The St. John the Baptist Parish School Board members who voted unanimously to hire Phillip Banko as East St. John High School's head coach and athletic director on Tuesday expressed optimism that the new coach will be the right fit for the Reserve school.
I'm very honored, and I'm really excited," Banko
said after the vote.
"We're going to take young girls and young boys and form them into young men and young women."
is available to start the job immediately.
planned to meet with seniors and coaches Tuesday afternoon, he
said, and would be talking to coaches to see who wanted to stay on staff.
"Our spring training is limited to 10 days," Banko
said after the meeting.
"But it won't be a problem.
We're going to be fine."
Banko, who was the defensive coordinator at East St. John from 2007-08, described the team's schedule next year as tough.
also wants transparency, telling board members his
door is never closed and welcoming them to practices or to come by when the team is studying film.
talked most about his
desire to build a strong connection between the team, the students and the community.
"I want kids to want to be a Wildcat," he
"I want people to be in the community and want to wear a Wildcat shirt."
said many former players have expressed interest in coming back to help, as have members of the community, and he
plans to let them be involved.
Banko most recently served as defensive coordinator at Ponchatoula High School.
He worked four seasons as a defensive assistant and assistant defensive line coach for the Cleveland Browns, as defensive coordinator at the University of West Georgia and as an assistant coach for NFL-Europe's Berlin Thunder.
"I'm an avid East St. John football fan.
I'm there every night," board member Keith Jones told Banko.
Jones encouraged Banko
to remember that his team members would need guidance off the field as well.
But while the board members in attendance welcomed Banko
at the meeting, Burl, Nicholas and Jack said they think that Tuesday's meeting never should have taken place.