Coutrayer takes the reigns:

EHS welcomes new head coach

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By Joe Cardello
The Essex Reporter
Jesse Coutrayer

Jesse Coutrayer

Fans will no longer see Jeff Goodrich leading the huddle on the sidelines of Hornet boys’ basketball games. After taking over as Athletic Director for Essex High School the position of head basketball coach has been turned over to 29-year-old EHS grad and six-year assistant coach Jesse Coutrayer.

Coutrayer was a member of the Essex basketball team and a 2003 graduate. He continued to play for three years at Johnson State and graduated in the winter of 2007. After taking an extra semester of courses he worked as a grad assistant for the university. Currently when he isn’t on the court he is a pre-school teacher at The Robin’s Nest Children’s Center in Burlington.

He began helping Goodrich with the EHS boys’ basketball team during the 2008-2009 season as an assistant for both the junior varsity and varsity teams. However, last season Coutrayer was able to work solely with the varsity squad full time.

Last week the winter season practices and tryouts commenced and Coutrayer’s stepped onto the court for his first week as head coach.

He mentioned in an interview last Thursday that taking on the new role has unveiled new responsibilities.

“There is a lot of work that you have to do behind the scenes. I had an idea of all that Jeff did, but I didn’t realize how much goes into it, but he’s been really helpful. Overall there’s been plenty of advice and everyone is great over there,” Coutrayer said.

Some of the new responsibilities include bus scheduling, ordering new equipment and budgeting.

“I’m not just focused on the varsity team. I have to make sure that all my coaches have everything they need,” Coutrayer said. “It’s about making sure that everything runs smoothly in the entire program.”

At 5-feet, 6-inches Coutrayer says his plan for the Hornets this season will be to keep the team working hard and keep a defensive edge.

“Derek Jeter is one of my favorite athletes and he once said in an interview, ‘you don’t have to have talent to work hard.’ That’s been my mentality with how I work as a basketball player,” Coutrayer said. “I had to work hard as an athlete and I want to instill a focus of passionate-hard work and defense in this team.”