After five years at the associate principal for athletics, more commonly known as the athletic director, for Riverside-Brookfield High School, Brendan Curtin has stepped down and will return to the classroom next year as a physical education teacher.
Superintendent Kevin Skinkis said the school had a vacancy its the Wellness Department after someone who had accepted a job changed their mind.
“The timing just worked out,” Skinkis said.
Curtin made $113,491 last year as the associate principal for athletics. He will make $97,568 in the 2023-24 school year as a teacher.
Having more time to spend to watch his two children, who are both outstanding high school athletes, play sports was apparently the major factor in Curtin’s decision to step down as athletic director.
“I understand the decision,” Skinkis said. “Brendan has two children who are similar in age to my kids, and they’re very active in high school sports, and I think it allows him to spend more time watching his kids compete and be with his family. I appreciate everything that Brendan has done in the athletic office. He has definitely left it better than he found it and he will still always be a Bulldog.”
Curtin’s daughter is a rising senior and star lacrosse player at Lyons Township High School and his son is a promising quarterback and rising sophomore at Immaculate Conception High School.
Last year, Curtin served as an assistant football coach at Immaculate Conception, then a conference rival of RBHS, while serving as athletic director, a move that did not sit well with many in the RBHS athletics and football community.
IC is a perennial football power and won the IHSA Class 3A state championship last year. Curtin was listed as an IC assistant coach on the IHSA website for the state championship game and was on the IC sideline during game.
Skinkis said he and RBHS Principal Hector Freytas were aware Curtin was helping out at IC last fall on days that he did not have after school responsibilities at RBHS. Skinkis said that he did not have a problem with Curtin coaching at IC last year.
“I knew he was helping out with his kid’s team, and as long as it did not conflict with his responsibilities, I think we were fine,” Skinkis said. “I just think it became too much with both of his kids being high school athletes and trying to balance their schedules with the workload for being the AD.”
School board President Deanna Zalas told the Landmark that she became aware at the end of the football season that Curtin was coaching at IC. Zalas didn’t directly answer when asked if she had a problem with Curtin coaching at another school while he was the athletic director at RBHS.
Both Skinkis and Zalas said the decision to resign as associate principal of athletics at RBHS was Curtin’s alone.
Curtin, a 1991 graduate of RBHS, did not reply to a request for comment from the Landmark.
Curtin was the athletic director at RBHS for five years. He was also head football coach for 10 years before stepping down from that position after the 2021 season. Curtin had a 48-46 record as the head football coach at RBHS and led the Bulldogs to six playoff appearances.
His 2015 team went 10-2 and advanced to the IHSA Class 6A quarterfinals. Before coming to RBHS, Curtin was the offensive coordinator at Nazareth Academy.
In addition to news of Curtin stepping down as AD, one of the top players on last year’s RBHS football team, rising senior lineman Jackson Ramos, is transferring to Immaculate Conception next year. Ramos confirmed to the Landmark that he has transferred there.
Skinkis said RBHS will likely have an interim athletic director, likely two retirees, sharing the position, for the 2023-24 school year while the administration conducts a search for a permanent replacement.
Before Curtin was hired as athletic director at RBHS in 2018, the school had two retirees, Tom Domin and John Treiber, shared the position of interim athletic director for three years. Domin will likely return to RBHS as part of another job sharing arrangement.
“I’m sure we’ll be talking to candidates like Tom and John and those guys,” said Skinkis, who added that he hoped the school board will approve hiring interim athletic directors at the July 11 meeting.
Treiber told the Landmark that he will not be able to work at RBHS during the upcoming year, because he helping to care for his elderly parents.