With the speed of a jet sweep the search for the new St. Charles East head varsity football coach has ended.
On Monday St. Charles East athletic director Mike Sommerfeld announced that head sophomore coach Bryce Farquhar was selected, pending approval by the District 303 Board of Education at its next meeting May 12.
The school rewarded the in-house candidate out of more than 40 applicants in a search that began immediately after five-year coach Mike Fields resigned the position March 17.
"This is the perfect opportunity for me," said the 34-year-old Farquhar (pronounced "forker").
"I know the St. Charles East kids, the coaches. We've got such a great, supportive administration, we've got such great parents, and community. I wasn't going to apply for just any job anywhere, this is the right place at the right time," he said.
Farquhar is taking the relatively late changing of the guard in brisk stride. He was fired up to monitor a weight room session for all students at 6:15 a.m. Tuesday.
"We'll start that right away, and start our expectations of where we want to go," he said.
His expectations may be high. A 1998 graduate of Northwestern, a cooperative of Sciota and LaHarpe, Farquhar played running back on a team unbeaten until it lost to Chenoa in the 1996 Class 1A state championship. His senior year Northwestern was top-ranked in 1A and went 9-0 only to lose its first-round playoff game. It sounds like that still bugs him.
A Western Illinois graduate who lives in Huntley with his wife, Michelle, and their two young children, Farquhar broke in professionally at a Crystal Lake middle school then went to Richmond-Burton for two years, also assisting J. Randy Hofman on the football team.
An adaptive physical education instructor at St. Charles East, Farquhar arrived there in 2007. Ted Monken, at the time the Saints' head varsity coach, asked him to coach football, Farquhar said. After two years on the freshman level and another with the sophomores, Farquhar was the head sophomore coach for two second-place teams in the Upstate Eight Conference River Division, then last season's tri-champions with Batavia and St. Charles North.
"I like to coach the offense," he said. "Really my passion is the offense, but I've had experience on both defense and offense."
Sommerfeld said, "I think we got a heck of a football coach on our hands, I'm really excited. He knows the kids, the program, the school. It's going to be a win-win for everybody -- and he was the best candidate."
Farquhar said circumstances "kind of came together" for him to accept this position. He's ready to get at it.
"We'll get everything in place hopefully over the next week and a half and hit the ground running," he said.