St. Charles North has long known it would need to hire a new football coach this offseason, but the North Stars aren’t close to pulling the trigger on Mark Gould’s replacement just yet.
Gould, the only coach in program history, is following through on retirement plans at the end of this school year. North remains in the preliminary stages of pinpointing Gould’s replacement, North athletic director Dan Dolney said.
Dolney said this week the job posting would remain open through the IHSA football playoffs, which concludes Thanksgiving weekend. From there, school committee members made up of administrators, coaches and Dolney will begin screening the candidates, with interviews likely to begin shortly after the new year.
Dolney said he hopes to have a new coach selected by late January.
Asked what qualities the school is looking for in a new coach, Dolney said he’s hoping for somebody with a temperament that resembles Gould’s.
“I vividly remember a conversation I had with a younger coach my first summer here when I was [meeting with] coaches, and I asked him to talk about other coaches in the building,” Dolney said. “He said Mark Gould, it didn’t matter how many questions I had or anything, he was always willing to accept my phone calls and help a younger coach out, help another program out.
“I think we’re looking for that same type of person who is passionate about what they’re doing, the same sense of having compassion and being that person who really is going to be infectious with other coaches in the building and in representing St. Charles North. We’re trying to fill very big shoes with Mark leaving.”
Gould wrapped up his 12-year tenure at North with a 63-56 record. The 2012 North Stars finished with a 4-5 record, extending the program’s playoff hiatus to three seasons.
Gould has said he hopes assistant coach Jared McCall, who has run North’s offense and defense at different points of Gould’s tenure, would receive serious consideration for the job. Dolney indicated the school is open to internal and external candidates.
Dolney said keeping the posting open for a few more weeks gives potential candidates “an opportunity to look it over, and also to complete everything they’re doing” in case they are with a program that is still competing.
“Depending on how many people apply, it’s a long process sorting through all the resumes,” Dolney said. “You do have that Thanksgiving break and Christmas break to get a lot of that work done so it’s a little easier to get done than if you were in school the whole time.”
Gould, meanwhile, told the Chronicle after the season he might eventually be open to resuming his coaching career at some level, be it locally or in another area.
Wake-up call?: The lone remaining football team in the area is Aurora Christian, which welcomes Winnebago tonight in a Class 3A quarterfinal.
Surprisingly, the defending state champion Eagles had to fight off Immaculate Conception, 28-21, in a second-round matchup last week, but I wouldn’t read too much into that result. If anything, that game gave coach Don Beebe and his staff prime fodder to push the Eagles harder in practice this week.
Winnebago is a quality team, but I wouldn’t want to be in its shoes tonight. Aurora Christian remains a good bet to return to Champaign in two weeks.
Hoops around the bend: Girls basketball season is only days away and the boys season tips off the next week, leading up to Thanksgiving.
If you’re pining for some hoops insights, fear not – we’ll have a 24-page special section previewing the girls and boys prep basketball season in Friday’s Chronicle.
• Jay Schwab is sports editor of the Kane County Chronicle. He can be reached at 630-845-5382 or email@example.com.