There’s little question it would take a very special opportunity for Nick Saltaformaggio to leave Hahnville.
It appears that opportunity has arisen.
Saltaformaggio is leaving one set of Tigers for another and is headed to his alma mater, Holy Cross. The move, which was made official Wednesday, comes just three weeks after Guy LeCompte resigned after two years at the helm.
Saltaformaggio comes in with an impressive résumé. He has gone 115-59 in 15 seasons at Hahnville (six seasons), East Jefferson (six), Oconee, Ga. (two) and Chalmette (one-plus).
His teams made two state championship games the past seven seasons. In 2017, the Tigers lost to Zachary in the Dome in Class 5A, and at East Jeff in his final game, the Warriors won their only state championship – winning the Class 4A title over Speedy Noil and Karr.
Two months following hoisting the trophy, in February 2014, he left Metairie for Hahnville, telling RiverParishFootball.com, “Jobs like (football coach at) Hahnville High School, they don’t come open very often. I remember a bunch of years back when Tommy Bowden went 11-0 at Tulane and he said, ‘I’m never going to be hotter than what I am now, and Clemson University is calling,’ and the rest is history.
“I just hope I have more success at Hahnville than he did at Clemson.”
After Lou Valdin’s 15-year reign came to an end following the 2013 season, Saltaformaggio had big shoes to fill, and he certainly did that, compiling an overall record of 54-22 at Hahnville with at least one playoff victory in all six seasons.
Other than their state title appearance with Anthony “Pooka” Williams three seasons ago, the Tigers went as far as the quarterfinals in 2014 and 2015.
Meanwhile, Holy Cross hasn’t won a state championship since 1963, winning the Class 3A title – the state’s highest classification at the time – over rival Jesuit, 14-6, at Tulane Stadium. They also haven’t won a postseason game since defeating St. Augustine in the first round in 2015 and are 2-7 in Division I playoff games since the first year of the LHSAA split in 2013.
Saltaformaggio’s teams are 16-6 in the postseason since then.