‘Selfless leader’

Athletic director Bob Tyrell retires after long run of unprecedented success in MCHS sports


Athletic director Bob Tyrell helps prepare ceremonies for Senior Night at the boys track and field meet on May 2. Tyrell is retiring this year after working at MCHS since 1995.

“During my time here as a student at MCHS, it felt that Coach T was at every single athletic event! I sometimes felt like there were multiple Coach Tyrells because of how much he was at. It was nice to see how invested he was in MCHS,” Kevin Cain, former head basketball coach, said.

Ever since 2005, MCHS has had a familiar face as athletic director. Bob Tyrell is retiring this year after working at Minooka since 1995. Tyrell was known for his time at Minooka for being hard working, supportive, and kind.



His entire life has centered around sports and kids.

Tyrell grew up in Joliet and attended Joliet Catholic High School. He grew up in a crowded house with 9 other siblings.

As a kid, Tyrell played defensive back in football. He played third base and middle infield in baseball, and he also played basketball.

His first job in education was as an industrial arts (drafting) teacher at Rock Island Alleman High School.

He later moved on to work at Channahon Junior high. He decided to come teach at MCHS in 1995 and later became the dean.

In the summer of 2005, he became the athletic director of MCHS, and ever since MCHS has been a dominant sports school, winning four state championships.

Tyrell has made many close friends in his time at MCHS, including head boys golf and baseball coach Jeff Petrovic.

 “I started my coaching career here at Minooka in 1998 with Coach Tyrell. We coached the freshman baseball team together. We have been really good friends since, and he is one of the best guys around!’ Petrovic said.


Tyrell is a hard worker who is passionate about his job.  Most days he arrives at his office at Central Campus at 7 a.m. and doesn’t leave till around 5 p.m. and sometimes even 9 on days with sporting events.  

“Coach Tyrell always made time to help out with whatever the boys track team needed,” said Nick Lundin, head boys track coach. “He has helped our sports programs at MCHS become some of the best in the state of Illinois since he became the A.D. and deserves a ton of credit!” 

Tyrell made sure he gave every athlete and coach a chance. 

“He cares about each and every student athlete and all Minooka High School sports,” head boys soccer coach Nate Spriggs said.

When Tyrell is looking to hire new coaches, he said he first looks to see if they work with the kids well.

Tyrell is also known by many to be a professional in tough situations. 

Many years ago, coach Matt Thomas and Tyrell had a situation where an athlete did something to get into trouble. 

“I raised my voice and asked the kid why he wouldn’t just confess if everyone else was saying he did this. Looking back, I really wish I had approached it differently,” Thomas said. 

Tyrell, however, remained calm throughout the whole thing. 

“He was a great model for how a professional should act in those situations,” Thomas said.

Ms. Jeri Brockett, the athletic department administrative assistant, is also retiring this year after working at that position for more than two decades. She was the first one Tyrell called when he go the A.D. job in 2005. 

I’ve found him to really help me out with my temper and everything because I’m a real competitive person,” Brockett said. “And what comes with that – you’re more excitable, and he has a way of calming me down before I get into trouble.”


If success under his leadership is pointed out, Tyrell is quick to turn the credit to others.

Minooka has been a dominant sports program since Tyrell became the athletic director in 2005.

While he has been the athletic director, Minooka has won state championships in boys wrestling (2010), softball (2013), girls cross country (2015), and boys bowling (2022). 

With all of the success, Tyrell still gave all of his credit to the amazing coaches and players at MCHS. 

“He has been so loyal to Minooka High School and all the student athletes here as well as all the coaches. He would do anything for anyone and not want any credit. He has been a truly selfless leader here for many years,” said Petrovic.

When asked why Minooka has had so much success in sports, Tyrell gave all the credit to coaches and athletes. He talked about a great memory of the boys wrestling team winning the first team championship in school history, and he gave all the credit to the coaches and athletes that helped them win it.

“I’ve seen our sport’s teams really thrive off of his leadership. He has been the type of quiet leader to take the reins in a way that benefits the programs,” Ms. Hillary Holden, activities director, said.

Tyrell said he tries to be at every MCHS sporting event.  He feels it’s important to be visible to the athletes and coaches so they know he cares. 

“His presence in the athletic office has seen Minooka High School become a powerhouse in all sports,” head football coach Matt Harding said. “We have grown from a small school in a small division of state play to a constant contender for a state title in multiple sports. Mr. Tyrell’s dedication starts with his presence in the building and at all sporting events.”