LAKE CHALRES, LA (KPLC) – Paul Bourgeois has ended his tenure at Sulphur High School. The Calcasieu Parish School Board announced the former football coach's resignation today during their meeting.
Bourgeois' family, friends, and players were all in attendance.
Bourgeois stated, "It's a lot of emotions involved with having such support here tonight."
Ben Bourgeois, a former Sulphur player and Bourgeois' nephew stated, "I do think a number of supporters that showed up today speaks for itself, and there were a lot of lettermen jackets here of ex football players and a lot more that wish they could have been here."
For eight years Paul Bourgeois walked the sidelines of Tornado Alley, his career record 56-32. A former Tor himself, Bourgeois was proud to coach at the school he loved so much.
He stated, "One of the highest honors for me was to be head coach at Sulphur High School and having the honor to come back and lead this team to the dome."
In 2006 Bourgeois led the Tors to the 5A state title game. There, they lost in the final seconds to Acadiana.
Two years later he would fight another close battle, only this time it would be off the field. In 2008, Bourgeois received treatment for a tumor pressing against his pituitary gland, and this battle he would win.
For a man who on the outside appears to have done so much for his school, the question on the forefront of everyone's minds is, "Why resign?"
"Really wasn't much of a decision. The main things was I really didn't want to speak too much. I'm pretty emotional about the whole thing," Bourgeois said.
Questions of whether the coach was being forced out still linger. When asked if that were the case, Bourgeois declined to comment, but what is known is the fact he garnered the respect of the lives he touched.
"It's a strong relationship. I've been with Coach Bourgeois for four years and it's been strong ever since," said Tahj Jones, a former Sulphur player.
"He did have an influence on our lives. He made us the better men that we are today," said Bourgeois' nephew.
"Having the ones that you coached, put through all the things that we went through, [having them] show support was a great honor," said Bourgeois.
As for the future, Bourgeois plans to sit back and take some time to get through this before he makes a decision.