May 27, 2024

Hampshire hires Shane Haak as head football coach

Shane Haak, the son of legendary Harvard coach Tim Haak, turned around program in Portage, Wisconsin

Hampshire athletic director Mike Sitter conducted an interview process for the Whip-Purs new football coach that had no in-house candidates.

That allowed Sitter to involve current staff members on the search committee and assist with the coaching decision.

“That was a blessing,” Sitter said. “It’s nice we were all on the same wavelength. It was unanimous who the guy was we wanted.”

Shane Haak

That coach was Shane Haak, a 2008 graduate of Harvard and son of the Hornets’ legendary football and wrestling coach Tim Haak. Shane Haak was announced Thursday as the new Whip-Purs coach, following Jake Brosman, who was hired at Plainfield South this spring.

“We looked at him individually. His football credentials on their own stood out above all other candidates.”

—  Mike Sitter, Hampshire athletic director

Shane Haak has been head coach at Portage, Wisconsin, for the past four seasons. Haak took the Warriors to the playoffs the past three years, after the team did not make the playoffs for 13 seasons.

“We have great kids here. We’ve had the opportunity to turn the program around, and we’ve been fortunate enough to qualify the last three years,” Haak said. “It’s been an enjoyable time here.”

Tim Haak retired after the 2013-14 school year at Harvard. He is a member of the Illinois Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association Hall of Fame and the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame. He retired as AD at Portage a few years ago and has worked as his son’s assistant coach in wrestling and football.

Sitter said Shane Haak stands out as a coach by himself.

“His energy levels are through the roof,” Sitter said. “The bonds he builds with his players and the community. Up in Portage, he’s on the board for the feeder program. So he meets them young and develops them all the way through high school.

“We looked at him individually. His football credentials on their own stood out above all other candidates.”

Haak has friends in the area, particularly Hampshire assistant Robert Homola, who is head boys track and field coach. Homola was an assistant on Tim Haak’s football staff at Harvard and also assisted Shane Haak when he was Woodstock North’s head wrestling coach for the 2012-13 season.

Shane Haak and his wife Cassandra have a 3-month-old daughter Charnette.

Brosman took the Whips to the Class 7A playoffs in 2021. They fell to 1-8 last season but were competitive in most games.

“It was an opportunity to come back home to northern Illinois,” Haak said. “I heard from people I knew about the community, and I felt it could be a fit. Through the interview process it solidified that more. It’s an exciting opportunity and I’m excited to be a part of it.”

Joe Stevenson

Joe Stevenson

I have worked at the Northwest Herald since January of 1989, covering everything from high school to professional sports. I mainly cover high school sports now.