Oak Park and River Forest High School announced last week that Athletic Director Barry Huitema will resign from his position effective June 30th.

Huitema, who has held the AD position since 2004, has accepted the same position at Glenbard West High School in Glen Ellyn.

“The proximity from my home in Glendale Heights is the main reason I’m making the change. Glenbard West is less than 10 minutes from where I live.” said Huitema, who before arriving in Oak Park was a teacher at a Department of Defense middle school on the Yokota Air Base in Japan. “My wife teaches in Naperville, so it’s been a rough commute for the both of us.”

Huitema said he’s going to miss the relationships he’s forged at OPRF the most.

“Everyone here has been wonderful, [Superintendent/Principal] Sue Bridge especially,” he said. “It makes it that much harder to leave.”

Huitema cited bringing in more coaches associated with the school as one of his most noteworthy accomplishments.

“It’s important to have coaches that are teachers here or associated with the school in some capacity,” he said. “They tend to understand the goals and the direction of the school. And it’s better for communication purposes.”

Huitema wasn’t sure what sort of time frame the OPRF Board of Education had on finding a replacement for his position, but he was hoping it would consider Assistant Athletic Director John Stelzer.

“John is right for the job,” said Huitema of his colleague. Stelzer arrived at OPRF the same year as Huitema.

“We wish him well in his new pursuit,” said Bridge of Huitema through a press release issued by the school. “We will miss him greatly, and we thank him for the many positive contributions he has made to our athletic program over his past three years of service to our district.”

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Brad Spencer has been covering sports in and around Oak Park for more than a decade, which means the young athletes he once covered in high school are now out of college and at home living with their parents...