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SPHS grad tabbed to lead Illinois College football program

Ray DeFrisco ’98 has been selected as the new head football coach at Illinois College.

A former All-Conference linebacker at Saint Patrick, DeFrisco previously served as an associate head coach and defensive coordinator at IC.

The Jacksonville, Ill., resident said it was a dream come true to land a head coaching job in the collegiate ranks.

“It’s been my goal starting out as a college coach to become a head coach,” he said. “It’s great. I’m excited about the opportunity to put my stamp on the program and lead this group.”

DeFrisco played college football under current Shamrocks head football coach Dan Galante at North Park University. He returned to St. Pat’s in 2003 to work as an admissions director and assistant football coach.

DeFrisco has maintained his “Once a Shamrock, Always a Shamrock” mindset, and uses the lessons he learned at Belmont and Austin on a day-to-day basis.

“My experience as a student-athlete at St. Pat’s molded me into the man that I am,” DeFrisco said. “Being mentored by Coach Galante had a big impact in my life. Playing for him, it was an easy transition. I lean on him for not only advice in the game, but for advice as a man.”

The Chicago native is now focused on making the coaching change a smooth transition for his players. He takes over a team that went 5-5 a year ago and is welcoming back a handful of playmakers.

DeFrisco will make his head coaching debut on Sept. 3, when Illinois College opens its season in Terre Haute, Ind.

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