The Bethel-Tate athletic department announced that Jonathan Loudermilk will begin the 2012-2013 school year as the high school’s new athletic director.
Loudermilk is from a suburb of Atlanta called Buford, Ga. where he attended North Gwinnett High School and excelled in football.
From high school, his football talents led Loudermilk up north to play at Eastern Kentucky University before transferring back closer to home to play for the Samford Bulldogs in Birmingham, Ala.
Upon his graduation from Samford, Loudermilk took a job teaching and coaching in football-centric Hoover, Ala.
While there, Loudermilk served in several capacities such as dean of the middle school, physical education teacher, health education teacher and varsity coach. He also began a football program for the junior high.
Loudermilk also has ties to the Cincinnati area, where his wife, Jane, is from. Having visited the area several times over the past few years, Loudermilk said it was an area that had always intrigued him.
“I’m fortunate that my wife grew up just west of here and this is where she calls home,” Loudermilk said. “I’ve been through Bethel several times and the area seemed neat and it was an appealing town to me.
“I was curious about what was happening here and with my wife being semi-local I extended myself (for the position).”
Loudermilk came up from Alabama last week to talk with the school administrators and meet with some of the student-athletes before returning to his home to prepare for the move.
“I’ve been working this past week getting to know the student-athletes,” Loudermilk said. “I met with several coaches – soccer, football, wrestling – and tried to navigate around and see what their visions are for their teams and how I can help them to reach their goals.”
Loudermilk is committed to bringing a sense of excitement to Bethel and by doing so, he believes that people will come to see the product his teams are putting on the field.
“Something that isn’t enjoyable is not what I want to do. I want to create a sense of excitement and compete at a high level. If we are able to do that, then I believe the community will buy into what we’re doing.”
For the Loudermilks, the move is good for the family, not only Jonathan. Jane, who has experience coach four sports in Alabama and she will come on board to coach the varsity volleyball team.
Loudermilk believes the there is a good foundation for which he can build upon during his time as athletic director.
“There’s some tradition I would like to grow upon,” he said. “As a small-to-midsize school, we need to share athletes between sports and get their potential to reach its highest level.
“Our wrestling program from what I understand is established and I’d like to build around their success. I don’t expect everything to be perfect when I get there, but it definitely will not be terrible. There is a lot of promise and I would like to see growth and development throughout the entire athletic program.”
For that growth and development to happen, Loudermilk said he will need the commitment from the student athletes and leadership from the coaches.
“I understand that a lot of the kids come from hard-working, blue-collar families and want to go out and get after it. Those are the kinds of kinds I want – kids who have pride in the program.”