Matt Lynch made one of the easiest decisions of his life 10 years ago when he took over as head football coach at Marengo.
On May 5, Lynch told his players about one of his toughest decisions, that he was leaving Marengo to become the head coach at Fenton High School in Bensenville.
Lynch’s record at Marengo, 33-62 in 10 seasons, was only part of the story. The Indians were 22-10 in his last three seasons, with one Class 4A playoffs semifinal appearance and he struck a lasting bond with many of his players.
“This is a difficult decision,” Lynch said .”Every day at Marengo I get to work with some absolutely wonderful people. Over the past 10 years we’ve built relationships and we have such a supportive environment. We get to work with great kids.”
Lynch follows former Fenton coach Mark Kos who was 31-35 in seven seasons with three playoff appearances. He previously worked as an assistant coach at Fenton from 2001 to 2003.
Lynch will teach driver education and special education at Fenton, along with his coaching duties. He teaches special education at Marengo.
“I can always appreciate why he’s moving on...” Marengo athletic director Chad Olson said. “That’s the way coaches are wired; they want a new challenge and a new adventure.”
Olson is going through the process of posting the position. He said the players will follow the workout plans Lynch had in place, with help of the assistant coaches, until a replacement is hired.
Lynch’s teams only won 11 games in his first seven seasons, but the 2014 team went 5-4 and almost made the playoffs. The next year, the Indians were knocked out in the semifinals against Chicago Phillips, which won the state championship.
“That’s all about the players,” Lynch said. “I mean, it was a difficult situation at the beginning, everybody knows that. But not one time did a player complain or talk about ‘Woe is me.’ They showed up to get better and compete. It wasn’t just the semifinal team, it was the guys in 2007, in 2008, they did a lot of this in laying groundwork and foundation, and they always need to be credited. It’s all about the players.”
That Marengo semifinal team was 12-1 and won the Big Northern Conference East Division title, and tied for the second-most wins in school history.
“When you know somebody’s putting in the day-in, day-out effort that we see, it’s always great to see the reward in wins and losses,” Olson said. “He was the same man doing the same things when it was in his third year and we were struggling. He held his convictions and stayed true to himself. He treats them as adults and shows them responsibility and what it means to be a respectable human and a good citizen, as well as being a good football player.”