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Vernon Hills’ Monken steps down

01/07/2013, 6:17pm CST
By Jon Kerr

Tony Monken has resigned as Vernon Hills head coach. Cougars athletic director Brian McDonald confirmed Monken’s departure on Monday.

8/8/12 Vernon Hills Vernon Hills High School football coach, Tony Monken watches as the players go through various drills as they begin practice on Wednesday, Aug 8th. | Dan Luedert~Sun-Times Media

Tony Monken is out as coach of the Vernon Hills football team.

Cougars athletic director Brian McDonald confirmed Monken’s departure to the Pioneer Press Monday.

“Tony Monken has resigned,” McDonald said.

McDonald said Monken submitted his resignation before winter break. The school is accepting applications for the position.

“We’ve begun the search,” McDonald said. “We are looking for a great head coach for the kids and the community.”

McDonald offered no timetable for the hire.

“We’d like it to be as soon as possible,” McDonald said. “We think Vernon Hills is a terrific school and an attractive job for lots of folks, whether it be existing head coaches, or assistants with other programs.”

Monken said the decision to resign was not one made hastily.

“It had been weighing on me for a while,” Monken said Monday. “I thought about it for a few years. We all get to a point where its just time for a change. I was getting to that point.”

Monken is the only coach in Vernon Hills history. In 13 seasons, he compiled a record of 77-55. His 2010 team made it to the Class 5A quarterfinals and won 10 games, but the Cougars slipped to five wins in 2011.

Vernon Hills finished 2-7 last season, recording the program’s lowest win total since 2000, Monken’s first season.

Monken said the demands of being a head coach factored into his decision to walk away.

“There are days that being the boss is a lot harder than just going out and coaching ball,” Monken said. “Some of the other stuff that goes along with it overwhelms you and makes the job harder.”

Monken cited family concerns as another reason for his decision. His son Anthony, a senior, plays football at Libertyville. Monken has another son, Thomas, who is in fifth grade.

“I haven’t had a fall off since 1985,” Monken said. “I want to be around him (Anthony) this fall.”

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