State Stories


Glenbrook North Girls Tennis Coach Peggy Holecek Named NFHS National Coach of the Year/IHSA Coaches of the Year Announced

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Glenbrook North High School girls’ tennis coach Peggy Holecek has been named the National High School Girls Tennis Coach of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). Holecek is the 16th coach in state history to win national honors (complete list) and the third in the sport of girls’ tennis.

“Coach Holecek is a positive advocate for education-based athletics,” IHSA Assistant Executive Director and tennis administrator Susie Knoblauch said. “She believes in developing both player knowledge and experience as competitors. She provides a solid coaching perspective to all student-athletes.”

Earlier this year, the IHSA staff selected the individuals listed below as the Illinois Coaches of the Year in their respective sports. Coaches of the Year are selected based on the results of the 2015-16 school year, as well as other elements such as career success, sportsmanship and contributions to the sport. State coaches of the year then complete further information for the NFHS, which a national committee reviews before selecting eight Section winners in each sport and one National winner in each sport. Illinois is located in NFHS Section 4 along with Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin.

“I am deeply grateful to the NFHS Coaches Association for selecting me as the National Coach of the Year in Girls Tennis,” Holecek (right) said. “I am honored to have been nominated by the IHSA at the state level and selected by the NFHS Coaches Association as the recipient of the award this year.”

Holecek has coached girls’ tennis at Glenbrook North since 2004 and was named the head coach in 2010. During her time with the program, the Spartans have won eight conference titles and six IHSA Sectional championships across all levels. Holecek helped coach Ali Salomone and Stephanie Heller to the IHSA Doubles State Championship in 2004, and also coached Colette and Catherine O'Regan, who placed third in 2015 and second in 2016.

Holecek’s teams are also making a difference in the community. Since 2008, they have been designing and selling pink t-shirts for Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. It has grown into a school and community event, now known simply as “GBN Goes Pink”. Nearly all the fall sports teams don the shirts for warm-ups during the week, culminating with a sea of pink attending that Friday’s home football game. The event annually raises more than $3,000 dollars, which is donated to local groups specializing in breast cancer advocacy, care, and prevention. Additionally, in her role as a broadcasting teacher, Holecek has worked with students to raise over $150,000 dollars for pediatric cancer research through an annual radiothon.

“It is with much heartfelt gratitude that I say thank you for this incredible honor,” Holecek said. “It is quite humbling to be chosen, as there are so many talented, dedicated and caring people who coach tennis.”

Holecek has also coached distance runners in the Glenbrook North track & field program since 1995, while also coaching swimming for over a decade outside the school.

2015-16 IHSA Coaches of the Year:
Badminton - Denise Hadley, Lockport Township
Baseball - Jerry Cougill, Reed-Custer
Boys Basketball - Greg Leib, Althoff Catholic
Boys Bowling - Cody Mathias, Stevenson
Boys Cross Country - John O'Malley, Sandburg
Boys Golf - Jamie King, Morton
Boys Gymnastics - Erik Bostrom, Schaumburg
Boys Soccer - Stephen Fernandes, Timothy Christian
Boys Swimming & Diving - Cindy Dell, Lake Forest
Boys Tennis - Patti Shaw, Richwoods
Boys Track & Field - Kenny Lee, Alleman
Boys Volleyball - Sue Ellen Haak, New Trier
Boys Water Polo - Luis Martinez, St. Ignatius College Prep
Football - Scott Hamilton, Tolono Unity
Girls Basketball - Tom Dooley, Central A & M
Girls Bowling - Jeff Bailey, Joliet West
Girls Cross Country - Jason Retz, St. Joseph-Ogden
Girls Golf - Mike Rusk, Decatur Eisenhower
Girls Gymnastics - Elise Ference, Fremd
Girls Soccer - Dave Underwood, Wheaton Academy
Girls Swimming & Diving - Rob Rooney, St. Charles North
Girls Tennis - Peg Holecek , Glenbrook North
Girls Track & Field - Barbara Montgomery, Southeast
Girls Volleyball - Joann Pyritz, Lyons Township
Girls Water Polo - Kendra Will, Lincoln-Way West
Softball - Ron Havelka, Downers Grove South
Dance - Marion Castillo, Eisenhower
Wrestling - Bryan Medlin, Washington

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