Vandebilt’s Catholic defensive coordinator Charlie Cryer died of an apparent heart attack on Tuesday at the age of 59.

Cryer was in his first year as the Terriers’ defensive coordinator after resigning from his post as head coach of Pope John Paul II where he had held that post for the previous three years.

His previous head coach stops included St Louis Catholic (2014-2017), St Mary’s at Natchitoches (2009-2013) and Vermilion Catholic (2002-2004) where he guided the program to the State Class 1A title in 2003. Head Coach Record 87-64.

“I met Coach Cryer when he was head coach of Vermillion Catholic, just after winning a state title in 2003,” said Eric Held, principal of the Louisiana High School Coaches Association. “I had just gotten the (head coach) job at St Mary’s in 2004 with similar enrollment numbers, roster size and demographics to Vermillion Catholic. I asked him all the stupid questions you could ask. He was patient and patiently answered all questions.

Cryer was a former LSU student who played for the Tigers in the early 1980s. He was very active in LSU L-Club long after his playing days.

Two years ago, Cryer was diagnosed with nonalcoholic cirrhosis of the liver and received a transplant on September 26, 2019. Cryer’s son Chris briefly served as Pope John Paul II’s interim coach while his father was recovering.

“Coach Cryer was a giant man and always had a smile on his face,” Held said. “He’s coached in many geographies across the state and always got the best out of his players. His teams have always played hard for him.

Her daughter Kaci, who is currently an assistant coach of women’s basketball at Houston Baptist University, was the former head coach of the McNeese State Cowgirls basketball team from 2017 to 2021.

“I know he was proud to have children who followed in his footsteps and he will be sorely missed,” Held said.

Cryer’s wife Kristie contributed to Ken Trahan’s original Prep Football Report for the past few years.

At Crescent City Sports, we send our condolences, thoughts and prayers to the Cryer family and the Vandebilt Catholic football community.


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