After a three month search, Loyola Academy Vice President for Athletics and Fitness Mrs. Genevieve Atwood announced on March 15 that Mr. Robert M. "Beau" Desherow '93 of Des Plaines has been named the next head football coach to lead the Ramblers.
Fresh off the 2022 IHSA 8A State Championship—the fourth in school history and third under Coach John Holecek, who announced his departure in November—all eyes were on the Wilmette school as administrators sought the right individual to lead the storied football program into a new chapter.
"Beau Desherow is absolutely the right person to lead our championship football program and continue the football tradition of excellence," says VP Atwood, who calls Desherow goal-oriented and adept at leveraging the wide-ranging talents of his players. "Beau has been a leader at Loyola Academy and in the football program for two decades. His ties to the football program are extensive: he was on the 1992 state finalist team, he is a former varsity assistant coach and head sophomore coach, and his sons have also been part of the football program in recent years. 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."
"Loyola Academy football is built on tradition and a commitment to excellence, and I am honored to be selected as the next head coach," says Desherow, who has experienced Loyola football from the perspective of a player, a coach, and a parent. "This program means everything to me," he adds. "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 has been central to the formation of Desherow, a graduate from the Class of 1993, and his four sons: James '13, Bobby '16, Luke '20, and JP '23. His wife, Danielle, is a 1993 graduate of Louise de Marillac High School, an all-girls Catholic secondary school in Northfield that merged with Loyola Academy in 1994.
Donning Loyola's distinctive maroon and gold during his Rambler days, Desherow had a stellar career at the Academy. He was a two-year starter at outside linebacker and a key contributor to the 1991 (12-1) and 1992 (12-2) Rambler football teams, which won back-to-back Chicago Catholic League (CCL) championships and made it to the IHSA state semifinals (1991) and finals (1992). Desherow was named first-team All-Chicago Catholic League as a senior and was ranked by Taylor Bell as the third best linebacker prospect in the state of Illinois. Listed in Blue Chip magazine and by Tom Lemming as one of the top college prospects in the midwest region, Desherow received a full ride to play football at the University of Tulsa (Division I). He finished his playing career at North Park University in Chicago, where he was team leader for tackles for loss and sacks. He was inducted into the Loyola Academy Athletic Hall of Fame in 2016.
Today, Desherow has nearly 20 years administrative experience at Loyola Academy. He currently serves on the school’s executive leadership team as vice president for admission and enrollment, a position he has held since 2019. Prior to that, from 2004 to 2006, he served as assistant director of admissions and, from 2006 to 2019, as assistant dean of students.
Throughout his administrative roles, Desherow has maintained a coaching career that spans nearly two decades at Loyola. His coaching tenure with the Ramblers includes the following achievements:
2004 to 2009: Varsity outside linebacker coach
2009 to 2011: Head sophomore football coach
2011 to 2019: Varsity defensive line coach
Produced an All-Conference player each year
Produced three CCL Blue Defensive players of the year
Key member of Loyola’s state championship football teams (2015, 2018)
Before arriving at Loyola in the summer of 2004, Desherow was defensive line coach at North Park University, where he produced a CCIW All-Conference player and participated in the recruitment of student-athletes.
According to VP Atwood, the appointment of Desherow as Loyola's next head football coach is the culmination of a comprehensive national search that saw over 70 hopeful candidates. "I would like to thank the football search committee led by Loyola Academy Trustee Mr. James M. "Jamie" Baisley '92," Atwood says. "The search committee worked diligently over the past three months reviewing dozens of candidates and was committed to naming a coach who would continue the football tradition that Coach John Holecek built." She added: "I would also like to thank Coach Holecek for his guidance during this process and his continued support throughout the transition."
"Beau brings it all," says Coach Holecek, who has yet to announce his next move. Holecek spent seventeen seasons and won three IHSA Class 8A state championships with the Ramblers (2015, 2018, 2022). His career at Loyola included a staggering .837 win percentage. "I’ve worked with Beau for almost twenty years. He has grit, a winning mindset, and the ability to lead and develop student-athletes. Loyola Academy football is in good hands."
Desherow, who holds a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Management and Leadership from North Park University and a Master of Education in Administration and Leadership from National Louis University, will immediately assume football duties while wrapping up the current admissions cycle for Loyola’s incoming Class of 2027. He will begin the transition into the Athletics Department in the summer.
"We extend a deep gratitude to John Holecek for his commitment to Loyola Academy’s football program, which flourished during what we can only call The Holecek Era," says Loyola Academy President Rev. Gregory J. Ostdiek, SJ. "Under the direction and leadership of Beau Desherow, Loyola’s winning tradition is poised to reach new heights. A focused and steady natural leader, Beau is well-suited to this role. We look forward to cheering for the Ramblers and Coach Desherow in the fall!"