The search for Jim Green’s replacement as football coach at Plano High School has been narrowed to four finalists, and a recommendation for his successor will likely be submitted to the school board for its approval at its Feb. 25 meeting.
Principal Eric Benson, who has overseen the search and interview process along with athletic director Jim Schmidt and several other district staff members, said three of the four have previous head coaching experience and one of them comes from within the school district.
The finalists are former Sandwich coach Derek Avery, former Yorkville coach Chris Ferko, former Seneca coach Ryan Reade and current Plano assistant Brad Kunz.
Benson said he and Schmidt and assistant principal Laurel Mateyka did the initial screening of applicants and had interviews with 12, narrowing the field to the four finalists who were than interviewed by a larger group including two high school coaches and two additional administrators from two other district schools.
Green announced he was stepping down after 10 years last December after leading his alma mater to the playoffs in seven of his last eight seasons. His teams ended the school’s 25-year playoff drought in 2005 and then won back-to-back state championships in 2006 and 2007.
Avery coached arch-rival Sandwich from 2004-05 through the 2010-11 season, going 37-31 in seven seasons, capped by a run to the Class 4A state semifinals his final year.
Ferko, who currently serves as Minooka’s defensive coordinator, followed Bob Williams at Yorkville. He coached the Foxes for three seasons from 2002 through 2005, his teams going a combined 11-17.
Reade is the son of legendary Geneseo and Augustana coach Bob Reade, who inspired Green’s implementation of the Wing-T offense at Plano. The younger Reade was the head coach at Dixon for three seasons, going 14-16 from 2005-2008, and four seasons at Seneca, going 12-24 from 2008-2012.
He was dismissed from the Seneca job last February after being charged with DUI in Darien on Jan. 1. He later pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of reckless driving in the incident on I-55.
Kunz is from downstate Carlyle, about 30 minutes east of St. Louis. He played offensive tackle at the University of Miami (Fla.) from 2000-2004 and had a couple stints with Arena Football League 2 teams as well as British Columbia of the Canadian Football League before getting into coaching. He served on Green’s staff the past four seasons.