Written by Ken Karrson
Phillips coach McAllister named Evergreen football boss
When Evergreen Park recently lost Dan Hartman as its head football coach, athletic director Jim Soldan knew where to look for a replacement: toward the one school that administered a loss to the Mustangs in 2013.
Troy McAllister wasn’t the only man who applied for the vacant position at Evergreen; the contrary, in fact, was true. The former Phillips boss was one of 45 applicants, and Soldan stated that “a good third of those were all current head coaches.”
That was quite a change from previous personnel searches Soldan conducted. When former coach Mike Barry was hired in 2008, for example, virtually no other active head coaches showed interest.
Of course, Barry’s task was rather monumental: to lift the Mustangs out of the depths. He laid the foundation for Hartman, who guided Evergreen to three straight playoff berths during his brief tenure.
“A lot of people say, ‘People use [our school] as a stepping-stone,’” Soldan said. “But if you had told me we’d have 27 wins in three years, six of them in the playoffs, I’d have hired Dan Hartman anyway. We do get a lot of coaches that don’t stay, but that’s the way it is [at many places] today.”
McAllister could be different, however. Although a native of Canada, McAllister has sunk roots in Illinois, and he is the first Mustangs football coach since Dave LaBarbera in 2002 to be an in-state hire.