Glenbard West's Hoder ready to 'slow down a little bit'
Tim Hoder reassessed his priorities.
After 12 seasons as Glenbard West boys basketball coach, he'll now devote much of that time to his wife, Nicole, and children Rachel, Thomas and Kathryn.
"I've enjoyed it tremendously," began Hoder, who on May 7 told returning Hilltoppers players and the next day submitted his resignation to Glenbard West principal Peter Monaghan and athletic director Joe Kain.
"I just think it'd be nice to have a little more time around the holidays to enjoy the family. The winter goes by in a blink, just like these 12 years have gone by in a blink. I just want everything to slow down a little bit," Hoder said.
He will continue as a special-education teacher at the school and plans to coach in lower levels of boys basketball and girls volleyball. Hoder also assisted in Hilltoppers boys lacrosse, following his son through the ranks as an attack.
"I always thought I would at least go through his class and then kind of evaluate the situation," Tim Hoder said of Thomas, headed to the University of Missouri. Rachel is an incoming junior at Tennessee and Kathryn in junior high in Glen Ellyn.
"I'll have two kids in college next year, I think it's a good time to have a little less responsibility around school," he said.
Since succeeding Lee Maciejewski in 2007, Hoder has coached three Daily Herald DuPage County All-Area Boys Basketball Team captains. Last season's honoree, Evan Taylor, is headed to Lehigh. Justin Pierce recently transferred to North Carolina from William & Mary. John Shurna was inducted into Northwestern's athletic hall of fame in 2017 after setting program records for scoring and blocking shots. Taylor passed Shurna and Pierce to become Glenbard West's all-time leading scorer.
Hoder has helped steer an overall athletic boom at Glenbard West. Rachel, in fact, played on the Hilltoppers' Class 4A runner-up girls volleyball team.
In addition to winning regional titles in 2008 and 2016, Hoder's 2016 team led by Pierce won the West Suburban Conference Silver Division title for the first time in 43 years, since 1973.
"That was a big highlight," said Hoder, a basketball lifer who played for his father, Tom, at Lake Park.
A 26-year coach, including eight years at Maine East and one at Ridgewood, Hoder takes pride in a Hilltoppers hoops culture that has thrived at the same time the school has fielded state-caliber football and boys volleyball programs.
"I think that's something people maybe don't realize, is that's an achievement in its own right," said Hoder, 169-162 at Glenbard West.
He acknowledged the arrival of the Glen Ellyn Titans youth program helped turn the tide, as well as the supportive Kain, a former head coach at Larkin. Hoder saluted his wife for her "understanding of all the craziness, the wins and losses," he said.
"The competing in our league, I've really enjoyed that," Hoder said. "Now, having done it awhile and seeing our (players) graduate from our program and becoming young men, and staying in touch with them, that's probably my favorite part and will be my favorite part. That's probably the thing I'm most proud of, is the kids that have gone through our program."
Over and out
Hoder is merely leaving his coaching position. Glenbard West athletic department administrative assistant Debbie Zartmann is leaving for good.
It's likely to be an emotional time for the new retiree. She graduated from Glenbard West in 1972 and has been working at the school 25 years.
The former Debbie Olson has been married 45 years to the person she dated as a senior at Glenbard West, Gregg. They'll retire to Fulton, Illinois, near Galena.
Zartmann attended College of DuPage in its early days when it was "still a little building," she said. Her studies in computer programming didn't directly lead into that field, but her way around a keyboard paid off.
"Now I work on computers every day," she said.
For a second straight season, reflecting Naperville Central's second straight state championship, Redhawks boys water polo coach Bill Salentine has been named Illinois Water Polo.net coach of the year.
Winning its 12th sectional title in 17 IHSA seasons, Naperville Central has won seven state trophies under Salentine. The Redhawks placed third in 2017. (Jeff Plackett's girls program has also earned six trophies with four runner-up finishes.)
Naperville Central (34-1) also delivered Illinois Water Polo's player of the year, senior Bender Russo, who scored 2 goals with an assist in the 8-5 championship win over Lyons Twp.
Illinois Water Polo also selected Luke Klein-Collins as a second-team all-state pick and had Jonah Klein-Collins, who made 7 saves in the title match, on its third team.
This is good mojo for the third of the Klein-Collins triplets. Seth Klein-Collins is part of Naperville Central's 3,200-meter relay that hopes to add another Class 3A all-state finish this weekend at the boys track finals in Charleston. He helped the Redhawks place ninth in 2018 as a junior.
Following the birdie
Brad Lundine's early badminton experience came in dribs and drabs.
He was a baseball player at Rockford East but batted the birdie around a bit. At Augustana at first he watched then eventually joined the group of professors and locals who floated onto campus around lunch time to play badminton.
"It's actually a pretty good sport to play with baseball," Lundine said.
Early in his career as a Glenbard East physical education and adapted PE teacher, Lundine coached baseball, one of four sports he's coached, at all levels. When he stopped coaching baseball he had more time on his hands, so Lundine revisited badminton by working out with Rams state qualifiers under former coach Mindy Kunos.
Soon he became Kunos' assistant. Four years later he inherited her job. Finally, on May 10 at the state championships at Eastern Illinois University, Lundine was recognized at Lantz Arena along with three other retiring coaches, his 18 years leading the Rams ending with singles qualifier Kat Furst's two matches in Charleston.
"I was not expecting that," Lundine said. "It was a very nice gesture by the state and in particular by John Charters from Hinsdale South."
Among Lundine's highlights, which include the 1999 football team's rise to the Class 6A semifinals "with kids I coached as sophomores," was a string of seven badminton sectional championships in eight years from 2006-13.
"That was a big blast and we were very proud of what we did there," Lundine said. "The girls were tremendous and there was an expectation -- not necessarily by me harping at them -- to work hard. And they did."
With his wife, Kris, a retired York teacher and swim and track coach, the Villa Park couple has four grown children, all of whom were active in sports and other activities at Willowbrook.
Aside from visiting his parents in Rockford, due to his feelings for Glenbard East Lundine doesn't plan on going very far. He still hopes to help in athletics and with adapted physical education, and he looks to expand into working with the Northeast DuPage Special Recreation Association (NESDRA).
He knows he'll miss the relationships created with coaches and competitors, home and away.
"It's such a cool dynamic. You get to know the other teams, their faculty and staff. Really, the camaraderie we have as badminton coaches, even though we're competitive we're all very reasonable. I have so many great relationships and I'm grateful to have had a great career. The only thing I'm leaving is a bleeding heart," Lundine said.
"Glenbard East is going to be in my heart forever."
We normally refrain from writing about coaches until they've fully committed to leaving the coaching ranks, as with Brad Lundine.
Here we make an exception with the exceptional Wheaton North boys track distance coach Jeff Potter, who is retiring from his school's English department to end a 20-year run. Potter arrived at Wheaton North after 10 years teaching in Colorado.
Fortunately for Falcons distance runners, Potter's unfailing support and good cheer will remain on staff for at least the short term. This fall he will continue to assist boys cross country coach Nate Roe, another stand-up type. For the 2020 track season Potter will transition his lead distance duties also to Roe.
Most recently under Potter's guidance the Falcons' 3,200-meter relay team of Henry Frye, Mauricio Xochitecatl ("We just call him Mauricio," Potter said at the York sectional), Kevin Boehm and John Logan ran a 13-second personal-best to qualify for this weekend's boys state track meet. Should they advance into the Class 3A finals, however, Potter will miss their race Saturday as well as senior Connor Zydek in the open 3,200 and any other Falcons finalists.
In a testament to Potter's appeal as an educator and as a person, Wheaton North's Class of 2019 elected him to deliver their commencement address on Saturday.
A Wheaton North English department and coaching colleague, the great throws coach Dan McQuaid wrote a playful appreciation of Potter, "A Gentle Man Takes a Last Lap," which he posted on the Illinois Track and Cross Country Coaches Association website. We cannot improve on McQuaid's tribute and implore you to read it.