RICHMOND – The timing could not have been better for Richmond-Burton and Todd Severns.
R-B’s head girls basketball position opened in late May with a scarcity of teaching positions to go with it.
Severns offered a long and impressive coaching résumé, along with the ability to fill an available teaching opening in social science. Severns was approved by the District 157 school board Wednesday night to teach in the social science department and become head girls basketball coach.
Severns formerly worked as Woodstock’s head boys coach in 2003-04 and 2004-05 and coached and taught at several schools since then. He taught at Hampshire last year and was the sophomore boys basketball coach.
“I absolutely hope to be here for a long time,” Severns said. “My vision is to be here as long as they’ll have me and do the best job I can. I’ve admired Richmond from afar, it seemed like a gem. I never heard a negative word about it. You meet coaches who have coached there or coached against them and everything was positive. It seemed like an ideal place.”
Severns and his wife, Lisa, live in Fox Lake, about 10 miles from R-B, so he estimates his commute will be shortened by two hours each day. They have a 1 1/2-year-old son Gunnar.
Former girls coach Courtney Ludois announced she was leaving to take an assistant coaching and teaching jobs in May. R-B principal Tom Lind felt their patience paid off with the search for Ludois’ coaching replacement. Ludois’ teams were 33-22 in her two seasons.
“We had some other candidates we kind of put on hold because we wanted to find the right fit,” Lind said. “I wanted a girls basketball coach who had experience and wanted to coach, and wanted to build a winning team. I was very surprised and happy to find someone with Todd’s experience and background wanting to come to Richmond-Burton and be a part of what we do.”
Severns has coached a variety of sports, both boys and girls, in 20 yearsat the high school level. He played basketball at Highland Park and at NCAA Division III Aurora University. Over his college summer days, he frequented the Deerfield Multiplex and wound up meeting many of the Bulls players during their first run to three consecutive NBA championships. He worked on a volunteer basis with former strength coach Al Vermeil and assistant Erik Helland.
“I’ve coached at about every level,” Severns said. “This is my first time being a head [varsity] coach for girls [basketball]. I feel the more well-rounded you are, and the diversity you have with experiences, the more able you are to adapt. I consider this a real blessing. I hope to spend the rest of my career and build some relationships at Richmond.”