for five years now. After a 3-7 first season, the Crusaders have been 37-10 with six playoff victories. Before that, he's coached football at Teurlings (1981-86), Lafayette High (1986-87) and track at Blinn JC (1987-89) and UL (1989-97).
1. After leaving football for track, did you ever imagine you'd be a high school head football coach?
"No way. In 1996, if you would have asked me to list the top 50 jobs I'd be at right now, Westminster wouldn't have been anywhere near that list. At that time, my goal was to be a head college (track) coach.''
2. How did the Westminster coaching job happen then?
"They were looking for a coach and called me to be on a search committee to hire a coach. The guy who called me jokingly said, 'Unless you'd be interested.' I have been thinking about getting back into coaching and fighting with it, so I told him I might just be interested.''
3. After being out of football for 16 years, were you concerned that too many things had changed?
"I've really believed for a long time that it's really about playing hard and doing a few things right. I went to a clinic in 1985 in Houston and heard J.T. Curtis speak, and remember it like it was yesterday. He told a coach there, 'Sir, you don't understand. We're John Curtis Christian School. You're not going to make us do what you want us to do. We're going to do what we do.' And that's what they do. They've got like eight plays and they run them to perfection. And I believe that you can apply that philosophy to any sport.''
4. What was the biggest obstacle your first year or so at Westminster?
"The kids didn't believe in the adults. I was the fourth head coach they had in 10 months. Every thing I told them, they took with a grain of salt. They were thinking, 'Sure, you probably won't be here past April.' They were very skeptical. I had to prove everything to them.''
5. Did you ever doubt whether you made the right decision to go to Westminster?
"The first week I was here. I tested the first week and we didn't have a single lineman under a 6.0 in the 40. Only three people on the whole team could break 5.0 in the 40. Then I only had six kids come out for track that first spring.''
6. How long did it take to win the kids over?
"I think about the third or fourth game of my second year here, they started to see how much better they had gotten. The only thing I ever promised them is that we were going to be the best conditioned team every Friday. In the fourth quarter, they weren't going to be dying. It was tough at first, but our offseason conditioning was staying after school running track, no questions asked. They didn't like that at first. And that first summer, vacations were more important than football.''
7. Are you surprised that your numbers haven't really improved since that first year?
"No. We had about 39 kids that first year and we've got 39 kids now, including 15 freshmen. The school hadn't gotten any bigger. We have limited classroom space. You have to take an entrance exam to get in. Our kids have been at Westminster for 9, 13 and 14 years. Of all of our seniors, Joey Thibodeaux is the only one that hasn't been.''
8. What's the biggest misconception about private schools?
"A lot of people believe that all private schools recruit and cheat. They believe that the reason we have success is because we go out and recruit players. Nobody's beating down our door here to come play for Westminster.''
9. Is there an extra burden to do the right thing at a school that calls itself Christian?
"Not all of my players are Christian. You don't have to make a profession to attend the school. Our job is to teach them the truth and hope they listen. Being a Christian doesn't mean you're perfect. It just means that Jesus is your savior and the Lord of your life. Do people look at you differently when you mess up? I think so. But all of our kids aren't choir boys. They're like the rest of the world. They're enticed by the same things. We have divorce and broken families and kids in trouble like everybody else, even in families that profess to be Christian. We just hope that when they're 25, they think about what we've taught them and make the right decisions.''
10. Can you see yourself coaching at Westminster for a long time?
"I have boys 11, 9 and 7. I've told them that if the school will have me that I'd like to say here until they're done.''
Daily Advertiser, October 24, 2007
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Look back at Teurlings' perfect season
With apologies to McDonald's Restaurants, if the three coaches of the 1982 Teurlings Catholic Rebels never eat another McRib sandwich, it would be fine with them.
For 12 Friday afternoons during the fall of 1982, however, it was that staff's diet.
The McRib was introduced that summer and head coach Bobby Green and assistants Tommy Badon and Steve Huter decided to try it prior to the Rebels' jamboree game against Northside. Teurlings won the game 19-6, and the secret success meal had been discovered.
The Rebels wouldn't allow another point until John Curtis scored in the Class 2A state quarterfinals 12 weeks later.
And each game day for the rest of the season, the coaching trio went to McDonald's and made the exact same order - a McRib with an orange drink and french fries. They had to. The options weren't pretty.
"By the end of that season, I hated the McRib,'' said Tommy Badon, who is now Westminster Christian's head coach. "I also went to Dairy Queen and got an extra thick vanilla shake every Friday.''
"I got awfully tired of eating the McRib, but I didn't want to be the one responsible for messing up the streak,'' said Huter, who is now at Breaux Bridge. "We did all kinds of things. They shaved all of our heads at one pep rally. That was a big ordeal for me. It was very traumatic for me, but I had no choice.''
Indeed, the streak had developed a life of its own by midseason 25 years ago. Before it ended in the 26-8 quarterfinal loss to powerhouse John Curtis, many things had happened:
The Rebels had broken the 50-year-old state record of 10 consecutive shutouts by Mooringsport that still stands;
The team was featured on ESPN's National Scholastic Sports America program;
Gov. Dave Treen declared Nov. 19, 1982 as Teurlings Catholic High School Day because of the record streak;
TCHS had five players honored as first team All-State performers;
Coaches and players got very familiar with the same socks and same pair of underwear for the entire season.
"I'm sure some of those socks could stand up on their own by the end of the season,'' said head coach Bobby Green, who is now the assistant principal at Acadiana High.
More than superstitions
The 1982 season, though, was about much more than behind-the-scenes superstitions. It was about a close team that set a record that's not likely to be broken with 11 consecutive shutouts.
"At the time, we didn't really know how big of a deal it was,'' said John Roy, a senior running back/defensive back on the team. "The streak was incredible, but to me, it was the whole experience. I look at the whole season and all the teamwork and look at the man it made me.''
Few of the players or coaches, if any, remember that the Rebels outscored the opposition 412-26 during that 1982 season.
What they all remember is the togetherness and team unity that produced the magical season worth recollecting 25 years later.
"I never had another team that was as dedicated as that one,'' Green said.
Like any good team, the 1982 Rebels had their share of standout performers. The five All-Staters were twins Jed and Jay Hebert, guard/nose guard Kevin Boudreaux, quarterback Clint Campbell and defensive end Mark Zimmerman.
Jed Hebert said he was honored six years ago on the all-time 50-year Lafayette Kiwanis Club Jamboree team and felt uncomfortable about it, because he wanted the whole team recognized.
"It was always, 'We' and never 'I' with this team,'' Jed Hebert said. "Looking back on it, there's certainly a lot of pride. I don't think anybody will ever do that again. But it wasn't something any of us did by ourselves. We did it as a team.''
The relationship with the coaches also contributed to the team's greatness.
"The coaches were great to play for,'' Campbell said. "We always left everything on the field. We wanted to do that for them.''
Streak grows legs
As four shutouts turned into five, talk began to swirl around the area, the state and even nationally.
"When it got to about week six or seven, we really tried to keep up the record,'' senior strong safety Chad Peltier said.
"I was just so happy to be a part of that whole experience. I hadn't played football since my eighth grade year and then to go 10-0 and not give up any points my senior year was incredible.
"I remember my parents telling me it was the most exciting season they ever had. I think it was pretty much that way for everybody. The fan support was great.''
The team had its share of close calls, though.
Many recall a slightly deflected pass in the end zone during a 55-0 win over Erath. Even more memorable were two missed field goals from close range in a 25-0 win over St. Thomas More - one missed and one blocked by Gary Gerami.
"It wasn't always the first-team guys in there,'' Green said. "A lot of times it was the second-team guys who stopped them.''
Unlike any other team that regularly blew out its opponents, the 1982 Rebels on occasion did return the first-team defense to the field.
Some say the coaches instructed them to return. The coaches say the players begged to return at times. The truth is that history demanded it.
"The players usually were begging to go back in,'' Green said.
"When they got into the red zone, (linebacker) Joe Ashy was going back in there,'' Huter said.
"After about week seven, when teams got close, Jed wanted to go back in,'' Badon said. "And when Jed talked, people listened.''
"We did everything possible to keep the streak alive,'' Boudreaux admitted.
There was also the night in Crowley when the Rebels overcame seven turnovers to win 7-0.
Ironically, the quarterback may have been responsible for averting the biggest scoring threat. Seemingly trapped in the end zone for a safety in week three, Campbell not only avoided a tackler, but escaped enough to throw a 95-yard TD pass.
Amazingly, there wasn't even a field goal or a touchdown called back by penalty.
"A ball never crossed the goal line or went through the uprights until the Curtis game,'' Boudreaux said.
Perfect into playoffs
After receiving a bye in the first round of the playoffs, the second round offered little resistance with a 35-0 shutout of Brusly. Then came the titanic struggle between No. 1-ranked and defending 2A champion John Curtis and No. 2-ranked Teurlings Catholic at Pan American Stadium in New Orleans.
The Patriots scored first and maintained that 8-0 lead until the fourth period when they simply wore down the Rebels.
"It was deflating when they scored, but we knew we were still in it,'' Badon said. "The most deflating thing is that we were playing with about 16 players and they were sending in a whole different 11 on punt teams and kickoff teams. They played about 50 guys and just wore us down.''
There were other factors to that game that still agitate quarterback Campbell to this day.
"They hauled in sand to the field and wet the grounds with a fire truck,'' Campbell said. "I fell down three times just taking the snap. There was so much sand and mud caught in my shoes. We were quite a bit faster than they were and it really slowed us down.''
Campbell and the Hebert brothers signed with UL. Green stayed around for two more years with a modest 13-9 record before leaving to go to Lafayette High.
Teurlings would only enjoy two winning seasons over the following eight. That one glittering campaign in 1982, though, won't ever be forgotten.
"It was a great experience to know that you accomplished some great things,'' Jay Hebert said, "but the best thing about it is the lifelong relationships that were built.''
"I haven't seen that kind of teamwork again,'' Roy said. "We were so close. We'd kill for each other ... and still would.''
Click on the link below for the 1982 Teurlings Catholic Football photo gallery
August 31, 2007
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