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 BEARS COACHING STAFF

Attack the Process
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"ATP"

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VARSITY

HEAD COACH

RON PLANZ

Coach Planz is entering his second season as Head Football Coach for the Lake Zurich Bears.  A native of Bensenville, Illinois and a 1997 graduate of Fenton High School, Coach Planz played college football at Carthage College in Kenosha, WI. Upon graduation from college, he began his coaching at the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire as a secondary coach and recruiting coordinator. During his time at Eau Claire he was able to travel overseas, serving as the defensive coordinator for the Danube Dragons in Klosterneuburg, Austria.

For the next five years, Coach Planz was the defensive coordinator and head strength coach at Manchester University in North Manchester, IN. During his time at Manchester University, he coached seven first-team all-conference players. In 2009, He left Manchester University to take a position as a defensive line coach and special teams coordinator at Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minnesota - an NCAA Division II school. Coach Planz served as the team’s defensive line coach and special teams’ coordinator. Coach Planz helped coach three All-Americans and 12 first-team all-conference players including a conference Defensive Player of the Year.

In 2014, Coach Planz was hired by Elmhurst College as their Head Football Coach. During his five seasons leading the Bluejays, Coach Planz coached 28 all-conference players, four all-region players, two All-Americans and two Academic All-Americans. 

 

Coach Planz and his wife Julia live in Lake Zurich with their 2 children Lilly and Lucas.

Named defensive coordinator in May 2017, Nicholas Summers has spent his whole 13-year coaching career with Lake Zurich High School in various roles: freshman defensive coordinator, sophomore defensive line coach, varsity defensive line coach and varsity inside linebacker’s coach. While working at LZHS he has coached in three state titles games and was a part of two conference championships. Coach Summers is a former player, varsity starter and captain for the Lake Zurich Football Program from years 2001-2004. 

After graduating from LZHS in 2005, he attended and graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Business and continued his education at Benedictine University where he obtained his Master’s in Education.  Coach Summers is a Business Education teacher at LZHS, approaching his 7th year teaching in the district. Prior to teaching at LZHS, Coach Summers worked at Fenton High School in Bensenville Illinois. Coach Summers teaches BL Consumer Education, Web Design, Computer Applications, and Advanced Computer Applications.

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VARSITY

DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR

 (Linebackers)

 

 NICK SUMMERS

VARSITY

DEFENSIVE ASSISTANT

 (Free Safeties)

 

 KEVIN DAJKA

A native of Rockton, Illinois and a 1995 graduate of Hononegah Community High School, Coach Dajka played college football at Augustana College in Rock Island, IL. During his collegiate career Dajka started as a defensive back (C, FS) for four seasons, earned CCIW All-Conference recognition 2 years and was selected by his teammates as Captain in his Junior and Senior seasons. At the completion of his collegiate career, he was the recipient of the Jerry Freck Most Inspirational Player award. Upon graduation from Augustana, he earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine.

​Coach Dajka is currently a full-time veterinarian working for the American Veterinary Medical Association and has enjoyed the opportunity to coach football over the past 15 years. Initially getting back into football with the Arlington Cowboys youth football program, Coach Dajka made the leap to the Lake Zurich Bears program in 2010.  He served in a volunteer capacity from 2010-2015, working with the Sophomore and Varsity programs. During that time, he enjoyed roles as the Sophomore Defensive Coordinator and coaching OLB with the Varsity program. 

Coach Dajka is excited to rejoin the Lake Zurich Bears during the 2020-21 season and looks forward to the opportunity to coach the Free Safety position.

Coach Bartlett Graduated from Buffalo Grove High School and played football under Head Coach Rich Roberts.  He graduated University of Iowa with BA in History and completed his master’s degree in Special Education at National Louis University.

 

 Coach Bartlett began coaching at Lake Zurich in 2008. He has had the opportunity to coach in 3 state title games.  Coach Bartlett has served many roles since joining the Lake Zurich Bear Football program.  His roles have included head sophomore, head freshman, head JV, and varsity assistant during that time. Currently he is an assistant varsity defensive coach working with the Outside linebackers.  He has been a special education teacher at Lake Zurich High School since 2007. 

Coach Bartlett has led with his wife and three children in Lake Zurich since 2006.

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VARSITY

DEFENSIVE ASSISTANT

 (Outside Linebackers)

 

 JEFF BARTLETT

VARSITY

OFFENSIVE ASSISTANT

(Tight Ends)

ALEC MALACHOWSKI

Raised in Lake Zurich, Coach Malachowski graduated from Lake Zurich High School in 2012. He attended Western Illinois University where he studied Sports Broadcasting and graduated in 2016. In 2020, Coach Malachowski earned his educator’s license and is currently teaching at Middle School South in Lake Zurich.

This is Coach Malachowski’s fourth year coaching. He began his football-coaching career on a volunteer basis at Lake Zurich in 2017. The following year, he was hired to be the quarterbacks and outside line backer’s coach on the Lake Zurich Freshman Football staff. This past summer, Coach Malachowski began coaching tight ends at the Varsity level. 

Coach Williams grew up in Woodstock IL where he attended Woodstock High School.  While in High School he was a 3-sport athlete participation in Football, Wrestling, and Track. After High School he went on to study education at Western Illinois University where he graduated in 1999.  That fall he was hired at Lake Zurich and began his coaching career with the bears.  Since 1999 Coach Williams has coached at all levels and both sides of the ball, he also has been coaching wrestling at Lake Zurich his enter career.  

He has been married to his wife Rebecca since 1999 and has two children, Bryce who is a swimmer at Sarah Lawrence College in New York, and Abigail who is a Nursing major at Bradley University in Peoria IL

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VARSITY

DEFENSIVE ASSISTANT

 (Cornerbacks)

 

 SHANE WILLIAMS

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VARSITY

DEFENSIVE ASSISTANT

 (Defensive Line)

 

 RICK ERICKSON

 

Coach Erickson is currently a Special Education Teacher at Deerfield High School.  He is a 2009 Graduate of Lake Zurich High School and went on to play baseball in college at Augustana.  Upon graduation, he started his coaching career.  He spent his first season coaching Outside Linebackers at Rock Island High School in the fall 2014 before moving back to LZHS that spring as the Varsity Pitching Coach in the baseball program.   

In the fall of 2015, Coach Erickson joined the LZHS Football Staff as well, working primarily at the Sophomore level before jumping up to Varsity to coach Outside Linebackers in 2016.  Coach Erickson continued with the Varsity Outside Linebackers for the next 3 seasons before stepping away for a season due to a new teaching job in Naperville. He returned in the fall of 2020 as the Varsity Defensive Line Coach.

Coach Erickson was also the Head Baseball Coach at LZHS and a Special Olympics Basketball Coach at Naperville Central High School.

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VARSITY

OFFENSIVE ASSISTANT

 (Running Backs)

 

 NATE BOEKHOLDER

 

Coach Nate Boekholder grew up in Mt. Morris, a rural community in northwestern Illinois. He graduated from Oregon High School in 1995. After graduation he went to Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois. There he played Division III football and was 4-year Varsity lettermen and competed as a sprinter on the Fighting Scots track team for 2 years. Upon graduation with bachelor’s degree in Physical Education, he returned to his hometown area, there he coached and taught for 1 year at Polo High School. Coach Boekholder took two years off from teaching/coaching and lived in Ypsilanti, Michigan and worked for a company that helped people who suffered from Traumatic Brain Injuries. 

In 2002, Coach Boekholder was hired by Lake Zurich Community School District as a middle school PE/Health teacher at LZMSS. He has coached football at LZHS and LZMSS wrestling every year since. He has coached multiple positions over the years on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. He is currently the Varsity running backs coach. 

VARSITY

OFFENSIVE ASSISTANT

 (Offensive Line)

 

 MATT VANACKER

 

Coach VanAcker is a graduate of Burlington Central High School in Burlington, Illinois. Following high school, he attended Northern Illinois University where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education and Health in 2012. While pursuing his degree, Coach VanAcker was fortunate to begin his coaching career with the 8th grade football team at Central Middle School in Burlington. 

After spending 4 years at the middle school level, he received an opportunity to coach the offensive and defensive lines with the frosh/soph team at his alma mater. Coach VanAcker went on to spend 2012 to 2017 primarily coaching the varsity offensive line at Central High School. His roles have also included head sophomore, head freshman, under level offensive coordinator, quarterbacks, defensive backs and special team’s coach at CHS. 

Coach VanAcker began as an offensive assistant and coaching the varsity tight ends at Lake Zurich High School in 2018. Following his first season at LZ, he now coaches the varsity offensive line.

Since 2014, Coach VanAcker has taught P.E. and Health at Cary Junior High School. He also has 8 years of experience as a wrestling coach at the middle and high school levels, 3 years of track coaching and is currently the head JV coach for the girl’s lacrosse team at Crystal Lake Central High School.

He lives in Barrington with his wife Emily, daughter Addison and will welcome a son in April of 2021. 

Coach Boyer is entering his second year with Lake Zurich as an offensive position coach. In 2019, as the quarterback’s coach, he helped guide Jack Moses to numerous accolades, including Conference Player of the Year award. This year he will work with Wide Receivers. 

Before joining the Bears, he coached Wide Receivers and Kickers at Aurora University, was the Offensive Coordinator at Midwest Prep Academy and an offensive assistant at College of DuPage. 

A native of central Illinois, Coach Boyer has a six-year-old son, Cogan.

VARSITY

OFFENSIVE ASSISTANT

 (Wide Receivers)

 

 JIM BOYER

 FRESHMAN COACHING STAFF

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HEAD FRESHMEN COACH

KELLY HENKEL 

Coach Henkel is a native of Dixon, IL.  He played high school football for 6-time state champions Sterling Newman Catholic High School where he earned two varsity letters as an offensive and defensive lineman.  He began his football coaching career in his hometown of Dixon, IL in the fall of 2008 as the head freshman coach.  He spent the next eight seasons at Plainfield East High School where he served as head freshman and head sophomore coach, earning a conference championship in 2014.  He assisted a start-up Plainfield East varsity program that made the playoffs twice in their first seven years of varsity competition.  Coach Henkel arrived in Lake Zurich in the fall of 2017 where he took over as head freshman coach, leading the team to an undefeated conference championship.  Coach Henkel is a Social Studies teacher at LZHS where he teaches geography.  Coach Henkel and his wife Christin are the proud parents of two football rabid sons, Luke and Tate.  

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ASSISTANT COACH

CHRISTIAN WOLLARD

Coach Wollard joined the Lake Zurich Football coaching staff for the 2015 season, Coach Wollard served as an Assistant Sophomore Coach for the 2015 and 2016 seasons.  Since 2016, he has been a part of the freshmen football staff.  During this time, he has been the position coach for both the Wide Receivers and Defensive Backs.

Prior to coaching at LZHS, Coach Wollard was a Head Coach and Assistant Coach for the Lake Zurich Flames-Youth Football program from 2009-2014.  

Coach Wollard recently retired as a Palatine Police Officer after a long and distinguished career.  During his career he worked in a wide variety of specialty positions.  Some of these include being a Police Consultant/Liaison for Elementary School District 15 and High School District 211, D.A.R.E. Officer, Juvenile Detective/Youth Investigator and Coordinator of the Police Department’s Teen Mentoring Program.

Coach Wollard earned a B.S. in Law Enforcement Administration and Spanish-Minor from Western Illinois University.  Christian, his wife JoAnne, and their three children have resided in Lake Zurich since 2001.

ASSISTANT COACH

PAT WALTERS

A native of Gurnee, Illinois and a 2009 graduate of Warren Township High School, Coach Walters attended and graduated Illinois State University in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in History Education and later got an endorsement in Special Education at Phoenix University and earned his master’s degree from Concordia University Chicago.  

In 2013, Coach Walters worked and coached baseball at Warren Township High School.  From 2016 to 2019, Coach Walters worked and coached baseball at Vernon Hills High school.  In 2019, Coach Walters started here at Lake Zurich High School.

This is Coach Walters 2nd year coaching football at Lake Zurich and he also coaches baseball at Lake Zurich as well.  Coach Walters is a Special Education teacher at the High School.

ASSISTANT COACH

CHRIS BARBERIS

A Native of Warrenville, IL, and a graduate of Wheaton-Warrenville South High School in 2001, Coach Barberis went on to play 1 year of football at North Central College in Naperville, IL. At North Central College, Coach Barberis majored in Elementary Education with a minor in Social Studies. 

Upon graduation, Coach Barberis was a volunteer sophomore football coach a Wheaton Warrenville South from 2007-2008. During this time, he was the Defensive Backs coach.

From 2010-2012, Coach Barberis took a teaching position in CPS. During this time, he was among a group of teachers who started a football program at the school. The team went on to win the league championship their first year and took second place the next year.

Coach Barberis joined the Lake Zurich Football staff in 2018 as a Freshmen coach. Currently, Coach Barberis is the Freshmen team defensive coordinator, Linebackers coach, and running backs coach. 

When not coaching, Coach Barberis enjoys spending time with his wife and two kids. They love coming to the games and cheering on the Lake Zurich bears!