Opelousas High football coach files lawsuit for forfeiture of state championship

OPELOUSAS, La. (KLFY) — The Opelousas High School football coach has filed a lawsuit following his suspension and the forfeiture of the 2023 State Football Championship.

On March 14, the Opelousas High lost an appeal of the ruling which would force OHS to forfeit all wins in the 2023 season, as well as the 2023 D2 Non-Select State Championship. In addition the to ruling OHS head coach Jimmy Zachery must serve a one-season suspension from the football program.

In February, the Louisiana High School Athletic Association released findings of an investigation revealing OHS used an illegal player and had committed other violations, prompting the rulings mentioned.

News 10 learned on Tuesday that Zachery has filed a lawsuit following the forfeiture of the state title and his suspension. The lawsuit filed mentions LHSAA and the St. Landry Parish School Board. St. Landry Parish Superintendent Milton Batiste III confirmed the lawsuit with News 10.

“Yes, we have been named as a defendant in the lawsuit. Our legal team is currently evaluating the lawsuit. That’s all I have at this point,” said Batiste.

In the suit, Zachery claims he was not questioned during the LHSAA’s investigation of the alleged ineligible player, denied a hearing into the matter and denied his Constitutional right to due process. He also claims the LHSAA has defamed him with the suspension, affecting his ability to pursue his career as a football coach.

“St. Landry Parish School Board is named as a defendant because they are a necessary party, and the agent and supervising body of OHS, and because the relief sought by Petitioner herein cannot be obtained without them being named as a defendant,” the lawsuit reads.

The suit asks the court for a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction and a permanent injunction to restore his job as head football coach, restoring OHS’s football title and preventing the LHSAA from altering its records to reflect the forfeit.

Zachery is represented in the suit by the firm of Doran & Cawthorne.

A hearing regarding the suit will take place April 24. Read the suit in its entirety here:


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