SPRINGFIELD (WCIA) — Sacred Heart-Griffin announced some new changes to their athletic department. Bob Brenneisen will become the next athletic director and John Allison is the new football head coach.

Ken Leonard announced his retirement in December. He coached at SHG for 38 years. Leonard has more than 400 career wins, the most of any high school football coach in Illinois, to go along with five state championships and three runner-up trophies.

See the full press release below:

Sacred Heart-Griffin High School Announces New Athletic Director and a New Head Football Coach

Springfield, Illinois (April 6, 2022) Sacred Heart-Griffin High School announced today, Bob Brenneisen will become the next athletic director and John Allison as the new head football coach. The announcement comes after Ken Leonard announced his retirement effective December 31, 2022.  

Bob Brenneisen started his career at SHG in 1992 as the assistant football coach. In 1998 he became the assistant principal, a position he will continue to hold in addition to athletic director. Bob has also served as SHG’s athletic liaison and IHSA official representative since 2000. “I am both grateful and honored to be the next athletic director at SHG and I thank Sr. Katherine and Mrs. Rapacz for giving me the opportunity,” said Brenneisen. “I am humbled to follow in the footsteps of Ken Leonard and Helen Dulle.  I look forward to the challenge of continuing to grow an already outstanding athletic program that also values the spiritual aspect. We make no apologies for our success and plan to continue them. I am also looking forward to working with our outstanding coaches and athletes.”

“Bob Brenneisen has been involved with Sacred Heart-Griffin athletics for nearly 25 years as a coach, administrator, parent, and spectator,” stated Kara Rapacz, Principal. “His faith centered approach to personal growth, both with students and staff, will make him an excellent athletic director for SHG.  Bob is one of SHG’s biggest supporters and we look forward to the positive impact he will have on our athletic programs,” she added.   

John Allison came to SHG during the 2003-2004 school year. Allison is currently a science teacher and offensive coordinator for the football team. While at SHG he has coached offensive line, quarterbacks, wide receivers, tight ends/full backs, and inside linebackers. John holds a degree in Biology and Pre-Med from Illinois College where he was also a 4 Year Varsity Letter Winner for football, team senior captain and All Midwest Conference in football. In addition, he has a M.S. in Education and Physics from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville and served as assistant football coach at Edwardsville High School and Granite City High School.

“I am extremely grateful to SHG for the opportunity to be the next head football coach,” said Allison. “I hope to continue to have the same kind of success that we have had on the football field, as well as leading individuals that we can be proud of in the classroom and in the community.”

Brenneisen shared, “I am personally excited that John Allison has been named our new head football coach effective at the end of the 2022 season. I have personally witnessed John’s enthusiasm for working with our players, his exceptional knowledge, and his incredible work ethic. We will greatly miss Ken Leonard’s leadership but I am convinced that John is the right person to lead our program.”

Of the announcement Ken Leonard shared, “I am happy Bob will be taking over as athletic director. We have been working hand in hand for several years and he is very up to date on all of our athletic teams and coaches.”

“I am very confident with John as the future new head football coach at SHG. John has been our offensive coordinator for several years and has been instrumental in all of our past successes. He

is one of the smartest offensive coaches in the state of Illinois. John has been very dedicated to the SHG football program for many years and will be a great head coach for years to come.”

“We are grateful to Bob Brenneisen for assuming the position of athletic director in June 2022 and John Allison for becoming head football coach in January 2023 at the retirement of Ken Leonard,” said Sister Katherine O’Connor, President. “They have both worked closely with Coach Leonard, so we anticipate a seamless transition.” 

For more information about SHG please go to www.shg.org or call 787-1595.