The 2018 season was one for the record books for the Huntington Red Devils as they punched their ticket to the playoffs for the first time in school history.

As kickoff for the 2019 season enters its final stages, they will have a new leader at the helm in hopes of continuing to build the program into a contender.

With Jim Kerbow leaving to take the position of athletic director and head coach at Itasca ISD, the Red Devils didn’t look far for their next leader as Josh Colvert was promoted to take over the Huntington football program.

Colvert has served as the team’s associate head coach and offensive coordinator for the past two seasons in Huntington. He was approved as the head coach on Monday night.

“Consistency is the most important thing, especially for our kids,” Colvert said. “For them not to have to learn new coaching schemes at this point of the year is huge for their development. I think that’s a big factor both for their short-term and long-term success.”

This will be the first head coaching job for Colvert, although he brings a wealth of experience to the program.

Prior to his time in Huntington, he has been a wide receivers coach in Nacogdoches, an offensive coordinator at Edna when the team went three rounds deep into the postseason, an offensive coordinator at Livingston, a passing game coordinator at Greenville, an assistant coach at Plano Senior High and an offensive line coach at Blue Ridge.

He said he was excited about his first chance in leading his own program.

“It’s a great opportunity,” Colvert said. “We’ve got great kids that have really bought into the program. We’re looking to continue doing what we started here two years ago.”

The progression has seen steady steps in each of the past two seasons. Last year, Huntington took a season-opening 24-14 win over Warren before later taking down Livingston 28-15.

A 21-14 win over Tarkington sealed the Red Devils’ first-ever playoff spot. With several returning starters from last year’s team, the Red Devils have hopes of building upon that success.

“This group was still freshmen when we first got here,” Colvert said. “This class is going to have a direct impact on our success this year. We’ve got great senior leadership, and we’re looking to keep getting better.”

Colvert also thanked Kerbow for his leadership as the Huntington head coach over the past two seasons. Kerbow will be taking over an Itasca program that finished with a 3-7 record last season.

“He’s definitely one of the best head coaches I’ve ever worked with,” Kerbow said. “He gave me the freedom to work on the offensive side of the ball.

“He’s a great role model who genuinely cares about the kids. He’s a strong moral leader who started to change the program. We’re looking to continue what he started.”

Colvert also thanked the staff and administration for their support in his hiring.

“I’m very appreciative for superintendent David Flowers, athletic director Shawn Jones and the Huntington school board for the confidence they have shown in me by promoting me to this position.”

Colvert will make his head coaching debut in front of the home crowd on Aug. 30 when the Red Devils host Warren.

Josh Havard’s email address is

josh.havard@lufkindailynews.com.