Kradman leaving Maine West to become head coach at Lake Park
When Jason Kradman accepted the position of head football coach and physical education teacher at Lake Park, it had to be the biggest news in the family ... right?
Kradman's wife Andrea -- due in March with the couple's third child -- gets that honor. But he's in the team picture.
Lake Park athletic director Pete Schauer announced Kradman's hiring on Thursday. Leaving Maine West after six years at the helm, Kradman replaces Chris Roll, who was dismissed in November after nine years as the Lancers' head coach.
Kradman's hiring will be confirmed at the Lake Park District 108 board meeting on Feb. 24.
"I was excited about the school, and the academics are similar to Maine Township," said Kradman, 41. "The facilities are great. Meeting with (Schauer and Lake Park principal Dominic Manola), it seemed like they're heading in the right direction and really support athletics."
Maine West experienced unprecedented success during Kradman's tenure. The Warriors won their first conference title in 55 years, then added two more while qualifying for the playoffs the last three seasons. Before that the program never reached the playoffs in consecutive seasons.
Kradman said his coaching style adjusts to the personnel, something epitomized at Maine West the last two years. In 2018 the Warriors broke program rushing records and last fall they broke passing records.
He acknowledged bittersweet feelings about leaving Maine West.
"It's hard to walk away," he said. "There's definitely a sense of pride with what we built. I'll never forget my time at Maine West but I'm looking forward to working with everyone at Lake Park."
Lake Park, 3-6 overall and 2-5 in the DuKane Conference in the fall, made the playoffs once the last 10 years. Maine West's recent consistent success will serve as a solid model.
"I'm definitely excited about what's to come," said Kradman, who grew up in Florida and played at Drake. "I can't wait to get going."