After leading Vermilion Catholic’s football program to one of the more prolific runs in the Acadiana area the past four years, Russell Kuhns called his final team meeting Thursday afternoon.
Kuhns, who guided the Screaming Eagles to four consecutive double-digit win seasons — capped by the 2013 Division IV state championship — announced his resignation to accept an offensive coordinator’s position at Class 5A Livingston High in the Dallas area.
“It was very hard,” said Kuhns, 45-7 at the Class 1A school in Abbeville. “These are the kids that have come up all the way with me as their coach. It was hard to tell them I was going.”
Vermilion Catholic principal Mike Guilbeaux said Kuhns’ decision didn’t catch him off guard.
“There was some discussion that led up to the official resignation,” Guilbeaux said. “It was ongoing.”
Guilbeaux said he didn’t have a specific timetable to replace Kuhns. He said the current coaching staff is handling the team’s summer workouts.
“I want to do justice to the program, to our school, students and community,” Guilbeaux said. “There’s going to come a time rather soon when I’ll have to make a decision. I want to exhaust all avenues to get the word out to those individuals that think Vermilion Catholic would be a good fit for them and want to come and be a part of our family.”
Kuhns, a native of Ohio who played fullback at Wisconsin, was promoted to head coach in 2012 and led VC to an 11-2 record.
A year later, with a high-octane offense and aggressive defense, the Eagles capped a 14-0 season with a 63-18 victory over St. Frederick in the Superdome Classic.
It was the school’s second state championship.
“We’ve been very fortunate to experience quite a bit of success over the past four years,” Guilbeaux said. “He’s a great part of it.”
VC went 10-2 and reached the Division IV state quarterfinals in 2014 before falling to Madison Prep Academy.
The Eagles, who either shared or were outright District 7-1A champions all four years under Kuhns, finished 10-3 in 2015 and advanced to the Division IV semifinals against eventual state champion Southern Lab.
Livingston is a Class 5A program that will not only afford Kuhns the opportunity of working at a larger school, but also be closer to his son, who resides in Fort Worth.
“I’ve lived a lot of places and this was the best environment and group of people around,” Kuhns said. “They had big hearts and were willing to help. The parents, faculty and administration were all helpful. It’s all been great. It made my stay very welcome.”
Guilbeaux said interested applicants for the vacant head coaching position can contact him at 337-522-2701 or Athletic Director Kim Guidry at 337-652-8056. Candidates can also submit their résumés to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.