Lark Hebert (Vinton HS head football coach)

After more than three decades, Lark Hebert’s coaching career has come full circle.

He started in 1987 as an assistant coach at Vinton High School and will return in April as the Lions’ next head football coach.

Vinton Principal Eric Heinen confirmed the hire on Tuesday afternoon.

“(Hebert) is organized and passionate,” Heinen said. “He has a proven track record and experience. He is very smart. He will be able to get us to the playoffs and continue to roll.”

Hebert has 15 years of experience at the high school level, plus 17 years as an assistant at McNeese State (2002-18). He spent the 2019 season as an assistant head coach and defensive coordinator at Waller (Texas) High School.

“Vinton seems like a good little job,” Hebert said. “They have good athletes and an opportunity to win. It is a chance to work with Coach Heinen. Eric played for me and coached with me at Sulphur High School. We have a great relationship. I thought it was a good opportunity for me. I just wanted to come back home. I never sold my house. I just want to get back to the family.”

It will be Hebert’s fourth stint as a head coach. In eight seasons at Elton (1991-1994), Beau Chene (1995) and Sulphur (1999-2001), he went 53-35 with two district championships — Elton in 1993 and Sulphur in 1999 — and six playoff appearances.

Hebert replaces Tarius Davis, who stepped down in December after nine seasons. Davis led the Lions to the quarterfinals in 2013 and 2014 and seven consecutive playoff appearances.

“I am excited for the opportunity to chance to build something here,” Hebert said. “Tarius did a great job, and I will walk in with a good foundation. It is not like you have to go in and build from the ground.” Davis accepted the head coaching position at his alma mater, Lake Arthur, two weeks ago. He was a star quarterback and defensive back for the Tigers in the early 1990s before going to McNeese State.

There are two head coaching positions open in Calcasieu Parish, at Sulphur and DeQuincy.

The Tors are looking for a new boss after Cecil Thomas was fired four games into the 2019 season, while the Tigers are looking to find a replacement for Charlie Smith, who led the Tigers to a 27-30 record over five seasons.