Section: cI PAGE: 01

Date: 06/16/98

Head: Rockets' new coach has dep roots in program.


The Alan Greenberg File

* Age: 36.

* Coaching background: Graduate assistant coach at Eastern Illinois and

Arizona; assistant at McHenry (one year) and Joliet West (three years); head

coach at Joliet West (1992), Joliet Twp. (1993-95) and Glenbard West (1996-97).

* Career record as a head coach: 35-21.

Hiring a guy from the western suburbs to replace coaching legend Bob

Lombardi might appear to be a stretch for Rich East.

Until you realize, of course, that the guy grew up next to the Rockets end

zone and played for Lombardi as a senior.

"For 18 years, he's been with me every step of the way," Alan Greenberg said

of Lombardi, who served as a coaching mentor to his former player.

And now Greenberg is following in Lombardi's footsteps, having been hired

last month to replace his old coach.

Greenberg, whose parents still live in Park Forest, returns to SICA coaching

after a two-year stint at Glenbard West. Before that, he was the head coach at

Joliet Twp. (1993-'95) and Joliet West (1992).

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Though he coached at other schools, Greenberg's heart never really left his


"I've always bled green and gold," he said. "I feel like I'm part of

the tradition."

In fact, Greenberg will be the only new guy on a veteran staff that includes

former Crete-Monee head coach Mark Egofske and Bill Yarborough, who also is the

Rockets' head boys basketball coach.

"When Bob left, he said it's the best staff he's ever had," said Greenberg,

who feels fortunate to inherit such a close-knit group.

He's also thanking his lucky stars to have returning players like Richard

McNutt, The Times Defensive Player of the Year last fall as a junior.

"What a great kid," said Greenberg, who called McNutt and former Joliet star

Eric Parker (now at Tennessee) the two best players he's coached.

McNutt will be the leader of a defensive backfield that figures to be a

strength of this fall's Rockets. All four starters return, with Rocky Bounds,

Ian Thompson and Joe Travis joining McNutt.

Greenberg, who's been watching game films to get up to speed on his

personnel, also likes what he's seen of McNutt on offense.

In fact, there's very little he doesn't like about the program he first got

involved in as a water boy for then-coach George Egofske.

Just a few weeks into his new job, Greenberg said, "I feel at home."

Little wonder, considering his background.

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