Mr. Hartman makes a splash as new head football coach


Source: The Chicago Suntimes

Hartman (red polo) warms up with the varsity football players before a game.

The student body cheers from the sidelines as Central runs in one more touchdown. The score is 42-14 against Proviso West. The whistle blows, signaling the end of the game and yet another win in the pocket of the football team and new Head Coach Dan Hartman.

Hartman’s impact at Central hasn’t gone unnoticed. Every year, the Chicago Bears gives out an award to nine high school football coaches, and this year, Hartman was the first recipient.

“In week one, we beat Bolingbrook, who was the number one ranked team in the state,” Hartman said. “It was such a great honor receiving this award. I’m really proud of the way the guys performed. It was definitely a direct attribute to them and the rest of the coaching staff.”

Not only did Hartman receive the title, the Bears’ team donated $1,500 to the program, and on Dec. 21, Coach Hartman is invited to Soldier Field, where he will be formally recognized.

Although Hartman is new to the Hinsdale Central scene, this isn’t his first time coaching football.

“This is my ninth year coaching, fourth as a head coach,” Hartman said.

His coaching experience ranges from Evergreen Park High School as head coach to Crown Point High School in Indiana, where he was the defensive coordinator.

“I played in college, and I was originally a Chemistry major, but when I switched to education, I got into coaching, and I’ve enjoyed it ever since,” Hartman said.

Hartman also teaches U.S. History and World Cultures at the school. Although some new teachers who coach a sport might find it grappling to balance, Hartman takes it in stride.

“My first year coaching it was a little difficult, but I’m at the point now where I’m used to it,” Hartman said. “Usually, I get all my football stuff done before school.”

Since Hartman has transitioned to his two jobs, he has time to do what he admits is the toughest part of the job, getting to know the players.

“We have about 180 people, from freshmen to senior, so I try to spend as much time as possible with each of them,” Hartman said, “but Central has always had a really good tradition, a really competitive team, and great athletes. We have really interesting characters.”

The new coach doesn’t want to just continue with traditions this year, however, he wants to make Central a top competitor.

“We sat the seniors [down] at the beginning of the year and asked them what their goals were, which were to win a conference championship,” Hartman said, “and if we win that, then it’s the playoffs, and really anything can happen there.”