Josh Hjorth, Stevenson's assistant head football coach and defensive coordinator, has been named the fourth head coach in school history. He replaces Bill McNamara, who stepped down as head coach in November after compiling a 67-16 record in seven seasons.
Hjorth (pronounced Jorth) has been a member of Stevenson's varsity football staff since coming to the school in 2006. The Patriots have compiled a 95-30 record during his tenure, qualifying for the state playoffs each year and winning the Class 8A championship in 2014 with a 14-0 mark. SHS also has captured seven North Suburban Conference titles in his 11 seasons at the school.
Hjorth had served as assistant head coach and defensive coordinator since 2010, when McNamara became head coach. He also has handled special teams the past three seasons after four years coaching the offensive line. Hjorth also served as the program's speed, strength and conditioning coach since 2009.
Although Stevenson often received attention for its high-powered offense, Hjorth's defenses were also among the area's best. In 83 games over seven seasons with Hjorth as defensive coordinator, Stevenson surrendered an average of 16 points per game. Patriot opponents failed to break the 30-point barrier in four of his seven seasons.
Hjorth's defense played a huge role in Stevenson's 2014 state championship run. The Patriots yielded only 160 points in 14 games, shutting out three opponents, and making a school-record 24 interceptions. In the championship game against Homewood-Flossmoor, the SHS defense forced a fumble near its end zone with less than a minute to play, preserving a 31-25 victory.
Hjorth joined the Stevenson coaching staff after three seasons at Wheaton North. He led its freshman team to a 25-11 record in two seasons and also spent one season as a varsity assistant. The Falcons reached the state playoffs in his season on the varsity staff.
He has coached 17 all-state football players in 14 seasons and has seen more than 50 of his players continue their careers in college.
In addition to his football background, Hjorth also has more than a decade as a wrestling coach. He was an assistant varsity coach for Stevenson (2006-11), Wheaton North (2002-06) and Glenbard West (1998-99), and also coached freshman wrestlers at Waubonsie Valley (2002).
Hjorth is a 1998 graduate of Glenbard West, where he played football, wrestling and baseball. He graduated from Illinois State University in 2002.
Hjorth is a special education teacher at Stevenson. He created the school's Alternative Education Program in physical education in 2013.