The maximum seven coaches will be inducted into ITCCCA’s Coaches Hall-of-Fame. The coaches were voted into the Hall-of-Fame at the recent Committee meeting. They will be inducted at the annual ITCCCA Hall-of-Fame Banquet, following the Clinic on January 11, 2020. The selection meeting takes place in October each year. This year there were 40 coaches nominated.
The committee consists of 15 Hall-of-Fame coaches through Illinois. Each region of the State is represented. Each of the candidates was discussed at length with concern focusing on the three C’s – coaching record, contribution to the sports outside of coaching, and character. The committee was faced with a tough task of only selecting seven inductees. Each of the members placed a secret ballot where they were allowed to vote for seven coaches. The votes were cast and counted.
The following coaches, who have over 230 combined years of coaching experience, have been selected for this year:
Pete Brown (Lena-Winslow High School) Pete coached for Lena-Winslow for 35 years. He served as Head Boys Track & Field coach at the school with less than 250 students. His 1993 boys team won the IHSA State Runner-up trophy. And in 2013 his team placed 5th At the State Meet. Pete’s athletes won a total of 33 IHSA State medals. His 4×100 won the State Championship in 1993 and the 4×400 relay placed 2nd on 3 occasions. His teams qualified 44 relays for the State Meet. He organized and conducted all regular season, invitational, sectional, and conference meets at Lena-Winslow. He was often a clinic speaker and a guest speaker at the Illinois Principals Association Awards program. Pete is known far and wide for his voice. He uses it well to communicate to and motivate his athletes. “He knows a great deal about each track event, especially the relays.” “He had a deep and abiding passion for the welfare of his team.
Don Fredericks (Geneseo High School) Don coached at Geneseo for 32 years. He served as Head Boys & Girls Cross Country coach and Head Boys Track & Field coach. He retired in 2018. His 2016 Track & Field team won The Class AA runner-up trophy at the State Meet. They placed 4th in 2017, He coached 2 Individuals and 1 relay to State Championships. Between Track and CC, he coached athletes to All-State honors 48 times. Don’s teams won 38 conference championships and 18 Regional/Sectional titles. In 2017, he was named ITCCCA AA Track & Field coach of the year. For over 20 years he has served as scholarship chairman for the Cornbelt Running Club. And he has served as one of the organizers for the local Maple City 4 road race. Don has been “a tireless teacher, coach, volunteer, athlete, and ambassador for our sports.”
Doug Juraska (Lake Park High School) Doug has coached track & field for 38 years and has been the coach of pole vault and high jump for boys at Lake Park High School for over 20 years. He, also, served 7 years as a coach at College of DuPage and another 8 years as Head Boys coach at West Chicago High School. This past season, he coached an athlete to the State Championship in the pole vault for the 7th time. That broke the Illinois State record of 6 held by Don Slota of Bloom. He has been an integral part of Lake Park’s 5 State Championships in Track & Field. Doug has coached a total of 24 athletes to All-State medals in the pole vault and high jump. He has coached 9 men over 16′ and another 9 over 15′. Former athlete, Zach Ziemek, placed 7th in the decathlon in the 2016 Olympics. At COD, He coached 8 All–Americans in the jumps including an NJCAA National Champ. In addition, he has been a frequent presenter at clinics throughout the USA. “”He gets kids to believe” with the motto “Let yourself be great.”
Gregg Meyers (Elmwood High School) Gregg took over as Head Boys’ Cross Country Coach at Elmwood High School in 1997. Since that time his teams achieved one of the top records in the State of Illinois. His Elmwood boys have won 9 IHSA State trophies in that span, including 4 State Championships. He has, also, served as Head Boys Track & Field coach since 2007. Gregg has coached athletes to 44 All-State positions. With Gregg as coach, Elmwood has served as Sectional Cross country host for many years and, also, hosts the Elmwood Invitational. He has served on the IHSA Advisory Committee for Cross Country and has been a popular clinic speaker. “His management of his team and their excellent behavior at meets is outstanding.” “His program is a lifestyle that develops good human beings.” He will join his father, Tom, as an ITCCCA Hall-of-Famer.
Keith Peak (Hoffman Estates High School) Keith recently retired from Track & Field coaching at Hoffman Estates after serving there for 34 years. He served as the Head Girls Track & Field Coach for 14 years and served as throws coach for all 34 years. He helped coached the Hawks to a 3rd place trophy at the IHSA State Meet in 2011. His throwers have won 16 State medals, 18 Sectional championships, and 10 MSL Conference titles. Five of Coach Peak’s throwers have earned DI scholarships and one, Sam Serrano, earned All-American honors. Keith has given so much back to the sport. He has volunteered his time at the popular A-Z Throws clinics since its inception 15 years ago. He has presented numerous time at the ITCCCA Clinic. “He has a knack for getting the best out of kids on the athletic field and in life.”
Joe Sutfin (Watseka High School) Joe was a Head Coach at Watseka High School for nearly 30 years. He served at various times as the Head Cross Country, Head Boys Track & Field coach, and Head Girls Track & Field coach. During his career he coached athletes to 4 State Championships including Patty Carrell when she set the Illinois State Meet and National record in the 2-mile run. He coached Jeff Wood, discus, Jeff Stone, long jump, and Veronica Gadbois, 300 LH to State Titles. Joe’s teams won 13 Conference Championships and individuals won 52 Sectional titles. In all, 32 times his athletes earned IHSA State medals. As head coach, he hosted numerous Sectional and County meets on Watseka’s cinder track. “Coach Sutfin truly cared about each individual on the team and was always prepared and expected the best from his student athletes.”
Mark Tacchi (Glenbard South High School) Mark is in his 39th year as a coach. He has been coach of Girls Track & Field at Glenbard South since 1989. Previously, he coached at Princeton for 8 years. He has, also, serves as Girls Cross Country coach at Glenbard South. Mark’s teams have won 7 Sectional and 9 Conference Championships. He has coached athletes to IHSA State medals on 33 occasions. This includes 3 State Champions. Winning State were; Ashley Raymond in the 3200 m., Katelyn Hill in the High Hurdles, and the 4×400 m. relay. Three times his teams have placed in the top 10 at State. Mark has been a big contributor to the sports. He has hosted over 30 Conference and Sectional meets. He has served as an officer in ITCCCA for the past 6 years. He was president from 2014-16. It was Mark’s vision, influence, and organization that was behind the ITCCCA Clinic moving to the Westin Hotel, where it now draws nearly 1000 coaches. “Mark has worn, and will continue to wear, many hats as a head coach; mentor, friend, colleague, father-figure, leader, therapist, and the voice of reason.”