Larkin names Jesus Gonzalez head football coach
Jesus “Zeus” Gonzalez is in as the new Larkin head football coach.
The youngest coach in school history has hit the ground running, leading summer camp for the program over the last several weeks. Gonzalez, who has spent the last four years as defensive coordinator of the varsity team, replaces Dragan Teonic, who was hired last month as head coach of South Elgin.
"I'm very excited for the opportunity," Gonzalez told the Daily Herald. "I also have to thank Dragan. The guy has been a mentor to me for the last four years. He gave me more responsibility each year to the point where I could eventually be a head coach. I'm so thankful to him and everything he helped me with. We've built a culture here the last four years and the plan is to continue with the same discipline in pursuit of our goals."
A graduate of Aurora Central Catholic High School and Aurora University, the 29-year-old Gonzalez becomes just the eighth head coach in school history.
Athletic Director Ethan Karolczak said everything the young coach has gotten he’s earned and he’s fully expected to keep the program moving forward.
"We took him because he is the perfect guy in the right spot,” he said. "Zeus is one of the hardest-working people I know, a lifelong learner. He's a real gritty person. Basically, he embodies the core values our athletic department wants to stand for. He's the perfect guy to lead our football program."
A lifelong Aurora resident, Gonzalez played high school football under Illinois High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame inductee Mike Curry. While the new coaching staff will include some holdovers, Gonzalez hinted that he’s also looking for a few more guys who share his philosophy.
"We want guys with football knowledge, of course, but you can teach someone to coach certain positions," he said. "We want people who are going to teach these kids to be great leaders and great contributors to the community.”