A District 186 hiring committee has recommended Roy Gully for the position of head football coach at Springfield High School, and the Board of Education approved the hire on Monday night.
Gully most recently consolidated two struggling high school football teams, West Prairie and Bushnell, uniting two communities as a head coach. He initiated a summer strength and conditioning program for the team and built participation from about 20 West Prairie athletes to 50 from both schools. He previously served as an assistant coach at Galesburg High School (5A).
The hiring committee noted Gully as a “player’s coach” with the ability to connect with students and families and a passion for building a program and building up students through that program. The importance he placed on academics was also a factor in his selection as a finalist.
“We were impressed by his rapport with student athletes right off the bat,” said Springfield High School Principal Mike Grossen. “His dedication and love of teaching were appealing as well. He was commuting 45 minutes from the junior high where he taught in Galesburg to coach the consolidated high school team in another town. He’s committed to the kids he teaches and coaches and sets a great example of work ethic.”
The hiring committee had representation from school administration, students and parents.
Gully will be considered for open teaching positions in accordance with the SEA contract, which will require additional board approval.
Gully is currently finishing a Master’s degree in history from Western Illinois University, where he was awarded as the most outstanding history graduate student who is also a full-time public school teacher. He played football at Joliet Junior College and University of St. Francis. He is a St. Louis native, and cited Springfield’s proximity to his hometown as helping make his decision to accept the position.