DESTREHAN, La. -- East St. John's head football coach Larry Dauterive resigned Friday after controversial remarks he made in a speech earlier this week. Dauterive's former team took the field for the first time without their longtime coach Friday night.
Fans at the game had mixed feelings about the coach's resignation.
'I'm just going to end this chapter of my life and I'm going to move on,' Dauterive said. 'This is my 45th year in the business, so I've been doing this a long time.
The coach is under fire amidst controversial statements he made at a quarterback club's meeting Wednesday.
'Very disappointed initially, and then I became very angry after I saw the speech for the second time,' said St. John School Board Vice President Patrick Sanders. 'And that was based on incidents prior to, that I guess was just a culmination of all those negative things that have been said over the years.'
Sanders is referring to a racial slur uttered toward a black player by the coach last year.
But parents and educators we talked to tonight said they know a much different coach.
'I know Coach Dauterive, and I know where his heart is. I know he loves every player on that field,' said Roy Shepard, a parent of a student at East St. John.
'I feel I know him as well as anyway, and I feel that wasn't his intention at all to degrade. I think he more or less got carried away in talking about his situation as he sees it,' said Alexia Henderson, a parent of a student at East St. John.
Nearly everyone we spoke with felt the same.
'I didn't see anything wrong with it. Everything he said was the truth. Sometime people don't want to hear the truth. He tried everything he could to help them kids, and the parents if they need help,' said Harry Bridges.
Antonio Monroe has a son on the team whom he says benefited greatly from Dauterive.
'He's brought my son up well in the program. Sad to see him go,' Monroe said.
But while he supports and likes the coach himself, he feels Dauterive could have chosen his words more carefully.
'I understood where he was coming from, but when you're in a political forum, there's some things you just can't say,' Monroe said.
While the team will look for new leadership, Dauterive says he will look for new employment. He's set to meet with the school board superintendent Monday to be placed in a teaching job elsewhere in the district.
Meanwhile, the school has named Ronald Barrilleaux as interim coach for the East St. John Wildcats.