Freddie Hallman hired as Bunkie High head football coach

By GARLAND FORMAN

     The Bunkie Panthers have hired their third football coach in the last 18 months. Former Menard and Lakeview Head Football Coach Freddie Hallman will be introduced to the Bunkie community tonight (Wednesday) at 6 p.m.  The introduction will be held at Rocky’s Tails and Shells.
Hallman replaces Coach Kevin Cook, who resigned after one year to take a head coaching position at Tioga High School. Cook replaced Bruce Webb, who was the head coach for 10 years.
     Hallman comes to Bunkie after serving one year as head coach at Lakeview High School. Before Lakeview High, he coached for 11 of the last 15 years at Holy Savior Menard High School in Alexandria. The other four years were spent at Grant High School. In the late 1990’s he coached at St. Mary’s in Natchitoches for six years, guiding them to a district championship in 1999.
     Last year, he led Lakeview to their first playoff victory ever and a 7-5 overall record. He coached Lakeview to their first district win in the last 11 years and a 4-1 district record. The Gators only district loss was to Calvary Baptist of Shreveport, who won the state championship.
In 2009, after leading Menard to a district title and a state quarterfinal appearance in the football playoffs, Hallman was named the Class-AA Coach of the Year by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.
     “I’m excited about coming to Bunkie,” Hallman said. “Bunkie is more of a traditional football school than Lakeview. Back when Coach Gregg Hudson coached Bunkie and I was at Menard, we both had some good teams but I could never beat Bunkie for the district championship. I want to return Bunkie to their rich tradition in football and have the town return to the enthusiasm as I have seen in the past.”
     Hallman said Bunkie has a good foundation of juniors and seniors. He said he wants to build on what Cook had started with the program this past season.
     “This could be a strong football team,  from what I have seen on film, but it will all depend how quick the players and coaches will bond together,” Hallman said.  “We all -- players and coaches -- have to get to know each other during the summer.” Summer workouts will begin at 8 a.m. on June 1.
     He said he is not familiar with the offense that Cook had implemented. He said he will evaluate the players to see if he can introduce his offensive plans over the summer. He said Cook’s defense is the same type that he has run at other schools. Hallman’s son, Cam, will be the  defensive coordinator.
     “Cam is going to bring a lot of energy and enthusiasm,” Hallman said. “He has been around the game his whole life and knows it well.” Hallman is married to Jodie Hallman. In addition to Cam, the Hallmans have a daughter, Courtney.
 

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