By Blake Haas
NORMAL – Normal Community High School has a new face to lead their athletics.
Nic Kearfott, who’s resume includes more than 11 years of Athletic Administration experience joins NCHS after guiding Woodstock North High School to a brand new athletic department, and more than five years at Okaw Valley High School. Kearfott replaces Mike Clark who retired at the end of last school year.
Kearfott comes to NCHS athletics after beginning his coaching career at Okaw Valley High School, in Bethany, Illinois serving as Ag Teacher, Dean of Students, Assistant Principal and Principal. In addition to his experience at Okaw Valley High School, Kearfott headed the athletic department at Woodstock North High School for seven years in addition to working in athletics at DeKalb High School.
“I grew up in El Paso so I have followed Normal Community athletics since I was in Junior High,” said Kearfott. “They have always have had a very successful and solid athletic program. When I became an athletic administrator back in 2004, it was always one of my goals to try and get back to the area so I can be around my family and have my kids around my family too.”
Kearfotts resume includes a B.S. in Agriculture Education from Illinois State University and a M.S. in Educational Administration from Eastern Illinois University says his roots into athletics started when he was in High School.
“I was a three sport athlete in High School, [I played] football. basketball and baseball. As an Athletic Administration, I started my career in 2004 at Okaw Valley High School and I was an AD [Athletic Director] for four years there.”
With being brand new to Normal, Kearfott said his first step at AD is to build chemistry with the coaches and then design a blueprint of the future moving forward.
“My goal here is to sit down and to start meeting with all of the coaches and getting to know their athletic department and obviously observe and evaluate programs as the season goes on,” added Kearfott. “Coming in right now there is not a ‘hey I’m going after this program,’ or ‘I’m going to try and fix this and that,’ so I wouldn’t say that there is a list of that. I’m just going to observe and see what is going on and then put a plan in place of how we are going to move forward from there. The athletic program has been very successful so that is on of the things that really intrigued me about the position because they have a strong rich history of athletics in all sports. The coaching staff[‘s] is great, the veteran coaches they don’t come here for a year and leave they have been here 10,15 20-plus years, so that is very intriguing and I am looking forward to learning from those coaches. Together we will try to improve the athletic program as a group.”
Kearfott added that with many different teams being successful through the years, he’s excited for what NCHS athletics has down the road.
“I think it [athletics] are only going to get better. We continue to have our coaches push kids and try to continue improve their programs that coaches will improve themselves by going to professional development opportunities and putting in strategies that best fit our kids,” said Kearfott. “We already are currently winning Regional, Sectionals and going to state tournaments in numerous sports. But, most importantly the main goal is to provide an experience to our athletes that provides them with opportunities with life long lessons and coping skills and how to deal with issues. I think we have done that and we will continue to do that.”
Kearfott comes to Normal with his wife and three boys.
Blake Haas can be reached at Blake.haas@Cumulus.com.