LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Jules Sullen is coming home. The former LaGrange and Scotlandville coach was announced as the next football coach at Hamilton Christian Thursday night. The veteran coach returns to the Lake Area after spending one season in Baton Rouge.
“My kids attended here when they were in elementary school, so it’s pretty much home for us here,” said Sullen. “I’m just really excited to be back here.”
Warrior Nation will also be excited to gain stability from a coach that’s know for it. Since the 2015 season, Hamilton Christian has named four different head coaches including Sullen. That type of turnover likely played a part in HCS’s struggle to keep up player count. According to its MaxPreps site, Hamilton Christian had only 19 total players last season.
Sullen said his job begins not at the high school level, but a step lower.
“There are some very talented kids here at Hamilton. I think the biggest concept is focusing at the middle school sector to try to get the kids to understand the importance of being in a system,” admitted Sullen. “It’s extremely important to know that when you are in a football system the verbiage doesn’t change (from middle school to high school) and the philosophy doesn’t change. The only thing that changes is that you’re moving up the spectrum.”
"I think by us doing that and having success, it’ll bring more kids back to the school. "
Another challenge with the job for Sullen is his coaching experience. He spent 9 seasons at his alma mater LaGrange where he posted a 54-47 record according to MaxPreps. His teams also shared or won outright district titles in five seasons, including four straight from 2011-2014.
Last year he led Scotlandville to a 4-6 record and a playoff appearance. Before LaGrange he spent a few years at Peabody.
All three of his previous schools were Class 4A or above. Hamilton Christian plays at the lowest classification in 1A. Despite the change, it’s a challenge Sullen is looking forward to.
“Through my tenure as a coach a lot of times we have had the opportunity to play kids on both sides of the ball. I think that was through our training method and our philosophy,” said Sullen. “I think that I have a leg up on that end of the spectrum, however there are still components I know I need to work on.”
One of those components— the late hire.
“Most teams have started their preparation as early as January and now with me just arriving, there are things that I need to play catch-up with,” said Sullen. “The biggest concept is getting the kids to believe in what my philosophy is and what it is I’m trying to get established.”
Sullen isn’t sure yet what offensive or defensive system he’ll put in place. Although, he said it’s best to show off the talent the Warriors possess.
“One of the biggest factors in being an effective and successful coach is that your philosophy should be based around your kids’ skill set,” Sullen said. “Right now, I don’t know what we’re going to run exactly, but I do know whatever it is, we will do it well.”