Johnsburg hires Casey Duval as athletic director, Eric Toussaint as new baseball coach

Duval takes over for retiring AD Dick Knar; Toussaint graduated from Johnsburg in 1989

Johnsburg AD Casey Duval and baseball coach Eric Toussaint.

Johnsburg has hired someone outside of District 12 to take over as athletic director and chose one of its own to be the new baseball coach.

Casey Duval, who has spent most of his 24 years in education at Grant and Lake Forest high schools, will assume the athletic director position starting in August. He will take over for Dick Knar, who is retiring after two years as AD.

Eric Toussaint, a 1989 Johnsburg graduate and longtime assistant basketball coach at the school, will be the new baseball coach.

A statement from District 12 read as follows: “We are thrilled to announce the appointment of Casey Duval as the new athletic director at Johnsburg High School. Casey brings a wealth of experience and a fresh perspective to our athletic programs.”

Johnsburg AD Casey Duval and baseball coach Eric Toussaint.

Duval will join a school with $9.2 million in upgrades to its athletic facilities, which are scheduled to be done in August. The Skyhawks will have turf fields and lights for all their outdoor sports, as well as new tennis courts.

“This is the opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of the Johnsburg Family,” Duval said. “I am extremely excited about the opportunities and resources that Johnsburg has to offer its students and staff. I will work diligently to uphold and promote the traditions and successes of Johnsburg. I am proud to be a Skyhawk.”

Duval began his teaching career in English at Grant and progressed to the role of Director of Activities and Athletics. Since 2021, he has worked as assistant AD at Lake Forest. He is working toward a certified master athletic administrator endorsement and is a member of the Illinois Athletic Directors Association.

Doug Duval, Casey’s father, spent most of his career as an AD, finishing at Mundelein.

“I’ve always thought Johnsburg had a great athletic history and was always in the mix for conference championships,” Duval said. “With the addition of the new facilities, it will allow us to compete at a higher level. This is a great place for me to be the head AD.

“It’s an honor. To be a part of this school with its athletic history. With [principal] Kevin [Shelton] and Dick, I’m set up to have success with the athletic program.”

Toussaint has worked as boys basketball assistant with his brother, head coach Mike Toussaint for several years. He has not coached baseball in high school, but has coached at youth levels for close to 30 years.

Toussaint wanted to lean on a couple of the best baseball minds he knows for help before he accepted the position. He will have 2019 Johnsburg graduate Ryan Linkletter on staff and Linkletter’s father Mark as a volunteer assistant.

Linkletter just finished his college career as a pitcher at Northern Illinois University.

“I love Johnsburg. I want Johnsburg to be great at everything,” Toussaint said. “I thought if I surrounded myself with the right people, we can do it.”

Toussaint does not teach in District 12, he works at Good Natured Products in Richmond.

The new all-artificial turf field also was a draw for Toussaint.

“I asked three coaches that I know to tell me why I shouldn’t take the job,” Toussaint said. “They said the main problem [for coaches] is the field maintenance, so half your problems are gone.

“We have a lot of new ideas for the field. We’ll have a sound system in the press box, we’ll have walk-up songs. It’s going to be a blast.”

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