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New McHenry AD Joel Beard will double as football coach for one season

Incoming McHenry AD Joel Beard will coach football for one season, then look for the Warriors' long-term coach.

Joel Beard’s first semester as McHenry athletic director in the fall will come with some extra duties.

McHenry principal Jeff Prickett recently announced that Beard, who is replacing retiring AD Barry Burmeister, also will assume the duties of football coach on an interim basis for the 2022 season. The District 156 school board is expected to formally approve Beard as football coach during its April 18 meeting.

Prickett feels that having the opportunity to coach will help Beard get to know the football program before he selects the next coach. Limited teaching opportunities currently available in District 156 also made it difficult to find the proper fit.

Former coach Jon Niemic resigned his position after the 2021 season after four seasons as the Warriors coach.

“This is the best option for now,” Prickett said.

Burmeister is retiring after 35 years in roles as teacher, coach and AD for McHenry. Beard has been the athletic and activities director for the School District of Beloit since 2016, overseeing 22 athletic programs at the high school and primary school levels. He has traveled to McHenry occasionally to become better acquainted with the Warriors coaches and programs for the future.

Prickett assisted Beard in interviewing coaching candidates last month, but they were unable to find a fit.

“I’m excited about it,” said Beard, who recently met with the team. “I think it is something that we’ll be OK to do for the year.”

Beard and his wife have two children and live in Loves Park. He played basketball and football at Homestead High School in Mequon, Wisconsin, before he went to NCAA Division III Wisconsin-Platteville, where he played basketball and football.

After finishing a degree in psychology, he coached in high school and eventually at the college level, including at D-I Southeast Missouri State and D-II Missouri Western. He earned his Masters degree in educational leadership from American Intercontinental University.