Lake Park names Kirkpatrick new football coach
Lake Park announced the hiring of Chris Kirkpatrick to the positions of varsity football coach and social studies Teacher for the 2022-2023 school year.
Kirkpatrick becomes the seventh football coach in the 65-year history of the Lake Park football program which played its varsity first season in 1957.
Kirkpatrick spent last season at Wheaton Warrenville South and the previous year at York where he was the varsity offensive line coach and varsity offensive assistant at both schools.
Prior to those experiences Kirkpatrick had an extensive background coaching collegiate football in multiple roles including offensive line coach, graduate assistant/quality control coach, head strength coach, and recruiter during his stops at North Central College, Syracuse University and Elmhurst University.
A graduate of Elk Grove High School, Kirkpatrick was recruited and played collegiately at Elmhurst College for current Western Michigan University coach Tim Lester who later hired Kirkpatrick to his coaching position at Syracuse University.
In his recommendation for Kirkpatrick, Lester shared:
"Chris was always a guy who could bring players together no matter where they were from," Lester said.
"He is also relentless in his pursuit to understand more about the game of football. These things are the mark of a young man destined for great things. I was fortunate to have him on my team. Obviously when a coach hires a former player, he only hires his very best and that is why Chris came with me to Syracuse after graduation at Elmhurst. He has since started a family and found his calling at the high school level."
During the interview process, Kirkpatrick impressed the committees with his commitment to teaching and mentoring the complete student-athlete.
His knowledge of the area growing up in Elk Grove and his connection to the DuKane Conference in his current role as a varsity football assistant coach are strengths he will bring to his new leadership position at Lake Park.
Kirkpatrick said in a statement:
"I am honored to be named head football coach at Lake Park High School. Our team will be excited to compete in the DuKane Conference against some of the top programs in the state of Illinois year after year. The communities that feed into Lake Park can expect the Lancer football program to develop outstanding young people on and off the field. With the season around the corner, I look forward to getting the coaching staff and student-athletes together. This will be team number 66 in Lake Park's history and I am sure our seniors are as excited as anyone to get this season kicked off."