By Joseph Phillips
The 2019-2020 season will be Les Gill’s first as athletic director of the Kenwood Academy Broncos.
Prior to his hiring as AD, Gill performed in a number of key positions within the school, including serving as dean of students of Kenwood Academy from 2011-2019, as a special education instructor, and as coach for several of the school’s boys’ teams.
Gill is a graduate of Hyde Park Career Academy (‘91), where he excelled academically in business, sports and communications.
Following his high school career, Gill received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from DeVry University (‘99) and entered the military shortly after in the early 2000s.
Since joining Kenwood in 2011, Gill said he sometimes looks at himself as the utility man on campus, due to his willingness to serve and go anywhere he’s appointed by leadership of the school.
“I’m more of a glue person,” said Gill during an interview with the Chicago Crusader. “In spite of coaching changes or regime changes, I’m the type of person that sees optimism in problems and (chooses) positivity over negativity.”
In addition to his willingness to serve anywhere within the school, Gill said that his military and communications background has strongly prepared him for the position. He steps into the athletic director’s position with a short and long-term goal to help increase awareness for all sports teams on campus.
“My short-term goal is to increase the visibility of each program,” Gill said.
“To speak about our previous athletic director (Danae Russell), (she) did an outstanding job (when she was here). I just want to come in and enhance the foundation she already established. And add a little twist to it.”
As athletic director, Gill said he prides himself on using sports as a teaching tool to help improve students’ academic performance in the classroom, build relationships, give hope to those who feel they don’t have hope and help develop careers for students who will experience “life after sports.”
“My endgame for our athletic program is that we compete and be successful,” Gill said.