Chester High School is welcoming Bryce Bainter, formerly the Steeleville High School athletic director and varsity boys basketball coach, as the Yellow Jackets new athletic director.
Jeremy Blechle, the former CHS athletic director has left to become an assistant principal at Columbia High School in Monroe County.
Bainter, 37, was at Steeleville High School from 2012 to 2021. He says he's excited to be at Chester.
"Right now I am trying to get my feet wet," he said. "I am in my office working on schedules. School starts next week and it will be fun meeting all of the teachers, staff and students. I have already had the pleasure of getting to know some students with summer driving sessions."
Bainter will also teach driver education, which he said he'll do in the mornings. "Throughout the remainder of the day I will concentrate on athletic director duties."
Bainter was born in Macomb but went to grade school and high school in Rushville. He attended Spoon River College in Canton, Illinois and then Eureka College, playing basketball at both schools. He graduated from Western Illinois University in 2007 with a degree in Kinesiology, and earned endorsements in history, driver's education and health education.
Bainter's first teaching job was at Payson Seymour High School in Quincy, Illinois, where he was the assistant basketball coach for the varsity.
He left Payson Seymour in 2012 to take the Steeleville job.
Bainter currently lives in Steeleville with his wife Jodi and daughter Hiensley, who is almost 5. They have three dogs and the family enjoys spending time together. Bryce likes reading, outdoor activities, going to movies and involvement with numerous sports.
He has one brother, Brent, who is a principal and athletic director at a junior high in Lincoln, Illinois.