Joliet Catholic Academy head football coach Dan Sharp, a 1974 graduate of Joliet Catholic High School, has retired as head football coach.
Joliet Catholic Academy, the all-time leader in state football championships with 13, has named current defensive coordinator Jake Jaworski as Sharp’s successor.
Sharp, who returned to the school as the football coach in 1997 after a four-year run as head coach at Minooka Community High School, is stepping down as head football coach but will remain the JCA athletic director. Sharp capped off a 39-year coaching career, the last 20 as head football coach at Joliet Catholic Academy, with a 223-69 overall mark and six state championships at Joliet Catholic. The Hilltoppers’ second all-time leader in victories, behind the legendary Gordie Gillespie (222 career victories) steps aside with a 199-51 record at Joliet Catholic during his 20-year tenure.
Jaworksi, a 2002 graduate of JCA, currently serves as the school’s physical education department chair and varsity baseball pitching coach. He will assume the head football coaching role effective immediately. Jaworski, who has spent eleven years on the JCA football coaching staff (the last four as defensive coordinator) was starting safety and captain on JCA’s 2000 and 2001 State Championship football teams. He also helped lead the Hilltopper baseball program to an IHSA State Championship in 2013, and an IHSBCA Summer State Championship in 2014.
JCA principal/president Dr. Jeff Budz said, “Dan Sharp is Joliet Catholic Academy. What he’s accomplished on the field, and more importantly off the field with our student-athletes and the incredible young men he’s turned out has been outstanding. He’s been a great ambassador for JCA and will continue to be moving forward as athletic director.”
Budz added on Jaworski, “Jake has been a character builder in the classroom and on the playing field throughout his eleven years at JCA. We shape the person, and not just the athlete here, and he’ll put his mark on the program in his own special way. I’m excited about his work ethic and the person he is in leading the future of our program.”
Interview requests should be sent to JCA’s Communications office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 815.741.0500, ext. 214