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Lemont names Bret Kooi as new football coach

LEMONT – The Lemont High School District 210 Board of Education voted Feb. 10 to hire Bret Kooi as its head football coach, according to a district news release.

Kooi, who has been an educator for nearly three decades and a head coach for two, replaces longtime coach Eric Michaelsen, who will become the school's principal July 1, the release said.

“Bret Kooi is a first class person with a tremendous amount of integrity and professionalism,” said Lemont High School Athletic Director John Young in the release. “Everyone who knows Bret has commented about his strong character and his ability to lead kids and adults. He has been a very successful head coach and knows what it takes for a program to contend for a state championship.”

In a combined 20 seasons as head coach at Joliet West High School and Lockport High School, Kooi amassed a 116-85 (.577) record and led his squads to 10 IHSA Playoff appearances, including two state titles, the release said.

Most recently, Kooi was an offensive assistant coach at Lincoln-Way North High School for the past two seasons, during which the Phoenix advanced to the IHSA Class 6A Playoffs and came in second in the Southwest Suburban Red both years, according to the release.

Kooi has worked as a teacher at Lockport since 1992 and will continue to do so as he begins his new role as head coach in Lemont, according to the release.

He holds a bachelors degree in physical education from Millikin University and a masters degree and Type 75 certificate in Administrative Education from Governors State University, the release said. Kooi was inducted into Millikin's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006.

During 12 seasons, Michaelsen's Lemont teams compiled a 106-33 record, according to the release, making nine straight playoff appearances from 2004-12, winning seven conference championships and finishing twice as the IHSA Class 6A State Runner-Up.

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