Class of 2024

Don McKillip, Minooka


Don McKillip is a graduate of Galesburg High School and Monmouth College. He grew up in a sports minded family of 10 children raised by parents, Rich and Phyllis McKillip. He participated in several sports growing up, focusing on football and track and only wrestled one year in high school. He began his coaching career in 1980 at St. Theresa School and Dowling Catholic High School in West Des Moines, Iowa. He coached football, wrestling and track and field, but his passion for wrestling became embedded for life under the guidance of National Hall of Fame coach, Bob Darrah. He was part of a staff that had the longest dual meet win streak in Iowa history, and were the 1984 Iowa State Wrestling Champions. He moved on to Aledo High School where he was the head football coach and assistant wrestling coach for three years. Then he took a job at Marian Catholic High School in Chicago Heights where he coached football, wrestling and track and field. After two seasons, he took over the wrestling program from longtime coach, Bob Bergstrom. For 16 years, he led the Spartans to five regional titles and had 20 state qualifiers, five state placers and the school’s first-ever state champion in any sport. His teams went 265-145-2 at Marian Catholic.  He was also the head track and field coach for the boys and girls teams that produced several place-winners and three state champs. In 23 seasons of coaching wrestling, he had 42 state qualifiers, 18 place winners and three state champions. He ended his coaching and teaching career in May of 2023, spending the last 18 years at Lockport Township High School. He was a co-founder of the annual Lockport Triathlon which has over 500 students and faculty members participate in each spring. He is currently the Illinois High School and College Driver Education president and a IHSCDEA Teacher of the Year award winner. He recently retired after 42 years in education. Through those years, he coached football and track and field for 35 years, wrestling for 23 years and cross country for five years. He began officiating wrestling when his body could no longer take the day to day grind of practice and he has IWCOA Hall of Fame officials like Tom Heniff, Mike Wilkey, Dave Mathews, Greg Brooks and Jim Chaloupka to thank for helping to show him the ropes. He, alongside his traveling partner, Dion Wiley, worked through the ranks of officials to earn his first IHSA state final assignment in 2014 and he has worked either the IHSA Dual Team or Individual Finals each year since. He is an IHSA state wrestling clinician and he's also licensed to officiate volleyball, track/field and cross country. Don lives in Minooka with his wife of 41 years, Diane, also a retired teacher. They are very proud of their children, Amanda and Collin, who wrestled for him and is Grayslake North's head coach, and Collin’s wife, Jackie.