Linebackers are vital to the success of Loyola Academy football, and more proof of that statement appeared Wednesday, Mach 15.
Loyola Athletic Director Genevieve Atwood announced Wednesday that former Ramblers and collegiate linebacker Robert “Beau” Desherow is replacing former NFL linebacker John Holecek, who recently resigned, as the head coach of the school’s elite football program.
Desherow was a coach with the program from 2004-2019, when he was named Loyola Academy’s vice president for admissions and enrollment.
“Loyola Academy football is built on tradition and a commitment to excellence, and I am honored to be selected as the next head coach,” said Desherow in a press release from Loyola Academy. He added, “This program means everything to me. I understand the history and tradition I’m stepping into, and I look forward to working with our outstanding student-athletes and coaching staff to write the next chapter.”
Loyola Academy is a prestigious football program in Illinois, especially during the last 17 years under Holecek, who stepped down in late 2022 following the Ramblers’ fourth state-championship season.
Holecek previously told The Record that one reason he felt comfortable leaving was the stable leadership within the school and football program. That includes Desherow, who was selected as head coach from a field of more than 70 candidates, the release says.
“Beau brings it all,” Holecek said in the press release. “I’ve worked with Beau for almost 20 years. He has grit, a winning mindset, and the ability to lead and develop student-athletes. Loyola Academy football is in good hands.”
Desherow, of Des Plaines, attended Loyola Academy from 1988-1992 and starred on the football team his final two years. He was an All-Catholic League linebacker who was recruited to play for the University of Tulsa before finishing his collegiate playing career at North Park University in Chicago.
Desherow was inducted into the school’s athletic hall of fame in 2016.
He returned to the football field in 2003 as part of North Park’s football staff and returned to Loyola Academy in 2004. Through 2019, Desherow coached within the program, spending of that time with the varsity defense (linebackers 2004-2009, defensive line from 2011-2019).
In the school’s hallways, Desherow — who has a master’s degree in education administration — has spent his career in leadership roles. He was the dean of students from 2006-2019.
With his wife, Danielle, Desherow has four children, all boys (James, Bobby, Luke and JP) who played on the Ramblers football team.
Since the announcement, Desherow has jumped right into his new role, already speaking with members of the football team, according to a video shared on social media by Loyola Academy football.
“You are blessed with an incredible coaching staff. We will know you, we will care for you, we will push you to be prepared,” he told the student-athletes. “We are going to work our asses off to make sure we’re putting you in the best positions to win. That’s our commitment to you. The rest is going to be up to. All I got to say, guys, is … let’s go. I hope you’re ready.”
Under Desherow’s predecessor, Holecek, Loyola Academy football has made 17 straight playoff appearances, averaged 11 wins per season (185 total wins), collected nine Chicago catholic League crowns, advanced to seven state championship games and won three state titles (2022, 2018, 2015).
He has big shoes to fill, and Atwood is confident he’s ready.
“Beau Desherow is absolutely the right person to lead our championship football program and continue the football tradition of excellence,” she said in the release. “Beau has been a leader at Loyola Academy and in the football program for two decades. His ties to the football program are extensive. … The football search committee was impressed with Beau’s understanding of our shared Jesuit mission, its significance in our football culture, and his commitment to continuing the winning tradition of our football program.”