Janesville75.8°

Elks’ football coach retires

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Dave Wedeward
June 29, 2009
— Dean Wilson has surprised a lot of people, including his wife, with the announcement of his retirement after 15 successful years as Elkhorn High School’s head football coach.

“It really took me by surprise,’’ Kathleen Wilson said Sunday night of her husband’s decision. “I didn’t know a thing about it until about a week ago.’’


While working on restructuring the athletic code and other duties, Wilson said he hinted about a month to Elkhorn superintendent Greg Wescott about possibly giving up the football job.


“He told me, ‘Nobody knows but you when the time is right.’”


Wilson then took the case to his wife.


“She kind of played the devil’s advocate. We talked about it for two or three days, and all the things I’d been missing,’’ Wilson said of the long hours spent coaching.


After that discussion, Wilson submitted his letter last Monday. It was then accepted by the school board, with the understanding that Wilson, who retired from teaching in 2007, will remain athletic director.


The football position has been posted on the Elkhorn Area School District Web site.


“I just think it’s time,’’ Wilson of the decision to leave football. “When you’re busy coaching, you don’t think about the time involved, but I’ve been thinking more and more about that lately.


“There is no health factor or anything like that involved,’’ he said. “It’s just the time to do it.’’


Wilson, a native of Freeport, Ill., and a Northern Illinois University graduate, has been on the Elkhorn staff in numerous capacities since 1970. He has been the Elks’ head football coach since 1994, having led the Elks to seven Southern Lakes Conference championships and a 92-53 record.


Elkhorn was a WIAA playoff qualifier for the 12th time under Wilson in a 5-5 season this past school year. The Elks won their last conference title under Wilson in 2007.


Now, the coach is ready for the next chapter in his life.


“I want to be out of football at least one year,’’ Wilson said. “After that, who knows? I may come back and be a freshman coach or something.


“Losing contact with the kids is one thing I’ll miss,’’ he said. “And nothing can replace the excitement of Friday night games. When you’re 66 and still excited about that, it’s a pretty neat and unbelievable thing.’’



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