BRADLEY — Mike Kohl experienced firsthand how athletics can shape a student’s life while attending Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School.
The 1993 BBCHS graduate made a name for himself while playing football, basketball and baseball, as well as running track. Now, he will lead the school’s athletic programs as its new athletic director.
“I get the opportunity to give back to the program that has given me so much,” Kohl said. “I played a lot of sports here. They helped me learn and grow. That’s what I want to offer our students here.”
Kohl had been serving as the school’s interim athletic director since former athletic director Dirk Campbell was placed on administrative leave on Oct. 10 because of a sexual harassment complaint. Two weeks ago, Campbell submitted his letter of resignation, which the school board approved Monday night.
Kohl has been a physical education teacher with the school district for about 20 years. He has been the school’s assistant athletic director and head football coach for the past 10 years.
He will remain the school’s head football coach but will no longer be a physical education teacher. He will be paid $88,000 to be the school’s athletic director.
“The biggest thing for me is providing an experience for students to experience something positive outside the classroom,” Kohl said. “Sports are supposed to relieve stress and teach life lessons. I’m just excited to do this every day.”
This isn’t the first time an athletic director also has served as a head coach. BBCHS Superintendent Scott Wakeley noted it has happened at larger school districts like Lincoln Way.
“There is a model for it,” Wakeley said. “You have to make sure there is coverage and that each program is getting equally supported. Mike is going to be actively involved in everything an athletic director would be involved in outside of Friday night. There just has to be extra planning with the assistant athletic director.”
Wakeley highlighted Kohl’s interactions with students and history with the district as reasons that made him an ideal candidate for the job.
“The Kohl name is synonymous with BBCHS and BBCHS athletics,” Wakeley said. “Mike is a Boilermaker through and through. The way he runs a program and cares about all students — whether they are athletes or not — goes beyond that.”
With Kohl’s hiring, the district plans to internally hire an assistant athletic director. It also will have to hire a physical education teacher.