Football: Lake Zurich names Planz head coach
Less than four months after accepting the head football job at Larkin, Ron Planz has been named the head football coach at Lake Zurich.
Planz replaces Luke Mertens, who resigned this spring after two seasons.
Planz will also be a physical education teacher at Lake Zurich for the 2019-2020 school year, pending school board approval Thursday.
A native of Bensenville and a 1997 graduate of Fenton High School, Planz played college football at Carthage College in Kenosha. Upon graduation from college, he began his coaching at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire as a secondary coach and recruiting coordinator. During his time at Eau Claire he was able to travel overseas, serving as the defensive coordinator for the Danube Dragons in Klosterneuburg, Austria.
For the next five years, Planz was the defensive coordinator and head strength coach at Manchester College in North Manchester, Ind. During his time at Manchester College, he coached seven first-team all-conference players. He left Manchester College to take a position as a defensive line coach and special teams coordinator at Division II Minnesota State University in Mankato, MN. Planz served as the team's defensive line coach and special teams coordinator. Planz helped coach three All-Americans and 12 first-team all-conference players, including a conference defensive player of the year.
In 2014, Planz was hired by Elmhurst College as its head football coach. During his five seasons leading the Bluejays, Planz coached 28 all-conference players, four all-region players, two All-Americans and two academic All-Americans.
After his hiring by Larkin in early February, he told Daily Herald reporter Jerry Fitzpatrick the stability of a high school coaching position made sense for his family.
"I have two young kids and I'm looking for an opportunity to be around them as much as possible," Planz said. "There are a ton of benefits to the college game, and there are also some negatives. One of them is the time you're away from family. This felt like a good time to pursue high school."