Dan Jones named athletic director at Hinsdale Central

Updated: June 5, 2012 5:49PM

DeKalb Athletic Director Dan Jones will be taking the same position at Hinsdale Central after his hiring was approved Monday by the District 86 School board.

“It’s a great professional jump for me,” said Jones, who just completed his 22nd year with the DeKalb district, starting in 1990 after teaching at a Chicago elementary school his first year out of college.

Hinsdale Central has nearly 2,800 students, up from the 1,600-plus at DeKalb.

“I’m gonna be a fan of some new sports, like water polo and lacrosse,” he said. “I’m going to have to learn how to administer those sports, which I’ve only seen on television before but I’m looking forward to it.”

Jones, who coached middle school wrestling and varsity football while at DeKalb, succeeded Art Rohlman as athletic director in 2005. He oversaw the move last summer to a newly-built school, which included construction of a football stadium with field turf and a track. For several decades, DeKalb rented Northern Illinois University’s Huskie Stadium for its home football games and was unable to host home meets on its track at the old building, due to inadequate facilities.

In the past few months, the school also had three of its coaches step down, volleyball coach Stephanie Gooden, girls basketball coach Ben Bates and football coach Marty Sanders.

“It’s a total coincidence,” Jones said. “The coaching openings we have, all three are for different reasons.”

He also played a key role on the committee that spearheaded the effort to have Northern Illinois host the state football championships in odd-numbered years beginning in 2013 since Illinois can no longer host them every year. Illinois State and SIU have also put in bids and the IHSA board of directors is expected to make its decision next week.

“I think Northern has a good shot (of hosting the playoffs),” said Jones, who helped collect letters of support from more than 100 athletic directors from Chicago and the suburbs.

“I think (the IHSA) would like the opportunity to bring it north for a chance to draw bigger crowds (since many of the finalists, year in and year out, come from Chicagoland).”

Jones’ last day at DeKalb will be June 29th.

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