Temple athletic director and football head coach Scott Stewart said he’s “so fired up I can’t see straight.” Ironically, it’s RaShonta LeBlanc’s vision and insight that has Stewart so eager to witness what the future holds.
LeBlanc, who just 13 months ago was hired as Temple’s girls basketball coach, was promoted this week to girls athletic coordinator.
“She is X-factor in personification,” Stewart said.
LeBlanc will remain at the helm of the Tem-Cats on the court and keep her full-time teaching duties while having a wide-ranging set of responsibilities added to her plate as Temple continues to adjust to its growth and life as a Class 6A athletics program.
The increased workload — which LeBlanc described as exciting — includes budget and personnel matters, student services and community engagement related to girls sports at the high school and middle school levels.
“It’s a proactive thing that we want to put into place,” LeBlanc said. “As of right now, it’s just to continue to grow the support that’s already there on the girls side. This is just another piece of the puzzle of where we want to go with Temple athletics.”
It appeared to be a piece that became more and more of a necessity.
“Temple ISD’s reasoning behind this position is to add a more concentrated layer of support to oversee girls athletic programs. Even though we have successful girls athletic programs and strong support for these programs, we are operating under an outdated staffing pattern with respect to district size,” said Dr. Bobby Ott, Temple ISD Superintendent. “In studying school district classifications, you’ll find that most 6A school districts are staffed in this manner. Due to our numbers, Temple ISD moved to the 6A classification recently. In our desire to remain competitive, this design will put our student-athletes and coaches in the best positions to be successful.
“Coach LeBlanc is a proven leader both in and out of Temple ISD. She has demonstrated strong administrative abilities, positive relationships with students and staff and is committed to the success of Temple ISD. She is a value-add to our organization. This design is consistent with our plans to prepare for future growth and success.”
Stewart said discussions focused on how to maximize the athletic department’s management capabilities began in December, with input from Ott, assistant superintendent of student services Eric Haugeberg, assistant athletic director Steve Prentiss and others. The hiring process remained internal, and LeBlanc rose to the top of a group of “phenomenal head coaches,” Stewart said.
“It’s having someone with a more concentrated focus on half the school. She’s in charge of girls athletics,” Stewart said. “Being a head coach of a sport and being responsible for 18 sports, it’s probably three peoples’ job. So, I was just really, really excited when we started talking about this process and what it could look like.”
Among LeBlanc’s first set of priorities is assisting in the hiring process of new varsity softball and girls soccer coaches, a search she said is currently in progress.
Prior to arriving in Temple, LeBlanc — who started 89 games at LSU and appeared in the Final Four during her four seasons — was the head coach at Beaumont Central for two seasons. Before that, she served a combined five years as an assistant at Central and her alma mater Port Arthur Memorial.
She graduated from LSU in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in general business administration and earned a Master’s of Education with a concentration in sports administration from Concordia Texas in 2018.
“The state of Temple girls athletics is we’re a family over there. And that’s what Temple is,” LeBlanc said. “We work together, we’re collaborative, we support one another — as far as boys support girls and girls support boys. So, it’s just that family nature. And that’s what first brought me to Temple when I accepted the girls basketball job.
“I really love the culture here in Temple. It reminds me of home. So to be able to take a step in the right direction of being an athletic director here in a town that’s like home has been great for me. I love the area. I love the community. I love the support. That makes it more special. It’s not home but, being in Temple, it feels like home.”