When OLCHS went on a search for a new head football coach, success, experience and character topped the list of requirements. In finding new head coach Harold Blackmon, the school not only checked those boxes, but they hired a coach dedicated to building character in his players, emphasizing success in the classroom and strengthening enthusiasm within the community.
And the Spartans are very excited with the prospects for the future.
“We’re very excited to bring Coach Blackmon into the Spartan family,” Athletic Director Jeremey Cryan said. “He’s an experienced coach who focuses on building character, strong academics, and pride within the community.
“While his football pedigree speaks for itself, his vision for the Spartan football program was exactly what we were looking for in a coach. It’s an exciting time for Spartan football.”
Blackmon has quite the resume under his belt. He served as the head coach of St. Laurence from 2012-2018 and led his team to back-to-back trips to the Illinois High School Association Class 5A State Semifinals in 2015 and 2016. In 2017, he took his team to the Class 6A State Quarterfinals. Before that, he was an assistant coach at Northwestern University, Leo High School and North Park University. In addition, he played defensive back for the National Football League’s Seattle Seahawks from 2001-2003, and prior to that he played at Northwestern.
As impressive as that is, what set Blackmon apart from other candidates was the potential he sees for the football program and his common goals with the school’s vision.
“Coach [Nick] Novak has done a great job getting this program headed in the right direction,” Blackmon said. “I am trying to do my best to pick up where he left off and continue to move this program toward success both on and off the field.
“When I sat down with Mr. Cryan and Dr. [Jeana] Lietz and heard their vision, I was hooked. To have the ability to work with an outstanding group of people who have similar priorities as me is a relief. I am looking forward to leading this program and doing my part to ensure that OLCHS is indeed the choice school in the Oak Lawn Community.”