Coach Sid: A Coach’s Coach

By Woody Jenkins • Editor • Central City News • CITY OF CENTRAL — David Simoneaux has been named head football coach at Catholic High.  He is the latest of two dozen of Coach Sid Edwards’ former players and assistant coaches to be named head football coach or head basketball coach at schools in Louisiana, mostly in the Baton Rouge area.

Coach Sid has been at Central High School for the past 15 years and previously coached at Redemptorist in Baton Rouge and Jesuit in New Orleans. At Central, he has been Athletic Director, head football coach, and for two seasons head basketball coach.

Coach Sid’s record at Redemptorist was:

Football – 73-14

Basketball – 75-18

At Central High, his record is:

Football – 108-41

Basketball – 42-12

However, as the legendary Central coach says, “At the pearly gates, Jesus won’t ask how many wins or losses we had!”

For Sid Edwards, it’s all about the kids he mentors and the colleagues he works with.

Since Coach Sid arrived at Central High in 2006, this reporter has watched him address his teams after a big win or a narrow loss on 

more than 100 occasions. One of the interesting things about those speeches is that he rarely talks about football.  Rather, he talks about character, hard work, family, becoming a good husband and father, being a role model, and being a good member of the community.

Over his more than 30 years in coaching, Coach Sid has been named Louisiana’s High School Coach of the Year for 5A football and coached two State Championship teams in football and one in basketball.

However, one of his most noteworthy accomplishments has been his ability to duplicate himself — to build men who share his values and his leadership style.  These men in turn have duplicated themselves.  Interestingly, most have also become his friendly rivals who pride themselves in leading their teams against their former coach and sometimes winning.

The Secret Revealed

In the course of researching this story, the Central City News uncovered the reason Coach Sid has had unprecedented success in breeding future head coaches who ventured off from under his wings and went on to field great teams and win countless district and state championships for their schools.

Before this story is complete, we will reveal his secret.  Keep reading!

Central High’s biggest rival is undoubtedly Zachary High School, located just northwest of Central.

Zachary’s current Athletic Director and Head Football Coach, David Brewerton, former Zachary High Head Football Coach Neil Weiner, and former Zachary High Head Basketball Coach Brian Hargroder all played on Sid Edwards’ teams and later served as Assistant Coaches under Coach Sid.

Zachary’s David Brewerton

When asked about Sid Edwards, here’s what Zachary Head Football Coach David Brewerton said, “It is difficult to put into words what Coach Sid Edwards means to me personally. Many of the things that I do within our program come from the way I cut my teeth under his direction as a person and as a coach. I have been blessed to be under his direction at many different times in my life. He was my 6th grade basketball coach, He was my 9th grade football coach and he hired me directly out of college to be on his staff at Redemptorist. There are not enough hours in the day to completely describe the positive influence he has had on me and on countless others who have either played or coached for him.”

“There is one conversation that I vividly remember, when I was a very young man, that he had with me about how to be a successful coach. He told me that good coaches are able to get their players to execute at a high level. But great coaches are the ones who form deep, personal relationships with their players and have the passion to learn each of their stories…and then can get them to execute. Big difference!”

“I am forever indebted to Sid for the things he taught me and for taking a chance on me in this profession. But, most of all, his treatment of people has influenced me the most. He is a tremendous husband, father, coach and truly is a Man for Others.”

Men for Others is the name of a service organization Coach Sid created to provide a means for members of his football teams to serve the Central community.  They have given thousands of hours of their time and made a difference for many years.

Dunham’s Neil Weiner

Former Zachary Head Football Coach Neil Weiner, now Head Football Coach at Dunham, said this about his former coach:

“I was coached by Sid as a 14-year-old but knew him even before that, hanging around as a coach’s kid at Catholic High School during my middle school days. Later Sid gave me my first part-time job, cleaning up at Alex Box Stadium during summer league high school games in the early 90’s.” 

“Then Sid gave me my first full-time job as an assistant on his staff at Redemptorist. I learned many lessons in my time with Sid. One that has made a large impact is that leaders are readers. Sid was always reading. To this day I am always reading some book trying to find the next edge to success or how to help others. Another lesson from Sid was to give young people as many chances as you can before cutting them loose. Sometimes those young people never get the message, but most of them do, even if it’s after they graduate.”

“The best lesson I learned from him was that every player has his own story and we can’t just assume their story is like ours. I can still remember yelling at a player because I didn’t think his effort was meeting a championship standard. I was right about the effort but I was wrong about how I addressed it. After it happened and practice was over, Sid let me know what I didn’t know. The young man who wasn’t giving the effort I had expected had been left alone at his home for over a week. The player’s father was not in his life. The player’s mom had been “out” for several nights. The bills hadn’t been paid and the electricity was turned off. He had no food at home. And here I was — the cocky, young coach — telling him he wasn’t doing enough for me!! I’m still ashamed of how I treated that young man. Sid did a masterful job of teaching me a lesson while keeping my dignity intact — even though I hadn’t given that young player the same treatment.”

Walker’s Chad Mahaffey

Walker High Head Football Coach Chad Mahaffey played andcoached under Coach Sid.  He said this about his former coach:

“I first got to know Coach Sid when he was my freshmen football coach at Catholic High in 1992. Although he barely played me – and deservedly so ­— I was able to be a part of an undefeated team for the first time in any sport in my athletic career.  It is a memory that is still fresh in my mind many years later.” 

“I can remember the confidence and toughness that Sid brought to our team. I can remember the fun that we had at practices and after games watching him pull off some legendary dance moves such as the shopping cart and the sprinkler! He was somebody that we kids were drawn to, and he was able to bring us together for one purpose even though we all came from many different schools and had been rivals only a few months prior.”

“Many years later, as I began my own coaching career, I was able to reconnect with Coach Sid on a professional level. I saw from afar the success he had at multiple schools. Then we had the chance to work together at Central in 2009. Talking with friends in the coaching profession who had coached with Sid, I had heard all of the high praise they had for him and the working environment that he created. Coaches are very opinionated as a whole, and it would be hard to please them all because of the variety of personalities that we all have. Amazingly, I never heard a single coach who worked with the man who didn’t rave about how much they enjoyed their relationship with him and how he fully supported them to do their work. Combined with the on-field success, I was drawn to discover the ‘secret sauce’ of the man and the way he ran a football program.”

“At that time in my life, I would consider myself too consumed with x’s and o’s and the variety of ideas going around the football world. After a brief and unsuccessful stint as a head coach, I came to Central eager to see what a championship program looked like. To this day, I consider my year at Central to be one of the most influential in my coaching career.”

“I was reminded daily through observing Sid how you could impact kids by getting to know them and letting them know that you cared about them. For me personally, I think I had been too wrapped up in being ‘in charge’ and forgetting to enjoy the personalities that we get to coach. It was like pushing reset on my coaching career and being revitalized by remembering what’s most important in coaching – the relationships!”

“Even as I write this now, I’m reminded of how I stray from this too far at times and I look back on what I consider one of the best versions of myself as a coach because I was able to be in that environment and learn from Sid.”

“Many times as a head coach I have had difficult scenarios come up, and he’s the first person I think to call to run an idea or potential course of action by. He always provides great perspective on things and is an invaluable resource to me as a mentor. Not only have kids from Central benefitted because of his approach, but countless other kids because of those of us who were influenced by him.”

“In my opinion, Sid’s greatest attribute is that he is usually able to maximize the potential of a player and a team. That is our goal as a coach – to get others to be the best versions of themselves and to be better as a group than they would be as individuals.’

“To say that Sid is a conventional coach or does things the way many of us do things would be a lie. Many don’t allow their assistants to take ownership over their units or be celebrated for team successes – but Sid is different! Many don’t focus on teaching their players that their purpose on this earth is to help and serve others – but Sid is different! Most importantly, many coaches don’t always keep their love for their players in higher esteem than the many victories they have shared on the field together – but Sid is most certainly different!”

“Different, special, successful, and truly a man for others!  That describes this unconventional coach whom I have learned so much from!”

Dutchtown’s Guy Mistretta

Dutchtown High Head Football Coach Guy Mistretta had this to say about Coach Sid:

“Sid has obviously been an outstanding mentor to all of the coaches who have had the opportunity to work with him. His ability to create a family atmosphere within the program helps not only with the growth and success of the players, but also his assistants.” 

“One trait that truly serves him well in helping in the development of his coaches is his willingness to allow those coaches the freedom to do their jobs without micromanaging, and the patience to give them room to grow. At the same time, he has a knack for identifying the individual strengths and weaknesses of his coaches and helping them to improve in the areas needed.”

Catholic’s David Simoneaux

David Simoneaux, new Head Football Coach at Catholic High, said he will forever be grateful to Coach Sid for opening the door to success.  He said,

“I had a great mentor at Parkview in Head Football Coach Kenny Guillot.  He was my coach, and we are very close.  I just went to see him Sunday.”

“At Central, Coach Sid allowed me to grow to another level. Based on the experience I had gained under Coach Guillot, Coach Sid gave me the reins to the program.  He made me Director of Football Operations.  He let me lead and have autonomy.”

“The three years at Central meant everything.  Since then, I’ve had five wonderful years at Catholic of Pointe Coupee. However, to jump from 1A to a powerful 5A school like Catholic would not have happened on its own.  It was the opportunity Coach Sid entrusted to me that gave me a leg up in securing this position.”

So there you have the secret — the secret to why such an extraordinary number of Coach Sid’s former Assistant Coaches have risen to become Head Coaches themselves.  

He gives them autonomy.  He trusts them as Offensive Coordinator, Defensive Coordinator, Special Teams Coordinator, or Director of Football Operations.  Then he leaves them alone.  He doesn’t micromanage them.  He expects and gets results, and these young men grow, take responsibility, gain experience in the heat of battle, mature, and blossom into leaders.

It’s All About Character

Coach Sid talks about all the constituencies a head football coach has to consider — taxpayers, the general public, parents, teachers, administrators, fellow coaches, the media, and others. However, he said the primary group that needs to be considered is the kids themselves.  That’s why we have high school sports.

Coach Sid says it’s really all about building character.  We use football, basketball, baseball, and all the rest to build character.  If we forget that, we’ve really lost our way, he says.

What Makes a Great Coach?

We asked Coach Sid what traits he would look for in a Head Football Coach.  The question was, “If a community needed a new head coach and they asked you to choose him, what traits would you look for?”

Coach Sid answered this way:

“Every school and every community is different.  Each has its own culture, and that has to be considered.  But if I were just me choosing the perfect coach, I would look for several things.”

“He would need a magnetic personality. That’s important because he has to be able to attract other people to his cause.  He has to recruit the student body to go out for the team, draw in the best coaches, and sell his program to the community, the student body, and all the other constituencies.”

“He has to have character.  Really, that’s the most important thing.  Without character, you have nothing.  Without character, you can’t be a role model for the kids.  That’s why the coach can’t have angles or a secret agenda.”

“The head coach has to realize it’s not about him.  He has to check his ego at the door.  It’s not his victory.  It belongs to the kids and the community.”

“You want a ‘Kids First Coach,’ someone who always considers first and foremost what the effect on the kids is.  As the coach, you have to understand why the All-State running back is there.  He’s not there to help you win a championship.  He’s there because he needs help.  He’s there for the same reason the smallest kid on the team is there — for you to help!  The question must always be, What can I do for this kid — not what can he do for me!”

“Football is a sport with a lot of macho, but we can still take care of the little guy.  I’d be looking for the coach who can develop the whole person, the total young man or woman, whether he’s the star or not.”

On Playing Every Kid

Coach Sid has a policy on playing time. “My goal is for every kid on the JV team to get in the game if it is at all possible.  If they earned a jersey, they’ve earned the right. On the varsity, we can’t let every kid play in every game.  However, when we’re way ahead or way behind, we try to play as many kids as possible. I’m always looking to be able to put a kid in the game. The parents and the family are sitting there in the stands hoping for that moment, and I’d like to give it to them. When substituting freely, we try to get seniors in the game when possible even if they are not the next best in that position.”

Coach Sid’s Mentors

Coach Sid Edwards of Central High has mentored countless young men and women in his coaching career, but he is quick to point out that he too has been mentored — by great coaches!

He had many mentors but he wanted to focus on the staff at his first coaching job in 1987 when he was freshman football and basketball coach at Catholic High School.

He lists four individuals on that staff who made all the difference to him and his coaching career:

• Catholic High Head Basketball Coach Glen Randow who hired Sid Edwards to coach freshman basketball in 1987.  Coach Sid said, “Coach Randow has been a huge influence on my life.  He always stressed character first. He is a classy leader. He pays attention to detail. The way he treated people.  He wanted you to look the part, be a good citizen, and live up to high expectations.”

•Catholic High Head Football Coach Dale Weiner whom Coach Sid calls “one of the great coaches of our era.”  “Two things in particular about Dale Weiner. First, he made football fun. Second, he thought outside the box. He was really a student of the game. He played an exciting brand of football. No question he could have coached at a higher level, but he loved the kids too much to move on.”

Joe LeBlanc, offensive line coach at Catholic High, whom Coach Sid knew as a colleague. “He was the smartest football coach in terms of knowledge of the game. He and I would go scout opponents. I’d bring notebooks, grids and graphs. He would bring nothing. By the 2nd Quarter, he would be calling the next play before it was run. Most of all, he loved the kids.”

Gerry Garidel, defensive coordinator at Catholic High, a perfectionist who did things right. Coach Sid said, “He and I had 75 kids on the freshman roster. He was the most organized person I’ve ever 

met. Everyone knew to do everything right. The locker room was so clean you could eat off the floor!”

Another key mentor is:

  Milton Broussard, whom Coach Sid knew growing up on Beech Street in North Baton Rouge. Coach Sid said, “He is someone who should be in a Hall of Fame, for sure. He taught me that players can’t perform if they are afraid of you. He was defensive coordinator at Baker and then joined me at Redemptorist. He was the elder statesman, and I leaned on him heavily. He brought toughness to the kids and an edge.”

Comments of Glen Randow

Long-time Catholic High Head Basketball Coach Glen Randow had this to say about Coach Sid:

“It was about 1987. Sometimes people walk into your life at just the right time and really make a difference. Sid Edwards was from Redemptorist.  We were Catholic High.  The Redemptorist-Catholic rivalry was a story that never ends.”

“Over at Our Lady of Mercy, I noticed this young coach who was coaching both football and basketball. The kids were playing so hard.  He had charisma.  He was so genuine. There was a uniqueness about him.  He was kind to everyone, never said a bad thing about a kid.  The kids enjoyed playing for him, and they were winning.”

“He really caught my attention and I thought to myself that our kids could really use him. So we had him coach the freshmen at Catholic High.  Then he and I started an AAU team, the Louisiana Dream Team. We had the best time together.”

“Sid talked to the kids and shared everything with them. He always had hamburger and hotdog coupons. He had to take a lot of kids home, and they would all pile in his car.  Not one or two but a car full. They would go to Burger King, and he’ll pull out these hamburger and hotdog coupons and get them something to eat. He’d give them anything he had.”

“Sid was like the Pied Piper. They would follow him anywhere and do what he said, because they knew he loved them.”

“As he moved into a leadership role, you could see he had the same effect on the other coaches. He delegated work to them and let them do their jobs. It was a great working environment.  He could attract great people and bring the best out of them.  As other coaches duplicated him, they rose to the next level.  I marveled and still do at what Sid can do for other people!”

Comments of Dale Weiner

Dale Weiner, Catholic High Head Football Coach for nearly 30 years, was just beginning his long tenure when Sid Edwards arrived at Catholic.  He gave Coach Sid the chance to coach freshman football.

Coach Weiner said this:

“Sid Edwards is one of the more unique coaches I know. Sid has a great sense of humor, but has always managed to produce hard-nosed, competitive teams. He does not hesitate to take risks and think outside of the box! I know this, he relates very well to teenage athletes — a must for any successful high school coach! Sid also is compassionate and looks to help out kids who need guidance or a helping hand. He goes out of his way to support the players he has coached, and it shows in the admiration he receives from his athletes.”

  “From the time I first met Sid Edwards in 1987, I have had great respect for him! Sid did a terrific job as my Head Freshman Football Coach at Catholic High for several years. Since then, he has coached State Championship teams in Football and Basketball! He has molded losing teams into elite teams! All the while, he has been a devoted family man.” “Sid is also a powerful motivator and is capable of rallying the community around him. He is a skilled promoter for his program. Sid is one of the best coaches I know — and a Friend!”

Opponents He Admired

Coach Sid has hundreds of friends in coaching but two of those he admires the most are:

• Coach Kenny Guillot, former Head Football Coach at Parkview. Coach Sid said, “We looked forward every year to Week 10 and Parkview.  Kenny is a very special man who means so much to me.”

•Coach Louis Cook, current Head Football Coach at Notre Dame of Crowley. Coach Sid said he loved bringing his staff to Notre Dame to learn from this Hall of Fame coach and his great program.

Winning Is Everything!

For someone who down plays won-lost records and says Jesus won’t check your won-loss record, Coach Sid says winning is everything — but perhaps not the way you think.

Last year, the year of Covid, it was difficult to schedule games and teams were always cancelling. Central ended up playing Belaire twice. It was a total mismatch. As hard as Central tried not to score, their lead kept climbing. 

In the 4th  Quarter, Central was leading 50-0, but Belaire was on their 38 and was showing some fire. They were trying hard to get a drive going and score, but their drive fizzled on 4th down.  

Coach Sid stormed onto the field waving his arms at the ref. Pulling close to the ref, he whispered, “Call a flag on me!” The ref didn’t want to do it, but Coach Sid continued to wave his arms and raise hell.  Finally, the ref called pass interference against Central.  Since it was a running play, the Central coaches went wild in protest, but Belaire got the first down and eventually scored!

Belaire was supposed to kick off to Central but Coach Sid marched onto the field again and exercised a little known rule.  He declined to receive.  So Central kicked off to Belaire and they scored again.

“There’s a bigger picture,” Coach Sid said. “When I was at Redemptorist, our priest was Father Joe Steffes.  In one game, we were leading our opponent 77-0 at half time.  It was not intentional. Father Steffes came to the field house but didn’t say anything.  He just looked at me. We only scored once in the second half.”

“On Monday, the priest, who was 95 years old, came to my office.  He sat down and looked at me. He said, ‘Wouldn’t it be better if both teams won?  You can, if you make sure your opponent is able to keep his dignity and leave the field with a great experience!’”

“That’s when Father Steffes said, ‘When you get to the pearly gates, Jesus won’t count your wins and losses. There will be other things he considers.’”

Yes, winning is everything, but perhaps not the way we imagine!


Mentored by Coach Sid Edwards

Baton Rouge Area Schools

BRUSLY HIGH – Head Baseball Coach Mike Forbes was Assistant Football Coach under Coach Sid.

CATHOLIC HIGH – Current Head Football Coach David Simoneaux served as Assistant Coach under Coach Sid at Central High.  J. P. Kelly, current Catholic High Athletic Director, played  and was Assistant Coach under Sid Edwards at Redemptorist.  Former Head Golf Coach Pat Delaney was Assistant Football Coach under Coach Sid at Redemptorist and Jesuit.

CATHOLIC HIGH OF POINTE COUPEE – Former Head Football Coaches David Simoneaux, Neil Varnado, and Paul Varnado all served as Assistant Coaches under Coach Sid.

CENTRAL HIGH – Former Head Football Coach Doug Dotson, former Head Basketball Coach Brian Hargroder, and former Head Baseball Coach Mike Forbes were Assistant Coaches under Coach Sid.  

DUNHAM HIGH – Current Head Basketball Coach Jonathan Pixley played under Coach Sid.  Current Head Football Coach Neil Weiner played and was Assistant Coach under Coach Sid.  Former Head Football Coach Guy Mistretta was Assistant Coach under Coach Sid.

DUTCHTOWN HIGH – Head Football Coach Guy Mistretta was Assistant Coach under Coach Sid.

FALSE RIVER ACADEMY – Former Head Football Coach Matt Edwards was Assistant Coach under Coach Sid.

LIVE OAK HIGH – Former Head Football Coach David Dykes was Assistant Coach under Coach Sid.  Former Head Basketball Coach Brian Hargroder played basketball and was Assistant Football Coach under Coach Sid.

LIVONIA HIGH – Head Basketball Coach Jameion St. Cyr played under Coach Sid, and former Head Football Coach Guy Mistretta was Assistant Coach under Coach Sid.

McKINLEY HIGH – Former Head Football Coach Ken Hilton was Assistant Coach under Coach Sid,

PORT ALLEN HIGH – Former High Head Football Coach Guy Blanchard is now Defensive Coordinator at Livonia High.  He formerly was Assistant Coach under Coach Sid.  Current Head Basketball Coach Derrick Jones played under Coach Sid.

REDEMPTORIST HIGH – Former Head Football Coach Guy Mistretta, former Head Basketball Coach Joey Sanchez, and former Head Basketball Coach Brian Hargroder were Assistant Coaches under Coach Sid. 

ST. AMANT HIGH – Head Baseball Coach Brandon Bravata played football under Coach Sid at Redemptorist.  Bravata was formerly head coach at Berwick High.

ST. MICHAEL HIGH – Head Football Coach Joey Sanchez  and former Head Football Coach Paul Varnado were Assistant Coaches under Coach Sid at Redemptorist.

SCOTLANDVILLE HIGH – Former Head Football Coach Ken Hilton was Assistant Coach under Coach Sid.

UNIVERSITY HIGH – Former Head Football Coach Chad Mahaffey was Assistant Coach under Coach Sid.

WALKER HIGH – Current Head Football Coach Chad Mahaffey  played and was Assistant Coach under Sid Edwards. Former Texas high school Head Football Coach Arron Vice played and was Assistant Coach under Coach Sid. He is now Offensive Coordinator at Walker High.  Doug Dotson was Head Football Coach at Central and Comeaux.  He is now defensive coordinator at Walker. He was Assistant Coach under Coach Sid. 

ZACHARY HIGH – Current Athletic Director and Head Football Coach David Brewerton, former Head Football Coach Neil Weiner, and former Head Basketball Coach Brian Hargroder all played and were Assistant Coaches under Coach Sid.

Other Areas

CATHOLIC TEURLINGS – Former Head Baseball Coach Mike Thibodeaux was Assistant Coach under Coach Sid.

CHALMETTE HIGH – Current Head Football Coach Jason Tucker was Assistant Coach under Sid Edwards

COMEAUX HIGH – Former Head Football Coach Doug Dotson was Assistant Coach under Sid Edwards.

GULFPORT HIGH (Mississippi) – Head Basketball Coach Lorenzo Wright played under Coach Sid.

HATHAWAY HIGH – Former Head Basketball Coach Joe Richey played under Coach Sid.

NEW IBERIA HIGH – Head Basketball Coach Todd Russ played under Coach Sid.

POPE JOHN PAUL II HIGH SCHOOL (Slidell) – Former Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Mark Jeanmard was Assistant Coach under Sid Edwards at Redemptorist.  He is now at Central.

SULPHUR HIGH – Head Football Coach Chris Towery was Assistant Coach under Coach Sid.

College Coaches

HENDRICKS COLLEGE (Arkansas)Thomas Edelman is Defensive Coordinator. He played under Coach Sid.

LSU David Bowen played under Coach Sid.  He is in recruiting at the LSU Athletic Department.

UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA (Lafayette)Mark Hauke is Strength Coach.  He was Assistant Coach under Coach Sid. 

UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA (Monroe)Mike Gardner is Strength Coach.  He was Assistant Coach under Coach Sid.

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