Don McKillip out as Lockport football coach

SHARE Don McKillip out as Lockport football coach

Lockport will have a new head football coach next season.   Athletic director Brian Goff met with coach Don McKillip on Tuesday morning and informed him he was being relieved of his duties.   “I told Don I appreciated his years as an assistant and head coach in our football program,” Goff said. “But it was time to go in a different direction.”   McKillip, 55, has been at Lockport and coaching in the football program since 2006. He was named head coach in May of 2011, following the resignation of Bret Kooi.   His 2011 team reached the second round of the Class 8A playoffs and finished 7-4. However, the Porters went 1-8 in 2012 and 3-6 this fall for an 11-18 overall record.   “I had a real good time while coaching here,” said McKillip, who teaches physical education and drivers’ education. “I wish the new coach the best of luck. Whoever is hired will have a good team to work with next season. We have some good players.”   McKillip was the football coach at Aledo in western Illinois from 1984 through ’87 before spending 18 years at Marian Catholic. He was a lower level coach or varsity assistant for 17 of those 18 years and also had stints heading the Spartans’ wrestling, boys track and girls track programs.   Lockport won consecutive Class 8A state football championships under Kooi in 2002 and 2003. The Porters had a 106-68 record in Kooi’s 17 years. Kooi served this fall on the staff of former Lockport defensive coordinator George Czart at Lincoln-Way North.   The state championships, of course, were the crown jewel of the Porters’ football program, and the school also has produced state-caliber teams in many other sports through the years.   “The tradition here is that a lot of our sports are great, and it’s no mystery, we all would like to see the football program back in that direction,” Goff said.   The position is open to candidates from inside and outside. Goff said he has yet to set a deadline for applications to reach his desk.   “I’d like to have the new coach named sooner than later,” he said. “But there always are things that need to be worked out.”   Goff said he expects current assistant coaches to oversee the offseason with the players until a new coach is hired.

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