GLADEWATER, Texas — Home is where the heart is⁠—and that rings true for Jonny Louvier who has been named the head football coach at his alma mater, Gladewater High School.

The decision was made during Gladewater Independent School District's board meeting Monday night.

Louvier will replace John Berry, who left to serve as the defensive coordinator at Longview High School under head coach John King. Berry had been the head coach and athletic director at Gladewater since 2014.

Scott Clower, who's been at Gladewater since 2010, will take over as athletic director for the district.

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Louvier is a 2002 graduate of Gladewater High School where he shined as a four-sport athlete (football, basketball, baseball and track).

As a senior quarterback, under then-head coach David Hussman, he earned honorable mention All-State accolades. He was named the District 14-3A Offensive Player of the Year and was a two-time All-East Texas selection.

He threw for more than 4,500 yards and 44 touchdowns in high school, while racking up nearly 1,400 yards and 15 scores on the ground.

Louvier also won the Wendy's High School Heisman and was named to the Academic All-State team.

On the basketball court, he earned district MVP honors twice.

He still holds the Gladewater High School records for most career passing yards (4,502), most passing yards in a season (1,941), most career touchdown passes (44) and most touchdown passes in a season (18).

LEAVING SPRING HILL

On May 8, Louvier said he was leaving Spring Hill after one season as the head football coach and athletic director. Offensive coordinator Weston Griffis will take over in the interim for the Panthers.

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"I want to thank Coach Louvier for the positive impact he has had on Spring Hill ISD athletics and in the lives of our students," Spring Hill superintendent Wayne Guidry said in a statement. "We wish him well in his future endeavors."

In March 2019, Louvier was hired by Spring Hill to lead the district's athletic program, taking over for Kelly Mercer. He came to Spring Hill after serving as an assistant at Gladewater. Prior to that, Louvier was an assistant at Robert E. Lee under former head coach Kurt Traylor. He has also had stints at Frankston and Arp.

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Louvier led Spring Hill to the playoffs for their first time since 2007. They also recorded their first postseason victory since the school's 58-28 win over the Van Vandals in 2004, with a 23-12 win over the Caddo Mills Foxes. Their season came to an end the next week at Midlothian Heritage Stadium with a 54-14 loss to the Waco Connally Cadets. The Panthers finished the year with a 6-6 record.

Spring Hill's 2019 season was also the subject of the CBS19 docuseries, "PRIDE: All Hail Spring Hill."

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WHAT'S TO COME?

Gladewater ended the 2019 season with an overall record of 10-4 and a heartbreaking 35-34 loss to the Pottsboro Cardinals on December 6, in the UIL state quarterfinals.

Louvier and the Bears are set to open their 2020 campaign by hosting their Highway 271 rivals, the Gilmer Buckeyes, on Thursday, August 27. The next week, they're slated to meet up with Louvier's former team, the Spring Hill Panthers, before rounding out preseason play with the Center Roughriders and Kilgore Bulldogs.

In February, the UIL announced the districts for realignment through 2022.

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Gladewater will represent 3A District 6-Division II with the following teams:

  • Atlanta 
  • Sabine 
  • Jefferson 
  • New Boston 
  • Tatum 
  • White Oak

WHAT'S NEXT FOR SPRING HILL?

Whomever is hired to take over at Spring Hill will be the school's eighth HC/AD since 2004:

  • Steve Gaddis, 1998-2004
  • Robert Bero, 2005-2009
  • Bill Poe, 2010-2011
  • Bobby Chadwick, 2012
  • Mark Sartain, 2013-2014
  • Kelly Mercer, 2015-2018
  • Jonny Louvier, 2019-2020

In a recent interview with CBS19's newspaper partner, the Longview News-Journal, arguably the most successful former Spring Hill head football coach, Steve Gaddis, said what the Panthers need is stability.

“I think the big thing they’ve got to do is find somebody that’s gonna want to be there and be stable," Gaddis said to the Longview News-Journal's George Whitley. "You can’t blame young coaches for wanting to move and better themselves. But they’ve got to find somebody that’s gonna love on the kids and want to stay at Spring Hill. At least see a kid from 7th grade through graduation. They haven’t had that lately. It’s all about finding stability.” 

Gaddis recorded 100 victories over two stints (1989-1994, 1998-2004) with the Panthers and led them to the playoffs seven out of 13 years, winning or sharing three district championships. From 2000 through 2002, Spring Hill went 32-7, advancing twice to the third round and once to the state quarterfinals in 2002.

Spring Hill will open their 2020 season at home against the Sabine Cardinals. After their second-week matchup with Gladewater, they'll finish off the preseason stretch with the Battle of Hawkins Creek against longtime rivals, the White Oak Roughnecks, before taking on the Henderson Lions and the Bullard Panthers.

They'll then jump into 4A District 8-Division II play:

  • October 9 - Gilmer (away)
  • October 16 - Liberty-Eylau (away)
  • October 23 - Pleasant Grove (home)
  • October 30 - Pittsburg (away)
  • November 6 - North Lamar (home)

Spring Hill is expected to name Louvier's replacement in the next few weeks.