The only head coach in LSUA history, Larry Cordaro begins his third season as head coach of the Generals Men’s Basketball program. In the Generals inaugural season, LSUA had a 23-4 record in route to winning both the conference regular season and tournament championship. Cordaro lead his team to an impressive, undefeated home record of 13-0. His team also performed well on the road as they won the Red River Athletic Conference Tournament Championship. Cordaro’s coaching was rewarded with several accolades, led by being named Don Meyer NAIA National Coach of the Year. He also was the Red River Conference Coach of the Year and Louisiana Association of Basketball Coaches small college coach of the year. Four of his players were selected All-Conference. DeAngelo Coleman, earned Newcomer of the Year, MVP of the Red River Conference Tournament and NAIA National All-American Honorable Mention.
In the Generals second season, LSU-A had a 29-4 record while repeating as regular season Red River conference champions. Cordaro’s team was #1 in the country for five straight weeks. They reached the second round at the National Tournament in Kansas City and finished #3 in the final poll of the season. LSUA extended their home court winning streak to 27 games with another undefeated season of 14-0. Cordaro’s coaching was rewarded with several accolades, led by being named HoopDirt NAIA National Coach of the Year and Basketball Times Coach of the Year and repeated as the Red River Conference Coach of the Year and Louisiana Association of Basketball Coaches small college coach of the year. Four of his players were again selected All-Conferenc. DeAngelo Coleman, earned MVP of the Red River Conference and NAIA National All-American 1st Team. Brian Sylvester also won Defensive Player of the Year two years in a row. William Claiborne was selected Freshman of the Year.
Cordaro’s forte is getting the community involved by coordinating several types of camps in an effort to bring more recognition to the young LSUA program while creating a relationship with the central Louisiana area. Before the inaugural LSUA season, nineteen high schools from Louisiana participated in a team camp while a youth camp had over 500 young boy and girl participants. Cordaro’s coaching staff held several other events such as a 3-on-3 tournament with various age groups, a 5k on campus, and a Sunday skills clinic. His team also held a free, one-day clinic during the Christmas holiday break for over 90 children.
During his tenure in Hammond, the Lions have had nine All-Southland Conference players, six All-Louisiana players, four National Association of Basketball Coaches All-District players and made six trips to the conference tournament. Cordaro played a key role in the recruitment and development of Brandon Fortenberry and Roosevelt Johnson who both finished their careers as two of the top players in school history.
The Ruston, La., native spent two seasons at league rival UT Arlington where he served on former Mavs’ coach Eddie McCarter’s staff as one of the youngest Division I coaches in the country. UTA reached the Southland Conference Tournament both seasons that Cordaro was in the Metroplex and placed two members - Steven Thomas and Jarrett Howell – on the 2005-06 All-SLC squad.
Before his stop at UTA, Cordaro was at LSU for three seasons as Director of Basketball Operations where he assisted with on-campus recruiting, academic monitoring, and organizing meetings with the LSU men's basketball booster club. Cordaro also served as the co-director of John Brady's basketball camps and served as the video coordinator for Tigers. Cordaro played a role in the recruiting of Brandon Bass, Glen “Big Baby” Davis, Tyrus Thomas, and Garrett Temple, who all went on to play professionally in the NBA. In his three years assisting, LSU reached the post-season each season.
Possessing a vast knowledge of summer camp operations, Cordaro has worked with some of college basketball's most knowledgeable coaches after working at The University of Miami (Fla.), Arizona, UAB, Birmingham-Southern, New Orleans, Texas, Middle Tennessee, LSU and Joe Dean, Jr.'s Dixie Basketball Camp. Each summer Cordaro conducts his own basketball camp in his hometown of Ruston. Over the course of ten years he's taught more than 400 campers the finer points of the game as well as life lessons.
A 1998 graduate of Ruston High School, Cordaro was a member of the Xavier University men's basketball team before transferring to LSU where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting in 2002 and a master of science in sport management in 2004.
Cordaro is a member of the Downtown Rotary Club where he serves on the Fellowship Committee. He was a key component in starting Fellowship of Christian Athletes on the campus of LSUA. Cordaro also volunteers his time by helping the United Way. Public speaking at various community events such as sports banquets, Rotary meetings, and high school career days are a hobby of the up-and-coming head coach. Cordaro is a member of both the Louisiana Association of Basketball Coaches and the National Association of Basketball Coaches. Annually, he serves as a camp instructor at the Final Four NCAA youth clinics. Alexandria Town Talk named Cordaro Sportsman of the Year and recognized him as being Top 20 under 40.
Casey Apetrei is beginning his third year as associate head coach and recruiting coordinator at LSUA. Before LSUA he spent a year as an assistant coach at Frank Phillips Junior College (TX) where the team posted a 15-14 record, which at the time was the best in Head Coach Chris Hackett's tenure. Previously, he spent two years as a Graduate Assistant at Southern University of Baton Rouge. While at Southern, he helped Head Coach Roman Banks take a team that finished last in RPI the season before, to the 2013 SWAC Tournament Championship and the NCAA tournament. In the tournament, the #16 seed Jaguars lost to #1 ranked Gonzaga in the first round by only 6 points.
Prior to Southern, he spent four years as a student assistant for Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana under Head Coach Jim Yarbrough and current LSUA Head Coach Larry Cordaro.
In addition to his college experience, Coach Casey was also the Head Coach of the Louisiana Team Shockaz (AAU) 17U from 2010 through July 2012. In 2011, his team won the 2011 Louisiana 17U AAU State Championship Tournament. During his time with the program, Coach Casey coached and developed multiple players that went on to play college basketball; many at the NCAA Division I level.
Coach Casey holds a Bachelor’s degree in General Studies from Southeastern Louisiana University with a minor in Athletic Coaching and a Physical Education teaching certificate from Southern University (LA).
Jay Smith joined the LSU of Alexandria staff in March of 2014.
Prior to arriving in Alexandria, Smith spent eight seasons as an assistant at Comeaux High School where he helped lead the Spartans to six winning seasons.
Over eight seasons, Smith helped the Spartans compile 171 victories, four playoff berths, two district titles, its first playoff victory in school history, three quarterfinal berths, and the schools lone LHSAA Top 28 berth in 2013.
While at Comeaux, Smith was responsible for player development, scouting, and on court preparation. He helped develop a number of All District Players, six All Acadiana players, two All District MVPs, two All-Acadiana MVPs, five All-State performers (one First Team, two Second Team, and two Honorable Mentions) and one McDonald's All American Nominee.
The opportunity to coach at the collegiate level is a lifelong dream come true. After playing his high school years at Pointe Coupee Central High School, Smith attended The University of Louisiana at Lafayette. During his years there is when he developed a deeper passion for coaching and learned he wanted to make it his career.
Smith is the father of one son, Jailon.
Taylor Smith played basketball at Hancock High School in Kiln, Mississippi before attending Pearl River Community College for two years where he was a student basketball manager for the men’s basketball team. In Taylor's first year as a basketball manager, they won the NJCAA State Championship.
Taylor is also a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Hometown: Picayune, MS