Coaches

SOPHOMORE/VARSITY COACHING STAFF

 

Luke Mertens – Head Coach

Named head coach in April 2017.  Prior to Lake Zurich, Coach Mertens created the football program at Lakes Community High School (Lake Villa, IL) when it opened in 2004 with freshmen and sophomores.  Since becoming a 4-year school in 2006, Coach Mertens’s teams won 5 conference championships, earned 9 state playoff berths and had 15 players earn All-State, 9 named IHSFCA All-Stars, 64 All-Area and 92 All-Conference selections.  During that time, 87 players went on to play college football, including 12 at the D1 level.  Under Coach Mertens, Lakes players personified the term student-athlete with 4 players named National Merit Scholar Finalists, 35 Illinois State Scholars, 31 Academic All-State and 183 Academic All-Conference selections, and 46 NHS inductees.  Prior to Lakes, Coach Mertens coached at both St. Rita HS (Chicago, IL) and St. Patrick HS (Chicago, IL).   Coach Mertens has a B.A. in Communication from Valparaiso University, a Master’s degree in Education, Curriculum, and Instruction from Loyola University, and he teaches English at LZHS.  He and his wife Nicole are proud parents of daughter Reese (11) and son Rocco (8).

 

Jeff Bartlett – Assistant Coach

Coach Bartlett began his coaching career at Lake Zurich in 2008, during his time at LZ he has coached on all levels including head freshman and head sophomore, spending the last four on varsity defense. Coach Bartlett graduated from University of Iowa with BA in History and National Louis University with MAT in Special Education.  Coach Bartlett and his wife Rachel have three children ages 11, 9, and 4.

 

 

Nicholas Summers Assistant Coach

Named defensive coordinator in May 2017. Coach Summers has spent his whole 8 year coaching career with Lake Zurich High School in various roles: freshman defensive coordinator, sophomore defensive line coach and varsity defensive line coach. While working at Lake Zurich he has coached in two state title games. He is a former player, varsity starter and captain of the Lake Zurich football program from years 2001-2004.

Coach Summers is a business education teacher at Lake Zurich High School and is approaching his 4th year in the district. Prior to Lake Zurich he taught at Fenton High School in Bensenville Illinois. He teaches: Blended Learning Consumer Education, Web Design, ADV/Computer Applications, and Keyboarding.

Coach Summers’ Education:

  • BA in Business/Entrepreneurial Management from the University of Iowa
  • Teaching certificate from Benedictine University
  • Currently finishing his MaED from Benedictine University.

 

Shane Williams Assistant Coach

Shane has been coaching at Lake Zurich in 1999, and has coached at all levels of high school football.  After spending his first few years as a freshman coach, he has been coaching at the varsity level since 2003.  While coaching at Lake Zurich Coach Williams has had the opportunity to coach in over 40 playoff games, 8 state semi-finals, 4 state finals appearances, and was part of the 2007 state champion team.

Coach Williams has a B.A. in Kinesiology from Western Illinois, and a Master’s degree in Education Technology from Northern Illinois University.  He currently teaches physical education and Driver’s Education at LZHS.  He and his wife Becky have two children Bryce (16) and Abigail (14) and live in McHenry, Illinois.

 

Aaron Towne Assistant Coach

Aaron started his teaching and coaching career at Ottawa Marquette High School in 1999 as the head freshman, offensive coordinator.  His second coaching stop was at Princeton High School in 2000 as head sophomore, offensive coordinator.  In 2002, Aaron started teaching and coaching at Lake Zurich High School.  At Lake Zurich, he has been head sophomore coach 2002-2005 – defensive coordinator, varsity RB 2006-2011 and offensive coordinator 2012- 2015.  He coached in 4 state championship games and was a part of our first state title in 2007.   

Aaron is a physical education teacher and has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Augustana in physical education.  While at Augustana, Aaron was a member of the track & field team.  Aaron acquired his Masters degree in 2004 from Olivet Nazarene in Leadership and Instruction.  Aaron is married to Micheala (LZ Spanish Teacher) and has a daughter Harper (3 ½) and son Kyan (1 ½).

 

Rick Erickson – Assistant Coach

Rick has been coaching at LZHS since 2014 in both the football and baseball program.  He has coached the Animals on Varsity for the past two seasons, while also being the Sophomore Defensive Coordinator in 2015.  He is currently the Head Baseball Coach for the Bears.  He graduated from LZHS in 2009 and went on to play baseball at Augustana.  Rick earned his Bachelor’s Degree in History at Augustana and his MAT in Special Education at National Louis University.

 

Nate Boekholder-Assistant Coach

Coach Boekholder has been coaching at LZHS since 2002. He started out as a Freshman assistant coach. In 2006 he became the Head Sophomore coach, Defensive Coordinator, and Varsity position coach. From 2006-2015 (minus one year) Coach Boekholder continued with his Head Sophomore duties. In 2016, Coach Boekholder stepped aside from his head coaching position and coached Varsity running backs.

Nate graduated from Monmouth College with B.A. in Physical Education in 1999. While at Monmouth Coach Boekholder played 4 years of Football and ran 2 years of Track and Field. He earned his M.A. in Education in 2008 from St. Xavier University. Coach Boekholder teaches P.E. at Middle School South in Lake Zurich. He is also the Head Wrestling Coach as LZMSS and also coaches girls soccer.

Nate’s wife Meghan is a middle school French teacher in Barrington. He has 3 daughters, Madisyn (15), Gracen(12), and Elsa(4) and also has one son Quinten (7).

 

FRESHMAN COACHING STAFF

 

Kelly Henkel – Head Freshman Coach

Added to the coaching staff in May 2017.  Prior to coaching at Lake Zurich, Coach Henkel spent eight seasons coaching football at Plainfield East HS (Plainfield, IL) where he assisted in the founding of the varsity program in 2009.  Since then he has been the head coach at the freshman and sophomore level, where he coached the offensive line, defensive line, and was special teams coordinator.  Prior to Plainfield East HS, Coach Henkel was head freshman coach at Dixon HS (Dixon, IL).  Coach Henkel played high school football at 5 time state champion and 2 time runner-up Sterling Newman Catholic HS (Sterling, IL).  

Coach Henkel has a B.A. in History/ Social Studies from North Central College and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from American College of Education.  He is teaching AP Human Geography and US History at LZHS.  He and his wife Christin are proud parents of their son Luke (3).

 

Christian Wollard – Assistant Coach

Invited to join the Lake Zurich Football coaching staff for the 2015 season, Coach Wollard served as an Assistant Sophomore Coach for the past two years.  During this time he was the position coach for both the Wide Receivers and Defensive Backs.

Prior to coaching at LZHS, Coach Wollard was a Head Coach and Assistant Coach for the Lake Zurich Flames-Youth Football program from 2009-2014.  

Coach Wollard is currently serving in his 25th year as a Police Officer.  During his career he worked in a wide variety of specialty positions.  Some of these include being a Police Consultant/Liaison for Elementary School District 15 and High School District 211, D.A.R.E. Officer, Juvenile Detective/Youth Investigator and Coordinator of the Police Department’s Teen Mentoring Program.

Coach Wollard earned a B.S. in Law Enforcement Administration and Spanish-Minor from Western Illinois University.  Christian, his wife JoAnne, and their three children have resided in Lake Zurich since 2001.