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updated: 12/9/2016 7:39 PM

Belskis steps down at Aurora Central; Brauweiler named new coach

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  • Aurora Central Catholic's football coach John Belskis, talking to his son Johnny, stepped down on Friday.

      Aurora Central Catholic's football coach John Belskis, talking to his son Johnny, stepped down on Friday.
    Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 
 

John Belskis isn't saying this is it.

More like that's it for now.

Aurora Central Catholic's football coach stepped down Friday after two seasons, citing his desire to devote more time to his children. However, he didn't rule out a return to the sideline someday.

"I told the kids I'm not closing the door on coaching, but this is a good time," said Belskis, 59. "My kids are getting older. My oldest son is going away to college and I have two more coming up who will be in high school soon.

"It's been 44 years since I had a summer and fall off. I don't know what it's like to get up in the fall and go to another game and see two teams I didn't coach or see a college game or just go apple picking. It'll be uncharted water for me."

Assistant head coach Luke Brauweiler an ACC graduate, has been named the school's new head coach, Aurora Central athletic director Sean Bieterman said.

Belskis is a 2010 inductee to the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame. He coached Downers Grove South from 1989-2012 to a 201-62 record, including a 2001 Class 8A title and a runner-up finish in 1993.

Upon his 2013 retirement from a 33-year teaching career at Downers South, Belskis became the defensive coordinator at Aurora Central Catholic, where his son, Johnny, was a freshman.

ACC coaxed Belskis into taking the head coaching position two years ago when former coach Brian Casey left for an administrative position at Montini. He took over a junior-laden team, and he had to replace four varsity assistants. ACC finished 3-6.

The seeds planted last season bore fruit in 2016. Led by quarterback Johnny Belskis, wide receiver/defensive back Griffin Zajac and running back Ryan Cerza, the Chargers went 9-2 -- their highest win total since 1995-96 -- and reached the second round of the playoffs.

"My goal two years ago was to put this program in a place where it's relevant and respected and they can keep raising the expectations. I think we're there," Belskis said. "I told the kids I'll be supporting them from the other side of the fence, that's all."

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