Aquinas football coach LeZotte takes assistant’s job at Wayne County

Matt Lezotte, who turned Class A private school Aquinas into a state power after decades of mediocrity, is taking a job as an assistant coach at Wayne County.

“It was definitely my career” Lezotte told Kevin Faigle of WRDW-TV in Augusta. “Just taking different stages of my career that I wanted to be a student of another system, larger program, and this will give me the opportunity to do that with all the tools.’’

When Lezotte got the head coaching job at Aquinas in 2009, the private school had never won a state playoff game. Aquinas was 9-4 in 2011 and reached the Class A quarterfinals.

Aquinas’ 32-14 upset of Wilcox County in the second round was seen as one catalyst for the public schools’ split with the private schools in the GHSA’s lowest classification.

Aquinas was 8-3 this season. Aquinas had won eight games only two other times in its history (1998, 1972) until Lezotte arrived. Lezotte was 28-16 in four seasons.

Lezotte, 31, is an Augusta native who played quarterback at Westside and later on James Madison’s Division I-AA national championship team.

Wayne County’s head coach is Jody Grooms, who also has Augusta-area ties as he is a former coach at Lakeside of Evans.

10 comments Add your comment

some sense

May 3rd, 2013
12:16 pm

Hire an outstanding coach who can win, and all the others run for cover. Good coaches win; mediocre coaches complain.

Gus Hall

May 3rd, 2013
12:28 pm

Lezotte was 5-5, 6-4, 9-4, and 8-3 in his four years. Hardly a “state power.”

John

May 3rd, 2013
6:06 pm

Why would he move to be an assistant coach if he is such a great coach. Better than average, but not great.

Whiteout

May 3rd, 2013
8:55 pm

Come on AJC! Get it right… Jody Grooms was not a former coach at Evans, he was a former coach at Lakeside High School in Evans Georgia.

The Dogfather

May 4th, 2013
6:54 am

Matt Lezotte has so much more going for him than being a success at a perennial loser. I do not know him well, but he has the ability to communicate with our youth and make them believe that they can achieve the unthinkable. How many of you would jump from your comfort zone to a new challenge?This young man has the right values to be successful for many years in life, He has proven his success in football as a coach and a player. Good Luck on your journey coach, and Erin go braugh

Well Gus,

May 4th, 2013
2:11 pm

He took a private school program that I don’t know that anyone in the CSRA even knew had a football team, and turned them into a team that could compete in one of the better single A regions in the state. They had never made the playoffs (in GHSA) before he took of the program, so off course it isn’t a “state power” in the sense that Lincoln County or Seminole County would be considered state powers, but they have fielded good teams (in class A anyway) the last couple of years. I have no affiliation with him or Aquinas, but he appears to be a very talented young coach. I don’t know the situation behind the move, but I would think he would feels he has a better shot of getting a big head coaching job as an assistant at Wayne County, than he does as a head coach at a small private school that no one has ever heard of. He also knows the Douglas kid (that signed with UGA) is gone, so his team may not be as good this coming year as he been has the last couple with him on both sides of the ball.

augustabball

May 5th, 2013
12:13 pm

Aquinas is a catholic school with a small budget that can not afford to pay large salaries. He and his wife recently had their first child. He is also a PE/Heath teacher and will be making $25K more at his new school….BTW, Aquinas should have a decent team returning this year.

L Croft

May 5th, 2013
12:50 pm

I DO know a great deal about the football (and lack thereof) in Augusta. Aquinas has always had great fan support but is a small Catholic school. They have struggled with football the entire 50 (FIFTY) years i have been following Augusta area high school football. This young man has made HUGE improvements to a perennial net loser in football. I saw first hand his abilities as a leader on his own team & also when he became head coach at Aquinas. John and Gus need to move out of their parents home and do something with their life besides making ignorant remarks. Here is a piece of advice John and Gus keep your mouth shut and let people just ASSUME your ignorance instead of opening your mouth or putting fingers to keyboard and removing all doubt…

Sleeper Athletes

May 5th, 2013
2:27 pm

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SGT CHRIS

May 7th, 2013
1:23 pm

@Whiteout–Thats what the article said..he was a coach at Lakeside OF EVANS lol!!