Former Highland Park quarterback Kopp tabbed to head Giants' football program
Quarterback. Quarterbacks coach. Offensive coordinator.
Now head coach.
It's Anthony Kopp's time.
A graduate of Highland Park High School's Class of 2009, Kopp is a former Giants quarterback who has been an assistant coach in the football program since 2013.
On June 6 he was announced as the Giants' head varsity coach. It's a good fit.
"I'm very lucky to have the staff that we have and to take over for Coach (David) Lindquist, he has laid a great foundation here. He's definitely made the transition easy. I'm just glad that coming into the program, that was set up right for me," Kopp said.
He was promoted after serving four seasons as Highland Park's offensive coordinator. Kopp has also coached in other levels of the program including head junior varsity coach. He's also Highland Park's girls gymnastics coach and an assistant to varsity baseball coach Jason Newburger.
"Coach Kopp is the consummate team player. I am confident he will unite the staff and the players and work tirelessly to advance our football program," said Highland Park athletic director Paul Harris.
"He has already made a positive impact in his few weeks as our head football coach."
Kopp was an all-conference high school athlete in both football and baseball, and played four seasons of baseball at Illinois Wesleyan University, two seasons of football.
Lindquist, a former Highland Park player who then started on the defensive line at the University of Illinois, stepped down after last season for family reasons, Harris said. Lindquist went 14-17 in four seasons, including the 2020-2021 season that was shortened and postponed until spring 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is the Giants' second coaching change in short order.
On April 26, Township High School District 113 approved Dan Woulfe as a physical education teacher, and the former Westmont High School head football coach also was set to succeed Lindquist as head football coach.
However, when the athletic director's position opened at Morton, where Woulfe had been employed as a dean, Woulfe took the athletic director job. On May 31 he rescinded his offer from District 113.
Kopp doesn't believe this development affects the football program.
"I don't think it really does. We're in a good spot," said Kopp, not a teacher at the school.
"Coach Lindquist before that did an excellent job here and we're really just focused on picking up where he left off and continuing to grow and work with our players. We had a strong sophomore class last year so we're expecting a good junior class this year, and just taking it from there," Kopp said.
He said up to 12 sophomores started on last fall's varsity team, which went 4-5 and 2-3 and finished in fourth place in the Central Suburban League's North division. Historically the Giants have 18 playoff appearances, but none since 2017.
Junior quarterback David Finfer and returning all-conference running back-defensive back Nikko Rosenberg, another junior, are among the returners leading the way this season.
Kopp spent last week at the football camp for the youth feeder program. Highland Park's own camp started on Monday. Kopp was fired up about both of them, and about what's to come.
"We're excited for the year and for the future," he said. "We just keep building and working with our players. We're excited about teaching them the game of football because that's what we all love, and we want to pass that down."