If you are looking for a football head coaching position at the high school level, this might be a good time to polish up the resume.
Several prime jobs around the Chicagoland area have opened up over the past few weeks.
Plainfield District 202 has two head varsity coach positions open as Plainfield Central's veteran head coach John Jackson (83-98 record over 19 seasons) is out, along with Plainfield South's Ken Bublitz.
District 230 also has two positions open. Andrew will look to replace former head coach and alumnus Rich Tarka while Sandburg will need to replace longtime head coach Dave Wierzal. Wierzal led the Eagles to a 53-37 record over nine seasons.
Both Rich South and Rich East also have open varsity football head coach positions heading into the new year.
Bartlett also lost a veteran head coach when Tom Meaney (80-53 record over 13 seasons) decided to step aside from his coaching duties.
Schools such as Buffalo Grove, St. Viator, Evergreen Park, McHenry, Niles North and Proviso West are also looking for coaching leaders at the varsity level.
Are there any specific reasons as to why there are so many sudden openings? It depends on who you talk to and, in many cases, it depends on each school's situation.
However, one common theme is we will continue to see higher turnover rates among IHSA varsity coaches.
"In the old days coaches had time to build a program from the ground up," said one recently retired head coach. "Now it's maybe a three-year window and, if you don't win now, a lot of schools will run you out."
Pressure from parents has also never been higher.
"Parents feel that it's my sole responsibility to make sure their son plays in college. I've never had to deal with more unrealistic parents and kids than I have over the past 5-7 years. I feel that I went way out of my way for my kids but it was never enough in the eyes of the parents. It's one of the big reasons I just decided to stop being a head coach. The burnout level has never been higher."