LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Over thirty years of service in once place.
After 33 years with South Cameron, Tarpons head football coach Parry LaLande is moving on. He has announced his retirement.
That means South Cameron will have a new head football coach for the first time in 28 years going into the 2010 season.
LaLande says it's time to move on and a new head coach might be a good thing for the school.
"It's hard to walk away from that area," LaLande said. "(Hurricane) Rita came five years ago and I'd been living there for fifty years. It was hard to move to Lake Charles and go on with life. But today's the first day of my new life. So hopefully, I've got new experiences and I can go from there."
Two of LaLande's friends are fellow southwest Louisiana head football coaches, Barbe's Jimmy Shaver and Westlake's Max Caldarera. We asked LaLande if he had spoken with Shaver and Caldarera.
"I talked to Shaver and Max, both of them," LaLande said. "One of them says I'm quitting and the other one says I'm retiring. We kind of kid each other. All in all, I think they're happy for me. That day is going to come for them sometime. It's a hard day to do but it comes to all of us."
When it comes to coaching again in the future, LaLande isn't ruling anything out.
"I'll leave my options open," LaLande said. "I love the game. Seventeen years ago, I could've went into the administration but I stayed in coaching. I love the game of football. I love kids. I didn't want to forget where I came from. It was important to me. So will I coach again? I think I would like to. I just don't know if my blood would change from red, white, and blue. It's been great down there. Going somewhere else is going to be different."
"Hopefully, the opportunity arises and maybe I'll spring up somewhere else," LaLande said. "Hopefully, I'll do a good job."
LaLande took the Tarpons to two state title games in his 28 years as head coach.