Brian Frank’s odometer says it all about his passion for coaching soccer.
During the boys high school season, Frank – who lives west of DeKalb and has a Rochelle mailing address – commutes all the way to Joliet West, where he is the varsity coach.
Daily treks like that will tear through a coaching stipend in short order.
Frank can lock in many more extended drives to his springtime itinerary after being named the new varsity girls coach at Rosary, where he previously served as assistant coach under Kristy Kane.
Longtime Rosary athletic director Mary Lou Kunold opted for continuity in the program after the popular Kane was let go as a teacher at Rosary and landed at the helm of rival Aurora Central Catholic.
“I just thought it would have been a better transition than to put it out there,” Kunold said. “He and Kristy worked well together, so no sense to go looking, really.”
Frank, a defender during his playing days at Downers Grove South and Western Illinois University, begins his second run as a varsity girls soccer coach after a previous stint at Immaculate Conception (now IC Catholic Prep). He also previously coached boys soccer at Willowbrook.
Frank said there is a common thread among the various teams he’s guided.
“All of my teams always have very good defenses,” said Frank, who is self-employed through his construction company. “Probably because that’s where my background comes from. We may not be some of the fanciest teams. We’re not very flashy, so we do a lot of grinding out, creating plays, creating opportunities. But there’s always defense.
“A lot of times we end up frustrating teams into making mistakes and we take advantage, and that’s how we end up winning games.”
Several Rosary players were disappointed when Kane – who went 33-10-3 with a pair of regional championships during her two seasons as Rosary’s varsity coach – was not brought back.
Frank isn’t worried about the transition or the prospect of going head-to-head with Kane’s Chargers.
“I don’t see a problem fitting in with the girls in any way, shape or form moving forward,” Frank said. “Obviously Kristy will be missed, and I wish her the best of luck.”
Frank said his familiarity with Rosary’s roster should make for an easier Year 1 with the Royals than he’s encountered at other places.
He can take heart in the presence of a pair of the area’s top players returning – DePaul-bound goalkeeper Lauren Frasca and junior scoring dynamo Quincy Kellett.
Frank also is encouraged by the program’s offseason commitment. He said a large contingent of Rosary players are participating in an indoor league in Montgomery.
“It’s nice to see, actually staying involved and being active and hopefully staying somewhat in shape and getting ready for the season that’s going to start in, what, six weeks?” Frank said. “Wow.”
Time to gas up that car.
• Jay Schwab is sports editor of the Kane County Chronicle. He can be reached at 630-845-5382 or firstname.lastname@example.org.