In his 4th decade of leading De La Salle Football, coach Bob Ladouceur has built more than a perennial champion…
…more than a program that became a national brand after winning a record 151 games in a row…
…more than a team currently holding a 235 game northern California win streak…
…To hear senior receiver Andrew Buckley tell it, Bob Ladouceur has built men. “He cares about trying to turn us into men,” Buckley said “so we can accomplish more things when we get older.”
Coach Ladouceur thinks his current band of Spartans has what it takes to accomplish a 4th straight Bowl Open Title. But, he’s not yet sure.
“To go all the way, and win out all the way,” Ladouceur said “It’s a hard road, and you’ve got to be pretty tough to do it. We’ll see how tough these guys are.”
Unlike all of the other storied postseason runs by Ladouceur’s Spartans, there’s a different element added to the mix this year. Ladouceur—the leader of this program since 1979—has been throwing around the “R” word—as in “retirement.” “I don’t want to lose any coaches we have here who would want to try and do this job,” Ladouceur said. “And, it’s time for them to try it too. That’s more important to me than anything. I’ve spent my life working in this and building this program...and helping build this program where it is...and I want to see it continue and get better when I’m not doing it.”
As to the question of if Ladouceur is more likely to hang up his whistle this year than next, he added “I’m not sure yet. I mean…one or the other. I’m just going to see how I feel…and—you know—after I get out of the season for a few weeks or maybe a month or so and see how I feel about it.”
His players, like USC-bound linebacker Michael Hutchings, have heard the rumors about their coach. “We haven’t even talked about it as a team,” Hutchings said. “I’m sure after the season, it will be something that’s a little bit bigger amongst us and amongst the guys. But right now, we’ve just got to focus on our season.”
Bob Ladouceur has spent his life focusing on the high school game—rebuffing offers to coach at higher levels of football. He says he has no regrets.
“I’ve been happy,” Ladouceur exclaimed. “If I had it to do all over again, I wouldn’t change one thing.”