Bellecomo’s Vernon Hills teams will look familiar
By Jon Kerr Special to The News-Sun February 4, 2013 8:38PM
Vernon Hills assistant coach Bill Bellecomo signals a play during a game on Sept. 13, 2008. Bellecomo is just the second head coach in Vernon Hills program history, replacing Tony Monken. | Annie Christie~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 6, 2013 6:10AM
VERNON HILLS — In its search for only the second football coach in school history, Vernon Hills didn’t have to look further than inside its own building.
Cougars athletic director Brian McDonald told Pioneer Press Saturday that the school has hired Bill Bellecomo as head football coach. Bellecomo was an assistant under former coach Tony Monken — who resigned in December — for 13 seasons. He was the Cougars’ offensive and defensive line coach in 2012.
“We knew we had some great internal candidates. We also looked at some great external candidates. Ultimately, Bill was the best of all,” McDonald said. “We’re excited. He’s already doing stuff, getting going.”
McDonald added that Bellecomo was officially approved by the school board Tuesday night.
Bellecomo said he does not plan to make major changes to the Cougars’ staff. Defensive coordinator Greg Stilling and offensive coordinator Corey Atwell will return this fall. He added that the team plans to stick with the triple-option offense it ran under Monken.
Bellecomo said that although he is stepping into a new position, continuity is important as the team prepares for a busy offseason.
“We’ve already been meeting and putting things together. We had our first staff meeting (Friday night),” Bellecomo said. “That’s why we had the meeting to introduce the staff to the kids. They really want to know who’s sticking around, who will be my position coach. I have a calendar ready from now through August. We are ready to roll.”
Bellecomo teaches in the English department at Vernon Hills High School and resides in Wauconda. He replaces Monken, who had a record of 77-55 — including nine playoff appearances — in 13 seasons.