Joliet Catholic Academy has named Jim O’Brien as its new athletic director, replacing Dan Sharp, who announced his retirement earlier this year.
Outgoing athletic director Dan Sharp said, “Jim will bring a fresh leadership approach to JCA athletics combined with his commitment to upholding the strong traditions of Joliet Catholic. He is an alum and has children who are alums and students here. Jim understands the standard that is Joliet Catholic athletics. The important lessons that our coaches teach and the sportsmanship our athletes display will continue. The tradition of excellence along with Jim’s ingenuity will create a strong future for JCA athletics.”
O’Brien said, “These awards really exemplify who we are at JCA. Yes, of course we want to win, but sports are one of the catalysts to teaching our fine Hilltoppers and Angels how to win with dignity, how to lose with dignity, and to do it in light of our mission. I am honored to keep this great tradition growing in our Joliet community.”
O’Brien has been employed at JCA since 2016 as a Technology Infrastructure Specialist and has been coaching for close to three decades in the Joliet area starting with basketball at St. Patrick’s in Joliet. He has also coached travel baseball in the Joliet area since 2007. At JCA, O’Brien coached boys basketball and baseball and in 2018 became the head coach of the girls basketball program. In 2020, his Angels won the 2A regional title and advanced to the sweet sixteen.
“I would like to thank JCA President/Principal Dr. Jeffrey Budz, Vice Principals Dr. Bill Pender and Ms. Laura Pahl for giving me opportunity to lead this storied athletic program. Dan Sharp and the many before me have worked tirelessly for JCA. I thank all of them for their hard work and dedication,” O’Brien added. “I am honored to continue their work and keep the Victory Light shining for many years to come.”
O’Brien has been married to his wife Ann, the Director of Elementary Education at Lewis University, for 24 years. They are the proud parents of Michael (2017 JCA grad), Megan (2019 JCA grad), Daniel (junior at JCA), and John (freshman at JCA) and reside in Joliet.