Waubonsie Valley picks Baumgartner as new coach
In Waubonsie Valley's 45-year history, only three coaches have led its football program.
Tom Baumgartner just became the fourth.
Waubonsie Valley athletic director Chris Neibch announced Tuesday that Baumgartner -- a 2000 graduate of the school and an assistant in the program for 15 years -- has been hired as the Warriors' varsity head coach to replace Paul Murphy, who is retiring after 15 years at the helm.
"To be the fourth guy, it's humbling," said Baumgartner, a 37-year-old social studies teacher. "And quite an honor."
About 50 candidates applied to follow in the footsteps of Matt Laurich, B.J. Luke and Murphy, who became the head coach the same year Baumgartner joined as an assistant. Baumgartner, who played for Luke, was the head freshman and sophomore coach and has coached running backs, defensive line and special teams on varsity.
Baumgartner met with the players on Tuesday and has been in contact with members of his staff. While nothing is finalized, Baumgartner believes he'll run the offense as head coach.
"Everyone knows this has been my dream job," said Baumgartner, who has two children with his wife, Mia. "After talking with (Neibch and principal Jason Stipp), it just seemed like a great fit."
Since its first appearance in 1989, Waubonsie Valley's qualified for the playoffs 21 times, including semifinal berths in 1992 and 2015. Last season the Warriors went 4-5 including 2-4 in the DuPage Valley Conference.
Baumgartner's dream came closer to reality when Murphy announced last off-season that he'd be retiring. With a transition that should be seamless, the Warriors will hit the ground running with their familiar new coach.
"I'm thrilled beyond belief and so grateful," Baumgartner said. "Waubonsie Valley has always been a good program, and I know we can be great."