However, Charpentier took the news in stride and he said he jumped at the chance to slide into his first head coaching position at the school.
“In the coaching profession, you never know when somebody’s going to leave,” said Charpentier. “What we’re worried about here at Vermilion Catholic now is: We’re going to move forward with who’s here. We’re feeling really good about this coming year’s team. We’ve got a good group of kids coming back and they’ve been working harder than ever this summer.
“I’m a young coach and the opportunity came along a little earlier than I expected. But, nonetheless, I’m really excited about (it).”
Charpentier served as the offensive coordinator under Faulk, so one might expect that the scoring juggernaut from last season would remain unchanged. Some 14 seniors from that team graduated, though, and with a smaller senior class this season, Charpentier said personnel was always going to dictate what the Eagles did on the offensive side of the ball.
“We’re going to change each year according to our personnel and our players’ strengths,” he said. “We’re going to put our players in the best position possible, whether that’s offensive or defensive. Obviously this year we’re going to have different personnel than last year, so we’ll just try to play to their strengths.”
VC retains special teams coach Sean Comeaux. The big question right now is what the Eagles will look like on the defensive side of the ball, since that area was the domain of Faulk, a former NFL linebacker.
Charpentier said the list of candidates for the defensive coordinator job is impressive, but that he is “still narrowing it down” and so declined to specify when the decision would be finalized.
“We’re still in the interview process,” he said. “Anytime it’s this late in the game, it’s always important to find good, quality coaches and put the best coaching staff possible together. That’s what we’re trying to do.”
Still, despite the upheaval, Charpentier said things are starting to come together and that the Eagles will be raring to go by the time high school squads are cleared to practice in full pads on August 9.
“We’ll start in helmets a little bit before that,” he said. “We’ve been doing pascals all summer, though. We try to do at least one or two pascals a week.”
Asked to summarize his mood as the season looms, Charpentier suggested he is chomping at the bit for his first season at the helm of a high school football team to get underway.
“I’m very comfortable,” he said. “I feel like we’ve got a great group of kids. We’ve got a great opportunity to have a great season this year. I’m really excited.”
Charpentier said he has made a few calls to some mentors in the past few weeks, including of course his father, Teurlings head coach Sonny Charpentier. However, he stressed that he is ready to stand on his own at the reigns of the Eagles.
“I’ve got several people to turn to,” he said. “But, that’s not to say that I do that very often... I grew up around football. It’s what I know and it’s what I’m passionate about. It’s what I love to do.”
Charpentier also said that he does not really see this as a chance to implement things he could not before. It’s all about molding the talent at your disposal, he suggested.
“I don’t really have any tricks up my sleeve,” he said. “For me, it’s going to be about tweaking things and adapting to the personnel of this upcoming year’s team, whatever changes that may bring about. It’s all about putting the kids in the best position possible to be successful.”
The Eagles begin their season on Friday, August 31 at home hosting parish rival North Vermilion. Come what may, Charpentier said the Eagles will be ready to attempt to live up to last year’s perfect regular season.
“I feel like we’re in a good situation,” he said. “I love the group of kids that we have coming back.”