DeBoeuf will follow in Martindale's footsteps as Prospect's boys' AD
The timing was right, albeit a bit quicker than he might have expected, for Dan DeBoeuf to take the next step in his career.
DeBoeuf, who came to Prospect High School in the fall of 2018 as the Knights' new head football coach, will now oversee all of the school's boys sports programs. He has been named to replace Tom Martindale as Prospect's boys athletic director when Martindale retires June 30.
"It's a really exciting opportunity for me," DeBoeuf said. "(Prospect) is a very special place to be and I'm excited to take the next step in my career. I just want to do the best I can in maintaining the great tradition of Prospect athletics."
DeBoeuf's career has been on a fast track since he graduated from Carthage College in 2010. It started with assistant coaching jobs at Joliet West and Round Lake before he became the head football coach at Johnsburg for three years, where he coached the Skyhawks to a 31-5 record, including going 10-1 in 2017 and reaching the Class 4A quarterfinals, a year after his team was 13-1 and finished second in Class 4A.
He was named Prospect's head football coach roughly one year ago this month and led the Knights to a 5-5 record, their first winning season and playoff berth since 2012. A special-education teacher at the school, he will remain the Knights' head football coach.
"It's always been a goal of mine to be an AD, "said the 2006 Lemont High School graduate, "and it's nice to be in a situation where I can wear a couple different hats. It was important to me to be able to stay in the classroom and to continue to coach football."
Important to Prospect was to have someone with enthusiasm and good leadership qualities to follow Martindale, who has been at the school for 20 years and has been the boys' AD at the school since 2005. Martindale is a longtime veteran coach, teacher and administrator in the Mid-Suburban League, having spent 14 years at Wheeling before landing at Prospect for the remainder of his career.
"Tom has been such a mentor for coaches and other building leaders with his balance and his vision of how to maximize the student experience," said Prospect assistant principal Frank Mirandola. "I personally have learned a lot from Tom. Dan has some big shoes to fill but he's had a chance to learn from Tom and see what Tom does and Tom is as good as they come.
"Dan does such a good job of demonstrating his leadership, and not just for the football program. He's eager to jump in and get started. He has a deep appreciation for our school and for the Mid-Suburban League."
DeBoeuf acknowledges the big job ahead of him but says he's ready for it.
"Tom is such a respected person in our school and in the community," DeBouef said. "I've learned so much from him already and I know I'll continue to learn from him. I'll just try to maintain all the things Tom has in place and the things he's built. Being able to watch him as a boss and as a colleague and how he handles himself in difficult situations, in stressful situations ... he's such a calm guy."
Mirandola is also excited to see the athletic department continue to evolve under DeBouef and second-year girls' AD Rebecca Schilz.
"It'll be good to have her working with Dan and to have the dynamic leadership and enthusiasm they both have," Mirandola said. "The two of them together will make a huge impact on our student-athletes."
DeBoeuf is also looking forward to working with Schilz, and he expects Martindale to continue to be a mentor, even in retirement.
"It's been a great learning experience so far watching and learning from Tom and Rebecca," DeBoeuf said. "I expect to lean on both of them."
DeBoeuf is pleased, as well, to inherit a solid coaching staff.
"We've got some really strong coaches here," he said, mentioning boys basketball coach John Camardella and wrestling coach Tom Whalen, among others. "It's nice to come into a situation with some really quality people."