Is it football season yet?

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By Brad Spencer

Sports Editor

It's baseball season, so let's talk football. The Bulls are in the playoffs, so let's talk football. The Blackhawks barely slipped into the playoffs as well, so let's talk football. Manny Ramirez, Barry Bonds, Tiger Woods — all recent newsmakers, so let's talk football. The NFL is deadlocked, so let's talk local football.

New OPRF football head coach John R. Hoerster has picked his staff. Offensive coordinator duties will go to him, while the defense will be run by a familiar face in Tim Hasso, who has been a coach at the school for quite some time. Hasso is also the brother-in-law of Jim Nudera, who stepped down after 12 seasons as head football coach at OPRF in the fall. Hasso was the defensive coordinator for the Huskies this school year when they finished 2-7 overall and 0-6 in the West Suburban (Silver) Conference.

Another familiar face that will grace the sidelines next season is Al Allen, the former head basketball coach at OPRF. Allen, who suffered a stroke in December but has since recovered, has served as a coach in the football program for several years. He'll continue working with the linemen.

Others on the staff include Jason Kradman (wide receivers), Paul Collins (defensive line), and Todd Black (running backs), also a longtime coach in several capacities at OPRF. Black played for the Bears as a replacement player during the 1987 players strike.

Hoerster picked all the coaches himself.

"They are all outstanding men, with vast football knowledge and tremendous passion for the game," he said.

Hoerster seems reluctant to reveal any possible offensive or defensive styles we might see next fall. "On offense we will focus on playing with confidence and fearlessness, flying around the field, getting the athletes the football and playing as a team," he wrote in an email when the question was broached last week. "On defense, we will focus on playing with confidence and fearlessness, flying to the football, tackling and playing as a team."

Opponents, beware the confidence and fearlessness coming your way.

The former Mount Carmel assistant coach did get specific about his personal life. For the last two years he has lived in Oak Park with his wife Margaret and daughters Maisie Jane, 3, and Claire, 1, along with family pets Otis (dog) and Scout (cat). He's set to complete a master's program at Dominican University by next fall. His sister Regan, who owns Village Pilates, has lived in town for five years.

Hoerster doesn't spend much time watching the NFL, but loves college football, most notably the Dayton Flyers (his alma mater), the Wisconsin Badgers, the Northwestern Wildcats and the Oregon Ducks. "I also root for any team a former player of mine is playing on," he said.

He'd rather sit in the bleachers at Wrigley than U.S. Cellular (who wouldn't?).

"I can't wait for the season to start," said Hoerster, who also calls his new job the best in Illinois.

Excited for football yet? I am.


Reader Comments

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Comment Policy

Tom Donlan  

Posted: April 18th, 2011 3:26 PM

I have clearly stated my name since some comments could have been viewed as coming from me. Neither me nor my son support any of the comments being made about Coach Hasso and Coach Collins. Both Tim and Paul were very supportive of Joe in what was a challenging season due to his injury. We strongly support both of them as football coaches at OPRF. I think I speak for the majority of the parents when I say that the school has selected a new coach so lets allow him to run the program!


Posted: April 16th, 2011 2:57 PM

If anyone is wondering the John below is NOT John Callahan

current huskie player  

Posted: April 16th, 2011 2:31 PM

For GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT.... As a current senior player this year i dont think you should be referencing that other teamates did not like this player. Even though last season wasnt the best, there is no need for that at all. All im saying is you dont talk about a former teamate like that. Thats BS... If you really despise and feel this poorly about this so called "hot head" why dont you just tell him to his face how you really feel. He definately should have been a captian. great kid.

Brad from Oak Park  

Posted: April 16th, 2011 2:23 PM

We also don't know who agreed or agreed get your fact's straight is, which is fine. But neither side should make accusations at the other, if they don't actually know who the other person is. It is nice to see that people are so concerned over the football program is Oak Park however. But lets not get crazy in April. I wish Oak Park luck.

Brad from Oak Park  

Posted: April 16th, 2011 1:48 PM

As a former player I find these arguments of poor taste. However the current player who is whose calling out a former player is not cool. But I think it is wrong to attack these two assistant coaches, who I have played under. They both work very hard at their jobs and do not deserve this. This argument is pointless. The town should not be divided over a football team, it should be united.

Agreed Get your facts straight  

Posted: April 16th, 2011 11:18 AM

Agreed, Black and Allen were coaches 2 yrs ago during our short playoff run, but did u forget who ran the defense that almost shutt down the potent (and to-be state champions) Maine South? Oh yeah thats right, Hasso.

Huskies Fan from oak park  

Posted: April 16th, 2011 11:02 AM

Collins & Hasso were definitely not the problem over the past years. They were coaching under Nudera - that's who was calling the plays - literally. Hoerster obviously came into the program & saw that these two coaches know the game, have great coaching strategies, relate very well to the boys & want to have a successful, positive season!


Posted: April 15th, 2011 11:59 PM

My son will be playing college football next season, and was a 20 game starter on varsity, John from Oak Park. Keep your vulgar language directed towards children, more importantly, my children, out of these blogs. My other son is also a fine football player.


Posted: April 15th, 2011 11:56 PM

Tim Hasso is the head coach of one of the best Track teams in the state. When he took the team over, it was in complete disarray. Paul Collins is a head assistant on one of the best Wrestling teams in the state, recent state champ. They both coach football. The football team has not been good . Of all of the coaches on the staff, why would you Think they would be the problem? Those who think they are the problem truly don't know what they are talking about.

Outsider looking in  

Posted: April 15th, 2011 3:30 PM

Everyone is talking about playoff team 2 years ago. Why and how is the staff so different?

john from oak park  

Posted: April 15th, 2011 1:08 PM

agreed, sorry your son doesn't know how to make gatorade correctly. I would of thought you're older son would have taught him well.


Posted: April 14th, 2011 10:27 PM

I could go on for hours about the great integrity and coaching styles that those two men have. Like mentioned, they are the only two coaches returning from the playoff team two years ago. They are the finest around. They are stand up, no nonsense gentlemen. However they are genuine men, and they care a lot about the players. Great job keeping them on the staff. Because I think we all believe our friends at morton were also interested in reuniting. Good luck Oak Park and great article Brad!


Posted: April 14th, 2011 10:15 PM

during the period after Nudera was fired. They treated my other son who was one of the better players terribly. My son does not have an ego, and felt very betrayed by these two men. This is not Brad Spencer's fault for reporting this however. To answer your question their are very few if any open spots at OPRF.Hoerster doesn't even have a teaching position. I do not believe he had a choice, for if he did, he would never chose those two men. Mr Allen and Mr Black are fine men and coaches however


Posted: April 14th, 2011 10:10 PM

Both hasso and collins are unfit to be varsity coaches. Collins is a hothead and his lack of football knowledge is evident. He treated several players who would've died for him very poorly last season. Hasso comes off as a "players coach" but he is very quick to throw players under the bus. By the end of the season, very few players could stand him. I still have a son in the program so i'm going to leave my name blank, but I have personally expressed concerns to the face of the athletic director

.Friday Night Lights from Oak Park, Il  

Posted: April 14th, 2011 7:26 PM

Brad Spencer says "Hoerster picked all the coaches himself." Are we to believe that Hoester A Catholic league guy has made no business contacts through the years. Are we to believe Coach Hoester searched his football contact list looking for a Defensive Coordinator and Tim Hasso's name popped up. Mr. Stelzer since you hired this guy is there any reason he is not capable of choosing his own staff? I might by it if he brought back a couple of last years coaches, But the whole staff? Shame on you.


Posted: April 14th, 2011 4:20 PM

Good luck Oak Park! Last season was very disappointing with the team we had returning and the players we lost. But their should be reason to be optimistic, and the best days are ahead of you. You do have some huge holes to fill: Tony Stapleton-Butler, Brad Oxnevad-Northwood,Ben Carbery-Yale,Joe Donlan-Miami (OH), and Zach Draus-Beloit.OL Carbery and Oxnevad being three year starters, and the offensive line should be an area of focus.

OPRF player 2010 Grad  

Posted: April 13th, 2011 6:15 PM

Agreed great article Brad. I agree that Allen and Black are fine coaches who have great knowledge and passion for the game. I also agree that a few of the other assistant coaches would be better for the lower levels. Or just stick to other sports.

Former Player 2011 Grad  

Posted: April 13th, 2011 12:09 PM

Great article Brad! As a former player I who is still a minor I would like to add that Black is a great addition to the program. Black along with Allen, are the only two coaches remaining from the playoff team two years ago. I really would've liked that Hoerster take a few new coaches from different programs. Some of the assistant coaches from last year were inexperienced, and more fitting for the lower levels. Good luck Oak Park!

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