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Who are We?

A State Coaching Organization that is intent on representing all coaches of the state of Illinois. Founded 1928; continuous service to date. National Affiliation - (NHSACA) National High School Athletic Coaches Assoc., (NOCAD) National Association of Coaches Association Directors.   

Executive Director Column

Drew Potthoff Executive Director


Welcome to the ICA Website!

Hello Everyone,

Hopefully your winter seasons are going well and you survived the winter deep freeze in January!

 As I was putting together the winter issue of the TORCH, I was reflecting on leadership. We talk about leadership all the time in athletics. Coaches often comment, “He’s a great leader.” “We need leaders on this team.” “How can we develop leadership with our athletes?” “She is a born leader.” But what is leadership?  One of my favorite books on developing leadership is Competitive Leadership by Brian Billick, and in his book he says, “It’s not about being a perfect leader. It’s about being effective in the way you draw the best from yourself and your team.”

As coaches we have to be leaders. Whether you are the assistant freshman coach or the head varsity coach, you have a responsibility to be a positive and effective leader for your athletes and your fellow coaches. How do you become a great leader or how can you better lead your staff or team? I have not found one definitive answer to that question. What I have learned through my years as a coach and athletic administrator is that we never stop learning how to lead. We learn from our mentors, from coaches that we had as high school and collegiate players and even way back when we participated in youth sports. Seeking out the people you admire as a leader and talking with them about how they lead and inspire is an ongoing process. It can be fellow coaches, school administrators, business leaders, anyone who leads young people or adults. We need to be great leaders, inspire our athletes to be great leaders, and help them build their leadership skills. The athletes we have today will be the leaders of tomorrow!

I hope you enjoy this issue of the TORCH; we have tried to add more coaching content with every issue. We have some great articles this edition including an article about Sally Roberts, the author of “Wrestle like a Girl” that is especially inspirational! Another new venture we are embarking on with the Illinois Coaches Association is hosting, in conjunction with the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association and USA Football, the first Illinois Youth Football Summit in April.

Good luck to everyone as we head to the finish of our winter seasons. I look forward to seeing many of you at the state tournaments, clinics and all-star events. The Illinois Coaches Association is here to help you anyway we can. If you need something please do not hesitate to contact us!

Drew Potthoff


What Do We Do?     

  • Sponsorship of All Star Activities in Football and Baseball since 1975 
  •  Newsletter 'TORCH' for Coaches at least 3 times annually 
    • Contains All-Star Nomination Forms and Clinic Registration Info 
    • Contains application form for ICA Scholarship 
  • Clinics in Golf, Wrestling and Track 
  • ICA Golf Hall of Fame 
  • Awards to All State Championship Coaches 
  • Meritorious Service Awards to retired coaches upon nomination and selection. 
  • Serve the Illinois High School Association by helping in various activities. 
  • Make nominations to the IHSA for participation on Sports Advisory Committees. 
  • Offer Five $750 Scholarships Annually to High School Senior sons or daughters of members.

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2019 All Star Football Shrine Game



Derek Leonard Rochester Head Coach
Joe Ryan Sycamore Asst Coach
Sean Saylor Harvard Asst Coach
Brett Detering Anna-Jonesboro Asst Coach
Brian Hassett Streator Asst Coach
Kevin Greene Salem Asst Coach



Alan Thorson Morris Head Coach
Ben Hammer Rock Island Asst Coach
Jason Bachman Eureka Asst Coach
Elliott Craig Cuba- North Fulton Asst Coach
Toby Vallas Farmington Asst Coach
Darrell Crouch Washington Asst Coach

Jodi Schoeck Awarded NHSACA 2018 Golf COTY


Dan Sharp   Joliet (Catholic Academy)High School

Ken Leonard    Springfield (Sacred Heart-Griffin) High School


Rich Montgomery, Athletic Director, Rock Falls High School

Neil Alexander, Boys Basketball, Lincoln Community High School

LeRoy Milsap, Boys Track & Field, Cahokia High School

Dan Iverson, Girls Cross Country, Naperville North High School

Mike Bare, Soccer, Peoria Notre Dame High School

Donna Dulle, Volleyball, Mt. Pulaski High School

Mike Hahn, Wrestling, Glenbard North High School

 Eight finalists from across the nation, in nineteen recognized sports categories will be honored during the National Coach of the Year Awards Banquet which will take place at the NHSACA’s national convention in Sioux Falls, South Dakota on the evening of June 27, 2018. The highlight of the banquet will be the naming of the NHSACA national coach of the year in nineteen recognized sports categories.

All Illinois coaches were nominated for this national honor by the Illinois Coaches Association. The selection is based on longevity, service to high school athletics, honors, championship years, and winning percentage. The nominees and finalists are evaluated by experts in the field of coaching using a sport-specific rubrics to assign points in each category.

 NHSACA is the oldest coaches association in the nation formed by coaches, for coaches, and has been recognizing national coaches of the year since 1978. 

Coaches Corner Article

Wearable Technologies Playing an Increasing Role in Athlete Performance Assessment

Article submitted by:
Ken Jakalski, Boys Track Coach at Lisle High School. 


Rockford East High School

Head Volleyball Coach
Gary D Griffin CAA | Athletic Director/Head Football Coach

2929 Charles St.| Rockford, Illinois 61108
P: 815-489-7368 

Resurrection High School

  • Head Girls Volleyball Coach
  • Assistant Varsity Soccer Coach
  • Girls Basketball Varsity Assistant
  • Candidates can send a resume, cover letter, and 3 references.  Email to

Eddie Kane, M.Ed / CMAA | Athletic Director

Resurrection College Prep High School


  •  Girls JV Lacrosse Coach for 2018-19.

Interested candidates can email a resume and letter of interest to Athletic Director Andrew Lambert –

ASEP Certification or an ISBE license is required for employment.

  •  Head Softball Coach for the 2019 season.  We have instructional aide positions available.  Interested candidates should apply at the following link:

  • Assistant boys lacrosse coach for the 2019 season. We have instructional aide positions available. Interested candidates should apply at the following link:



Applicant must be ASEP certified or hold a valid Illinois Teaching License or Substitute License. If interested please send email or letter of interest to Kevin Kunkel, Activities Director, Pecatonica High School


Applicant must be ASEP certified or hold a valid Illinois Teaching License or Substitute License. If interested please send email or letter of interest to Kevin Kunkel, Activities Director, Pecatonica High School





Plans for the Future

  • To Expand All Star Competition to include other sports 
  • Continue on-going professional relationship with existing coaches groups throughout the state and nation 
  • Improve opportunities for all athletes and coaches throughout Illinois 
  • Continue expansion of Awards Program to honor deserving coaches and athletes 

Serving All Coaches in All Sports


Twitter: ICA_Illinois

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ICA Student Scholarship

For the twenty-third year that the ICA has scholarships available to a son or daughter of a member.  Students compete for one of five $750 scholarships every year.

Students application process includes an essay, academic standing and recommendations by school personnel. The screening process is handled by the ICA Board of Directors.

Application Deadline is April 5, 2019

ICA Representatives Enjoy NHSACA Conference This Summer in Souix Falls

ICA Class of 2018 NHSACA Hall of Fame Inductees

Gene Pingatore  Westchester St. Joeseph HS Boys Basketball

Jerry Cougill Retired Baseball

Henry Johnson Accepts HOF Award for Jerry Cougill

Henry Johnson accepting the HOF Award for Jerry Cougill

Drew Potthoff Accepts HOF Award for Gene Pingatore

Drew Potthoff accepting the HOF Award for Gene Pingatore


Congratulations to the 2018 ICA Golf Coaches Hall of Fame!

Rich Gordon, Jack Halpin, John Hamann, Jess Kruger, Daniel Polites

2018 ICA Golf Hall of Fame Inductees

Illinois Coaches Association Sponsors

Interested in becoming a sponsor of Illinois Coaches Association? Contact Us!