Pirates Announce New Head Wrestling Coach

Jeff Keske has been named head varsity wrestling coach at Palatine High School, effective with the 2017-2018 season.

Jeff Keske has been named head varsity wrestling coach at Palatine High School, effective with the 2017-2018 season.  Keske will take over head coaching responsibilities from Dan Collins, who is stepping down after 13 years at the head of the Pirates wrestling program. 

“We are thrilled that Coach Keske will be leading our wrestling team,” said Palatine High School Principal Gary Steiger.  “Coach Keske has an enormous amount of energy and enthusiasm to share with our student-athletes.  He is well-respected by the wrestling community and knows what it takes to lead a team.  He will be a great addition to the Palatine High School athletic program.”

Currently, Keske is head freshman wrestling coach at Hoffman Estates High School, a position he has held since 2015.  He also serves as the school’s sophomore baseball coach, while teaching physical education at Fremd High School.  Previously, he taught physical education at Hoffman Estates High School from August 2015 through January 2017, and was the school’s head freshman baseball coach from 2015-2016.  Keske also taught physical education at Schaumburg High School from August 2016 through January 2017. 

During his time as the Hawks’ head freshman wrestling coach, his team recorded a third-place finish in the Mid-Suburban League Conference Tournament, as well as winning the Mather High School (Chicago) Freshmen Tournament and placing second at the Elgin Larkin Tournament.  Prior to coming to District 211, Keske was assistant varsity wrestling coach at his alma mater, Libertyville High School, from 2013-2015.  From 2012-2013, he served as assistant varsity wrestling coach at Warren Township High School (Gurnee, Ill.). From 2011-2013, Keske was a Libertyville Youth wrestling coach and a volunteer football, wrestling, and baseball coach at Vernon Hills High School. 

Keske earned his bachelor of science degree in physical education (K-12) with minor degrees in health education and driver education from Northeastern Illinois University in 2015.  He was a collegiate wrestler at Augustana College from 2005-2006, leading his team in wins and being named a Division III Top-5 ranked wrestler.  Keske also played varsity baseball at Augustana College from 2005-2006.

 




Fremd High School Names Next Head Wrestling Coach

Dan Ruettiger has been named Fremd High School’s next head wrestling coach.

Dan Ruettiger has been named Fremd High School’s next head wrestling coach.

Dan Ruettiger has been named Fremd High School’s next head wrestling coach.  Ruettiger, who will replace retiring 24-year veteran coach Ralph Cortez, has served as the Vikings’ assistant wrestling coach the past two seasons.

Ruettiger was an assistant wrestling coach and physical education teacher at Yorkville (Ill.) High School for one year (2011-2012), helping the Foxes to a second-place finish in the IHSA State Class 2A Finals and coaching three individual state medalists.  Prior to his stint at Yorkville High School, Ruettiger coached at Lockport East (Ill.) High School for a year (2010-2011) while completing his student teaching and working with three state medalists and one state champion.  In 2013, Ruettiger moved to Fremd High School, teaching physical education and serving as an assistant coach under Cortez.

“We’re excited to transition the Fremd High School wrestling program to Dan Ruettiger,” commented Principal-Elect Kurt Tenopir.  “He has some tough footsteps to follow with Ralph Cortez retiring, but Dan’s enthusiasm, energy, and love of wrestling make him the right person for this job.”

Ruettiger was a four-time state wrestling qualifier at Providence Catholic High School (New Lenox, Ill.), contributing heavily in one state title and two runner-up finishes.  He also earned FILA Cadet All-American, Fargo All-American, and Senior National All-American honors before continuing his collegiate wrestling career at Northern Illinois University.  While at NIU, he was a four-time varsity letter winner, a two-time Mid-American Conference place winner, and team captain his senior year.  He graduated from Northern Illinois University as a Scholar Baller (NCAA endorsed athlete with a 3.0 grade point average) in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education and a minor in health.




Hoffman Estates High School Athletes Honored with ‘Great Citizens Award’ for Community Service

Hoffman Estates High School wrestlers and cheerleaders visit residents at the Alden Poplar Creek Rehabilitation and Health Center on Valentine's Day.

Hoffman Estates High School wrestlers and cheerleaders visit residents at the Alden Poplar Creek Rehabilitation and Health Center on Valentine’s Day.

The Village of Hoffman Estates honored Hoffman Estates High School athletes for volunteering efforts that made an impact in their community.

The varsity wrestling and cheerleading squads from Hoffman Estates High School were presented with “Great Citizens Award” from the village on April 15. These student-athletes were nominated for this honor recognizing the time they volunteered this past Valentine’s Day with residents at the Alden Poplar Creek Rehabilitation and Health Center in Hoffman Estates.

Student wrestlers and cheerleaders spent the afternoon with residents passing out hand-crafted valentines created by local elementary students. The cheerleaders performed cheers while wrestlers serenaded residents after they crowned a king and queen at the Valentines party.

“It’s our obligation as coaches and role models to mold students into not only great athletes, but also outstanding citizens, as well,” said Tony Ganas, HEHS head wrestling coach who credits his own high school coach as influential in his instilled morals and values. “It is extremely fulfilling to see these individuals rewarded for their selfless acts.”

Both Ganas and Head Cheerleading Coach Brittany London were presented with a “Great Citizens Award” plaque. London, who is a newcomer to the athletic staff at Hoffman Estates High School, said they will remember this event for a long time.

“With new coaches on staff and a new group of student-athletes, this will be the year forever remembered as changing the face of Hoffman cheerleading,” London said.

With a state qualification under the teams’ belts, this award continues to exemplify their student-athletes’ dedication to exceed high expectations placed upon them. These varsity athletes were honored to receive such a prestigious award and are excited for new community service opportunities in the future.

Watch the video below created by the Village of Hoffman Estates covering the students’ visit to the rehabilitation center.