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After about a two-hour hiatus at the Gatesville ISD Administration Building, a decision was made by the Gatesville ISD School Board of Trustees to put a familiar face in a new position.

On Jan. 11, it was announced that Aaron Hunter will be taking the reins as head football coach for the Gatesville Hornets football team, replacing former head coach Luke Howard. Hunter has been the defensive coordinator for the Hornets for the past two seasons.

“I think we made a great hire in Aaron Hunter ... his passion, vision, expectations, and standards are top-notch,” GHS Athletics Director Rickey Phillips said in an email. “I think it's also a nod to the current coaching staff on how they have rebounded from an 0-10 season three years ago and gotten things headed in the right direction. I have no doubt that Coach Hunter, in that leadership role, is the person that can take the GHS football program to the next level.”

According to Gatesville ISD Superintendent Barrett Pollard, there were about 60 applications sent in, but only seven were selected for the interview. Pollard expressed that all seven were “very good candidates.”

Pollard shared via email what differentiated Hunter from the others.

“His passion for the game of football and his commitment to our current and future Hornet football players was unmatched,” Pollard said in an email. “He has gained the trust and loyalty of both players and coaches. He is highly respected on campus as a teacher leader and on the field for his excitement and enthusiasm.

“Coach Hunter is a motivator and has high expectations for his athletes to demonstrate hard work and character. He has hit the ground running, and we are all excited to see Aaron at the helm."

Coaching has been a dream for Hunter since he was a kid. He is grateful to have the opportunity to coach his hometown Hornets.”

“I walked these hallways; I played on McKamie Stadium, and my family bleeds black and gold,” Hunter said. “To hear my name called as the head football coach to this school is a blessing and an honor. I’m excited for the opportunity.”

Hunter credited the staff and the players as instrumental parts of the Hornets' success the last couple of years.

Hunter is driven to impact the kids he coaches.

“I have a passion for that,” Hunter said. “But to know that I have an impact on kids and I can change a kid’s life. And win some games doing it. There’s nothing better than that.”

The Gatesville Independent School District Board of Trustees voted 6-0, with one abstention, to name Hunter the head football coach.