Q & A with Neil Weiner
Born: New Roads, LA
Education: Graduated from Catholic High School in Baton Rouge in 1995; graduated from LSU in 2000.
Family life: Married to Whitney; 3-year old-daughter, Abigail; 5-year-old son, Matthew.
Coaching Career: While going to LSU, was the Freshman Coach at Catholic High School from '97-'99 and student assistant coach at LSU; Assistant Coach and Co-Offensive Coordinator at Redemptorist High School from '00-'03; Head Coach and Athletic Director at Catholic High School Pointe Coupee from '04-'07; Offensive Coordinator at Central High School in '08; and now Head Coach at Zachary High School.
The head coaching job at Zachary High has been highly publicized. How does it feel to be the one who landed the job?
Everyone can see the success of the school system here and the football team. It's been one of those dream jobs. Actually, I applied six years ago, so I was really excited when the opportunity arose again.
Now that you are the head football coach at ZHS, do you have plans to move here?
Yes, we just moved here last weekend actually. When I was coaching at Central, I commuted every day from New Roads. It was pretty rough. I didn't want to commute like that again, so Whitney and I packed up and moved the family. We're going to love it here.
Your dad, Dale Weiner, is head coach at Catholic High School now and was also there when you attended. What was it like being coached by your dad?
My dad is a Christian and he's a great husband to my mom, a great father, teacher and coach. I try to put first things first, just like him. It was a real honor being coached by him.
Have you picked up any of his coaching styles or methods?
Well, yes, definitely. It's hard not to want to emulate the person you learned from and whom you also respect. But what he taught me was to try and coach the whole person, not just the football player. Plus it's more than just winning games. I was destined to go into the family business, so to speak.
What sports did you play while growing up?
Baseball and football.
Have people in Zachary been supportive?
Yes, the support has been tremendous. People have been coming out of the woodworks to see how they can assist us with whatever we need. People in Zachary have been really great.
In your spare time what do you like to do? Or do you live and breathe football?
(Laughs.) When and if I have any spare time, I'm with my family. My kids are at a very energetic age and my wife and I spend time chasing them around. So if I get a chance to do something, I go fishing.
What are you currently reading?
I just finished "Running for My Life" by Warrick Dunn and I'm reading "The Winner's Manual" by Jim Tressel. Also, I try to read my Bible every day.
Your coaching philosophy is . . .
. . .to set priorities and keep first things first.
What do you mean by first things first? Explain.
I teach that priorities should be in the following order: Faith, family, academics, and football. If the first priorities are taken care of, faith and family, then the other two things will fall into place naturally, the academics and football.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Right here at Zachary High. I really do consider this the dream job.
Describe your perfect day.
My perfect day would begin by sleeping in! Then I would carve out a little quiet time for myself to read before spending some quality time with my family. All of this would take place the day of a semi-final football game in Bronco Stadium before thousands of screaming Bronco fans. And to top it all off, we would win! That would be the ultimate perfect day for me.