New coaches taking charge in DuPage County
Replacing a head coach six weeks before the first game is not preferable. That's what West Chicago had to do when Jack Rustman resigned July 18 to become offensive line coach at Concordia in River Forest.
New Wildcats coach Tyler Belding, a 2002 West Chicago graduate, takes an "it-is-what-it-is" approach. After all, over his 14 years in the program he's seen seven head coaches come and go -- one for a single day -- since his playing days under Bob Stone.
"It's a hard situation, but we'll make the best of it," Belding said.
John Parpet Jr. became Metea Valley's third head coach in its decade as a program when he was hired in January.
Nephew of Lisle coach Paul Parpet Sr., cousin to Addison Trail head man Paul Parpet Jr. and the son of a former longtime assistant, the Mustangs' new coach is steeped in football not just through bloodlines but by the last six years as an offensive coordinator. The past three seasons came under his uncle at Lisle, which last year had its finest season since the 1980s.
Coaching is about adjustments. Within days of John Parpet's first Metea camp he needed to adjust to top linebacker Jack Belskis' transfer to Neuqua Valley and a switch of athletic directors.
"It's weird, you think you can prepare for those things," he said. "You can't. You've just got to rely on your overall principles as a program, the things you can control."
Speaking of control, voters decided the fate of football in Hinsdale Township High School District 86.
Last December the school board voted to eliminate football and other sports and activities due to a budget shortfall. In March Hinsdale Central coach Dan Hartman resigned to take that spot at Lyons Twp.
A referendum passed at the ballot box in April, the board reinstated those activities, and 11-year assistant Brian Griffin, a former Red Devils star linebacker, was named head coach later that month.
"It's been good," Griffin said. "And I think the players like that stability with the coaching staff. They know that for all the uncertainty we faced as a program, we can still come back together and have that continuity."