Cougars rally around coach Bill Bellecomo after heart surgery
Vernon Hills veteran football coach Bill Bellecomo will more than likely be sidelined for the rest of the season recuperating from heart valve surgery.
After several weeks of feeling less than his best, Bellecomo’s ailment was recently discovered during a visit to the doctor, the Chicago Tribune reports. In his absence, assistant coach Jason Czarnecki is set to take over for the Cougars.
After getting over the initial shock of not having Bellecomo around, Czarnecki said he sees a team that’s as focused as they’ve ever been.
“We have had two of our more-focused practices and I think the kids, in their mind, want to do everything in their power to be able to go out and make Bill proud,” Czarnecki told the Tribune. “Their love for Bill as a coach and a person has motivated them to work even harder than usual. That’s something you’ll see on the field.”
Bellecomo has led the program for the last six seasons, including directing the Cougars to the Class 5A state finals in 2016. Vernon Hills is 2-2 this season going into their Sept. 21 game against Highland Park.
Czarnecki began the season as linebackers coach and also helped out with running backs.