Hess introduces 2018 coaching staff

Rantoul football head coach Tom Hess has his 2018 coaching staff set. Get to know the group that will be leading the Eagles this season:

Brett Trefren

Trefren is the latest edition to the Rantoul football staff and is the fifth legacy coach (a coach that is an alum and former player at the same school in which he is coaching) on the staff. Tefren, who will coach the offensive line, has more than 10 years of experience playing football. He played at Rantoul High School, where he made both all-conference and all-area teams as an offensive lineman. Tefren coached football at Paxton High School as the varsity wide receiver and defensive line coach and junior varsity offensive coordinator. He has been working with high school students for seven years as a youth pastor. He and his wife, Chasity, have one son, Bronson. They have another child on the way.

Ben Hankes

Hankes returns for his second year as the Eagles’ defensive coordinator. Hankes has 10 years of coaching high school football. He previously coached at Batavia High School, a 6A-7A school that won five straight conference championships, made one semifinal appearance and won a state championship. He has been married for three years to Angela Hankes and has a 2-year old son, Beau. Hankes, who also serves as the girls track and field head coach, enjoys hunting and fishing in the offseason.

Andre Taylor

Taylor, Rantoul's defensive backs coach, graduated from Rantoul Township High School in 2008 and is another of the Eagles’ legacy coaches. Taylor played football at Monmouth College, where he also ran three years of track and field. He also played one year of semi-professional ball and two years of indoor football.

Jeremy Dixon

Dixon is a class of 2001 RTHS alum. During his time at RTHS, Dixon competed in varsity football, basketball and track and field. He went on to North Park University in Chicago, where he studied secondary education, concentrating on English/Literature. During his time at North Park, Dixon became a contributing member of both the varsity football team as a wide receiver and as a multi-events competitor on the track and field team. Dixon also played several seasons of semi-pro football and arena football for the Bloomington Xtreme. Dixon lives in Rantoul with his wife, Jennifer, and their three children, Gianna, Caleia and Tahj. He coaches wide receivers and tight ends for RTHS football and multi-events for the track and field program.

Mitch Wilson

Wilson serves as assistant head coach/special teams coordinator. This is Wilson’s 12th season coaching football and sixth year coaching football at RTHS. Wilson is a 2001 graduate of RTHS and a 2005 graduate of Illinois College, where he competed in football and track and field. Wilson was a two-time MVP in track and field and an All-Midwest Conference selection in football during his time at Illinois College. Wilson has been fortunate to coach at other schools, including PBL, Edwardsville and Centralia. At each one of those schools, the varsity football teams made the IHSA playoffs, and Wilson hopes to return that same success to the RTHS gridiron. Wilson also serves as the head boys track and field coach at RTHS. Wilson and his wife, Frankie, both reside in Rantoul along with their two daughters, Maddie and Meredith.

Matt Leng

Leng enters his second year coaching the offensive line for Rantoul. Leng has been coaching high school football in Illinois for 23 years. He started his career in 1995 at Spoon River High School coaching for Larry Johnson, who is the head coach at Geneseo High School. In 1996 and 1998, Leng had the opportunity to coach with Monticello head coach Cully Welter at Ridgeview, where the team made a state quarterfinals appearance in 1997. From 1999-2000, the opportunity to coach with Brian Benning at Machesney Park Harlem led to his next 14 years at Fisher High School. From 2001-2015, Leng led Fisher to nine playoff appearances, with a conference championship and quarterfinals appearance in 2005. Ten all-state players played under Leng during that time, and several have gone on to play in college. Leng is a teacher at RTHS as well as being the Interact sponsor. He is also a member of the IHSFCA board of directors for Illinois high school football. In his spare time, he likes to cook, watch sports, exercise and play with and entertain his three children, Marin (13), Nora (9) and Benjamin (5).

Drew Sharick

Sharick, an Eagles defensive line coach, is in his second year coaching at RTHS. Sharick was a standout player at Champaign Central and went on to play college football at Ball State University. Sharick resides in Champaign with his wife Katie, and two boys, Henry (2) and Theo (6 months). Sharick is also the throwing coach for the RTHS track team.

Robert Durbin, Jr.

Durbin also serves as a defensive line coach for Rantoul. Durbin started playing Rantoul Falcon football under coach Jerry Justice as soon as he could. He played all four years at RTHS, graduating in 2006. Durbin holds an associate degree in applied science from the diesel power program at Parkland and works at Champaign Urbana Mass Transit District as a technician. Durbin is also a volunteer firefighter in Rantoul. Durbin and his wife, Alexis, have three children, Evan (13), Brylee (7) and Madden (6).

Tom Hess

Hess enters his second year as head coach and offensive coordinator of the Eagles program. He played three sports at Calaveras High School, where he still holds the school’s high jump record, in northern California. He attended College of the Siskiyous, earning an associate degree and a scholarship to Eastern Illinois University. While at EIU, Hess won conference championships in football and track and field while earning a bachelor's degree in physical education. Hess has since earned a master’s degree in human movement and is a certified strength and conditioning specialist and corrective exercise specialist. Hess also spent three years in the Arena Football League and Indoor Football League, winning two championships. Hess, who is in his 21st year coaching, began his coaching experience at Charleston High School, and his experience includes stops at Randolph Macon College, Fork Union Military Academy, Urbana and Champaign Central. Hess’ family includes his wife, Stephanie, his son, Julian, and daughter, Josie.

Categories (3):Prep Sports, Football, Sports

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