Long-time football coach Paul Trosclair will not be on the sidelines for the coming season.
Paul Trosclair ends storied career as Eunice football coach
In 1995, Paul Trosclair replaced the legendary Johnny Bourque, whose Eunice High team had captured the 1983 state championship.
Fast forward to 2020 and now Trosclair is retiring with his own 2018 championship ring to cap his storied career.
Trosclair was diagnosed with multiple myeloma cancer and began chemotherapy treatments in 2014.
When COVID-19 invaded the state, the coach was forced to watch his program from a distance.
A recent visit with his doctor in Houston resulted in the decision that the risk of contracting the corona virus was just too high.
“I had a doctor’s visit in Houston and she suggested it might not be safe for me to return this year so I decided I am going to go ahead and retire.”
On Sunday, Trosclair informed the school’s administration and coaching staff of his decision to step away after 25 years as the program’s head coach.
“With everything so up in the air right now with the virus, I have some underlying health conditions so it would be kind of risky for me to coach,” he said.
He started his career at his alma mater Opelousas High (1979-81) where he was an assistant football coach and head baseball coach.
Trosclair moved on to Abbeville (1981-83) where he served as an assistant football coach and head baseball coach.
His Wildcats finished as the state runners-up and Trosclair was named the Class 3-A Coach of the Year.
Trosclair served with Bourque at EHS from 1984-89.
He was also the head softball coach as the Lady Cats captured back-to-back district titles in 1986-87.
Trosclair then moved to Oakdale in 1989 where the Warriors won four straight district titles.
After a five-year run and a 39-18 record at Oakdale, Trosclair returned to Eunice as the Bobcats’ offensive coordinator, and then the 39-year old was promoted to head coach after Bourque was named EHS principal.
“Johnny laid the foundation for Eunice High football and I just tried to continue to build on that.
“My goal was to leave it as good as it was when I took over,” he said.
In his first at the helm, the Bobcats went 8-2, the program’s best mark since 1989 and Trosclair’s legacy began.
Trosclair led the Bobcats to state championship games in 1997 and 1998.
Then in 2018, the Bobcats won the Class 3-A championship with a 59-47 win over Sterlington – the second title in program history.
“That was the icing on the cake,” Trosclair said of the state championship. “Some coaches never get the chance to be in a championship game and I was fortunate to be a part of three title games, that was an awesome experience.”
The 64-year-old Trosclair finishes his career with 247 career victories.
The Bobcat coach earned his 200th win in 2014 against Northwest, a 28-21 victory.
“I loved every second of it,” the coach said of his career. “I will always remember the people and the players that I met and coached – hopefully I influenced them in a positive way.”
Eunice High principal Mitch Fontenot had nothing but praise for his retiring athletic director.
“We are losing a fixture and a great man at Eunice High,” Fontenot said. “When you think of the Bobcats, you think of Coach Trosclair – they have been so intertwined with each other.
“He helped mold a lot of young athletes as well as teachers and administrators along the way,” Fontenot said. “When I first got there he taught me a whole lot.”
Fontenot said he understands Trosclair’s decision to retire.
“We all knew it was coming but we didn’t want to think about it, “ the principal said. “But with COVID-19 right now, there would be no safe way for him to come back and coach the team.
“We are all thankful for what he did for Eunice High,” Fontenot said. “He is leaving quite a legacy.”