JCA athletic director Mr. Dan Sharp ’74 was recently selected to the National High School Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Sharp was inducted at the 2019 NHSACA National Convention on June 26 in Bismarck, North Dakota.
Sharp, who returned to Joliet Catholic Academy as the football coach in 1997 after a four-year run as head coach at Minooka Community High School, retired as head football coach in 2016, but remains the JCA athletic director. He capped off a 39-year coaching career (the final 20 as head football coach at JCA) with a 223-69 overall mark and six state championships at Joliet Catholic.
The Hilltoppers’ second all-time leader in victories, Sharp stepped aside with a 199-51 record during his 20-year tenure. He remains the school’s leader in state championships with six (’99, ’00, ’01, ’03, ’04, ’07). He sent 47 players on to the Division-I level while averaging nearly 10 wins per season.
The NHSACA recognizes coaches not just for a season of coaching, but for their “lifetime achievements. The NHSACA recognizes numerous coaches each year during the national convention through induction into the NHSACA National Hall of Fame. Sharp was joined in this year’s Hall of Fame class with longtime friend and adversary Mr. Ken Leonard of Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin. Illinois high school coaching legends Frank Lenti (Mount Carmel, Chicago) and the late Gene Pingatore (St. Joe’s Weschester) are also members of the NHSACA Hall of Fame.
JCA principal/president Dr. Jeff Budz said, “Dan Sharp is Joliet Catholic Academy. What he’s accomplished on the field, and more importantly off the field with our student-athletes and the incredible young men he’s turned out has been outstanding. He’s been a great ambassador for JCA and continues to be as our athletic director. We congratulate Dan on his newest Hall of Fame honor.”
Sharp was joined at the ceremony by his wife Jean and his son Dan, Jr. The Sharp’s recently celebrated their fortieth wedding anniversary.