Evansville F.J. Reitz has boasted some of the state's top coaches throughout its existence and many of them have continued on to some outstanding careers after leaving the Panthers program.
Current coach, Tony Lewis, has compiled a 34-2 mark through three years at Reitz, including a Class 4A state championship last year and a 15-0 mark. This season the team is 10-0 and top-ranked heading into Friday's battle with the Knights at 7:30 p.m. Prior to taking the head job at Reitz, Lewis coaches in Wheelersburg, Ohio where he was 47-21 in six years and claimed four Southern Ohio Conference championships.
Lewis was in his first season at Reitz in 2008 when the Knights fell to the Panthers in the sectional opener.
Prior to Lewis taking the reigns, John Hart had the head coaching job with the Panthers from 2001-07 where he was an impressive 73-17 over seven years, including the state championship in his final year with current Southern Illinois quarterback, Matt McIntosh, leading a powerful offense. Hart came to Reitz after posting a 101-21 mark at Mt. Carmel, Ill. over an 11-year span.
Hart currently is the head coach at Warren Central High School where he won a state title in 2009 and has gone 30-8 in three years.
Prior to Hart, Bob Gaddis led the program from 1991-2000 and was 64-42 over 10 years before taking over at Columbus East where he has been the head coach over the last decade. The Olympians have had a pretty special run under his tutelage as well with the program compiling a 95-25 mark, including one-loss seasons in 2004, 2005, 2008 and 2009 with a high-powered offense. Gaddis led the team to sectional titles in 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2008 with regional titles in three of those seasons.
Turning back the clock to 1969 through 1977, Bob Padgett was the head football coach and compiled a 79-13 mark and he was inducted into the Indiana Football Hall of Fame in 1987.
Herman Byers was inducted into the Indiana Football Hall of Fame in 1973 after coaching at Reitz for 27 years from 1942-68 where he was 189-51-15. Over that time, Reitz won the state title in 1948, 1953, 1956-57, 1960 and 1961. In 39 years of coaching high school football, Byers was 233-105-21 overall.