Elgin football coach Dave Bierman steps down
By Gene Chamberlain For Sun-Times Media October 20, 2012 6:42PM
Updated: November 22, 2012 6:47AM
Dave Bierman says he thought seriously about stepping down as Elgin High School football coach after the 2011 season.
After a second straight 1-8 record in 2012, the former Maroons player and assistant told his team this was his final season as their head coach. Bierman made the announcement Friday night to his players following a season-ending 49-12 loss to Batavia.
“It’s hard,” Bierman said. “When you’ve poured so much of yourself into something, and been a part of Elgin football for as long as I have, whether it was playing or as an assistant coach and then the head coach, it’s not easy when you’re no longer going to be involved.”
Elgin went 1-8 in three of Bierman’s five years as coach. He finished with a 12-34 record at the school, including a 6-4 mark and a Class 7A playoff berth in 2010.
Bierman, a 1981 Elgin High grad, cited health issues as a factor in his decision.
“I need to take some time off coaching and get fixed up,” he said. “I’ve had some knee problems — never had them as a player but they come back on you.”
The big factor, though, was Elgin’s lack of roster numbers. The team had only 24 players this year and only 17 eligible in the opener against Dundee-Crown.
“It was a battle the whole time,” Bierman said. “I tried everything I could think to get the numbers up. We conduct a youth camp and hoped that might get kids interested at younger ages but it never seemed to help.
“When we made the playoffs in 2010, I thought we would see a spike in the number of kids in the program. You know, kids who might otherwise not be in it would see the chance to be with a winner. But I was surprised that didn’t even help. We had around 20 kids most of the time this year and that’s not even enough to practice with.”
Before Bierman’s 2010 team made the state playoffs, Elgin had gone eight straight seasons under four coaches with losing records.
Bierman became an assistant at Elgin under head coach Jim Hoffman after playing for the Maroons, and then playing for Northern Illinois and its 1983 California Bowl team. When his high school coach, Dick Stephens, returned in 1987 and took over the program, Bierman stayed on as an assistant until becoming head coach at Burlington Central in 1991. He had a 27-29 record at Central, then went to DeKalb and posted a 5-43 record.
After he was let go by DeKalb and served as an assistant at Geneva, Bierman became head coach at Larkin in 2005 and had a 12-16 record to go with a 2006 playoff appearance.
Bierman doubts this will be the end of his coaching career. He said he could see himself as an assistant again at the prep level.
“I was an offensive line and defensive line coach before — offensive line would be my main area,” he said. “I’m going to take some time away from coaching and get fixed up and then may get back into it.
“When you’re a head coach, a lot of times you get so involved in doing other things that you don’t get to do what you actually got into it for to begin with, and that’s to coach. I think being an assistant would be a way to get back to the teaching part.”
Bierman said being head coach at Elgin had always been a dream of his.
“I want to thank (former principal) Dave Smiley and (former athletic director) Art Rohlman for making that possible for me,” he said.