John Curtis Christian High School
|John Curtis Christian High School|
|10125 Jefferson Highway
River Ridge, LA, Jefferson Parish
|School type||Private high school|
|Principal||Headmaster: J. T. Curtis, Jr.; High School Principal: Larry Manguno; Junior High Principal: Leon Curtis; Lower School Principal: Deborah Eutsler|
John Curtis Christian High School is a co-ed, non-sectarian, private school in River Ridge, Louisiana. The school colors are red, white, and blue. The mascot is a Patriot.
The school was founded in 1962 by John T. Curtis Sr., on the second floor of the Carrolton Avenue Baptist Church. On its opening day, it had only sixteen students; but by the end of the year, it had over forty. In 1963, Curtis moved the school to its current location on Jefferson Highway in River Ridge, Louisiana.
Curtis died in 2005; his widow Merle Curtis and his five children continue to work at the school: J. T. Curtis, who has a Master's degree in Educational Administration from Loyola University, is the current headmaster; Leon Curtis, who also has a Master's degree from Loyola, is the junior high school principal. Eight of John Curtis Sr.'s grandchildren also work at the school.
The high school principal is Larry Manguno, who has both his undergraduate degree and Master's degree from Tulane University. Deborah Eutsler is the lower school principal and has a Master's degree from Louisiana College. Kathy Rickner and Alicia Naccari, junior high and high school guidance counselors, respectively, both also graduated from Louisiana College.
Band, Dance Team, Cheerleading, Student Council, Key Club, Builders Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes (Boys and Girls), Academic Games, Builder's Club, Ecology Club, Interact Club, National Honor Society, Spirit Club, Pep Squad
Football - 1 National Championship (2012), 26 State Championship | Girls Volleyball - 2 State Titles | Boys Cross Country - 2 State Championships / Girls Cross Country - 1 Runners-Up / Boys Basketball - 1 State Championship/Girls Basketball - 3 State Championships | Wrestling - 2 State Runners-Up | Boys Indoor Track and Field - 4 State Titles | Baseball - 6 State Titles | Softball - 9 State Titles | Boys Outdoor Track and Field - 10 State Titles |
Head Coach J. T. Curtis, who will start his 48th year of coaching at the same school in the fall of 2016, has already taken his place among the legendary practitioners of his profession. On October 27, 2011, he became only the second coach in the history of football to win 500 games. That far exceeded the highest win totals of any coach in the professional (Don Shula, 347 wins), or major college (Joe Paterno, 409 wins) ranks.
Curtis currently has a record of 550-61-6, winning 90 percent of his games. His first team, in 1969, was 0-10 and scored just two touchdowns. The following year, his team was 8-2 and he has never had a losing record since. His teams have won a record 26 State Championships; no other high school coach has won more than 20. The 2012 team was the consensus national champions, ranking number one in seven of the nine recognized high school polls.
Curtis' teams won five consecutive State titles in 2004-08. They have posted 13 perfect seasons and reached the State Championship game for 19 consecutive years, winning 14 times during that stretch. They have reached the state playoffs every year since 1974. Dating back to the first Championship team in 1975, every player who has participated as a Freshman and completed his four years has a championship ring.
With an enrollment of less than 500 students in grades 9-12, Curtis has achieved much of its football success against larger schools. Half of the 26 championships have been earned when Louisiana High School Athletic Association rules permitted "moving up" in class. A class 2A-sized school, Curtis has won four titles against Class 3A teams, eight against Class 4A teams, and one competing in Select Division II (combining 2A and 3A). At the first opportunity to enter Class 5A, the highest in Louisiana, in 2015, Curtis entered district 9-5A—New Orleans' historic Catholic League—posting a 4-2 record the first time around.
J.T. Curtis was inducted into the National Federation of High School Associations Hall of Fame in 2015. He was named the USA Today National High School Coach of the Year in 2006 and 2012, and the National High School Coaches Association Coach of the Year in 2012.
In 2005, John Curtis Christian suffered extensive damage due to Hurricane Katrina. As a result, the first half of the 2005 football season was cut short. For the rest of the shortened 2005 season, former Patriots running-back and former USC Trojans running-back Joe McKnight scored 22 touchdowns (nine rushing, five receiving, four punt returns, three interceptions, one kickoff return) and averaged 18 yards a play in leading the Patriots to the state championship. In 2006, McKnight rushed for 719 yards on 45 carries, scoring 14 touchdowns, received 24 catches for 735 yards and 13 touchdowns, and with special teams play scored a total of 30 touchdowns as a senior; he was instrumental in John Curtis Christian's 14-0 season, often used as a decoy player due to his scoring threat. McKnight is the latest and arguably the most talented of a line of running back prospects out of John Curtis Christian High School, among them Reggie Dupard, Chris Howard and Jonathan Wells.
J. T. Curtis also serves as the school's headmaster and athletic director, and he is an ordained minister. The phenomenal record in football has been only a part of the school's overall success in athletics, garnering 63 State Championships in eight sports through 2015. During the 2011-12 academic year, John Curtis teams won the State Championship in six sports: football, boys and girls basketball, girls softball, and indoor and outdoor track.
|Season||Sport||Number of Championships||Year|
|Fall||Football||26||1975, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013|
|Fall||Girls Volleyball||2||1988, 1991|
|Winter||Girls Basketball||3||2009, 2010, 2012|
|Winter||Boys Indoor Track and Field||5||2010-11, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2013–14, 2014–15|
|Spring||Baseball||6||1982, 1990, 1991, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2015|
|Spring||Softball||9||2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015|
|Spring||Boys Outdoor Track and Field||11||1980, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015|
Notable athletic alumni
- Joe McKnight, former NFL player and 4th round draft pick for the New York Jets
- Reggie Dupard, former NFL player and 1st round draft pick for the New England Patriots, Washington Redskins
- Chris Howard, former NFL player and 5th round draft pick for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders
- Clarence Leblanc, former NFL player for the New York Giants
- Michael Stonebreaker, former NFL player and 9th round draft pick for the Chicago Bears
- Jonathan Wells, former NFL player and 4th round draft pick for the Houston Texans
- Tony Bua (American football), former NFL player for the Miami Dolphins
- Melvin Hayes, former NFL player and 4th round draft pick for the New York Jets
- Danny Wimprine, former NFL/AFL player and draft pick for the Cleveland Browns
- Dufresne, Chris (2007-05-20). "Star recruit has folks upset back home". Los Angeles Times.
- Clarence LeBlanc at Pro-Football-Reference.com (accessed 2015-03-19).
- Tona Bua at NFL.com (accessed 2015-03-19).
- Mike Detellier, "Trying to make it at the next level", The Houma Courier, July 18, 2004.
- Danny Wimprine
- John Curtis Christian School web-site
- John Curtis Christian School academic Edline web-site
- John Curtis Christian athletic web-site
- John Curtis II profile