The Chester District 139 Board of Education met for its March meeting on Thursday night and voted to promote co-offensive coordinator Billy Belton as the new Chester High School football coach for the 2017-18 school year.
Belton becomes the 20th football coach in program history and replaces Jeremy Blechle - who stepped down to pursue the assistant principal/athleticdirector position at CHS.
"I'm very grateful for this opportunity," Belton said in an interview with the Herald Tribune late Thursday night. "There's so many people to thank, there's too many to name. I'm very excited and ready to get to work."
Belton is also assisting Blechle on the Yellow Jacket baseball team this season.
"Billy's been part of the program for 10 complete years now," Blechle said in a phone interview after Thursday's meeting. "He was a behind-the-scenes kind of guy.
"He was part of the creation of helping implement Coach (Bryan) Lee's offense and played a major part in what Coach (Jim) Howie and myself were able to get done."
In other news, the Chester BOE approved current Herrin softball coach Jim Kowzan as both a social studies teacher and baseball coach for the 2017-18 school year.
"I think his coaching experience and teaching experience is definitely something to be proud of and we're lucky to grab him," Blechle said of Kowzan.
In addition, the board approved recalling English teacher Mike Springston on a part-time basis, also for the 2017-18 school year. Springston was let go by the board at the end of the 2015-16 school year under a reduction in force.
See more details on the meeting in the March 24 edition of the Herald Tribune.