ACHS elevates Schexnayder to head coach

Kyle Riviere
Donaldsonville Chief
Chris Schexnayder takes over as the Bulldogs’ head coach, after serving as an assistant for the past nine years.

Ascension Catholic didn’t have to go very far to find its new head football coach. He was already there, waiting for his opportunity.

The wait is over.

After being an assistant coach for the Bulldogs for the last nine years, Chris Schexnayder is finally going to get his chance to be a head coach. He was promoted this week, and he will be the new leader of the Ascension Catholic football program.

“I’m really excited about becoming the new head coach for such a storied and tradition-based program. It’s truly an honor to be able to say that I’m the new head coach of Ascension Catholic football,” Schexnayder said.

Schexnayder takes over for Benny Saia, who decided to step down as head coach last month.

Saia was originally the head coach at Dutchtown, but he resigned in 2017. He ended up taking a break from coaching for two years, until there was an opening at Ascension Catholic following the departure of head coach Drey Trosclair.

Saia coached the Bulldogs for two years, leading the team to two straight undefeated regular seasons and two district titles.

The 62-year-old stepped down last month, deciding to retire from coaching.

Ascension Catholic will now hand the keys to Schexnayder. And though this will be his first head coaching job, he is not short on coaching experience.

He has recently served as the Bulldogs’ defensive coordinator, and he has been on Ascension Catholic’s staff for the past nine years. Prior to being in Donaldsonville, the Franklin native served as an assistant coach at E.D. White, Central Catholic and Catholic of Pointe Coupee.

Schexnayder has had the advantage of coaching under three tremendously-successful head coaches in his time at Ascension Catholic.

Doug Moreau won nearly 200 games in his career, and Benny Saia had over 30 years of head coaching experience. Trosclair led the Bulldogs to two straight state title appearances.

“I learned a lot from those guys. I learned how to be a professional, how to be a great head coach, and I also learned a lot about being a mentor and bringing great leadership to your team,” Schexnayder said.

Schexnayder said that there will be a smooth transition with him taking over as head coach, after being a part of the program for so long.

“I think it’s a huge advantage for me because there’s no learning curve there,” Schexnayder said. “We all know one another, and we all know the expectations that are in front of us. We won’t have to go through the process of learning about one another and learning new systems. Hopefully, we can jump right in and start working.”

He said that he thinks everyone is already on the same page when it comes to their mindsets.

“I want to bring a tough, hard-nosed and hard-working mentality to the team, but I don’t think it’s going to take much to bring that to the program, because it’s already here,” Schexnayder said. “I think our guys already fit that mold. I just want to continue what we’ve started over the years.”

In addition to football, Schexnayder has also served as an assistant coach for the Ascension Catholic baseball and girl’s basketball teams.