Coach Jerry Vitton Vaults onto GHS Athletic Hall of Fame
Part 3 of 4: The 37-year coach played key role in legendary football and track accomplishments at Geneva.
Jerry Vitton came to Geneva as a science teacher in 1966, but also would serve 37 years as a track coach and 25 years as an assistant football coach.
In football, he alternated between the varsity and sophomore teams as an assistant; he also served as a freshman-level basketball coach in winter.
But Vitton made his biggest mark as an assistant track coach, first under Charlie Bell and later under Mike Vandeveer. (He served for two springs—1976 and ’77—as head track coach.)
Vitton developed a subspecialty in working with Geneva’s athletes to learn and excel in this highly specialized event. In all, Vitton taught more than 100 Viking vaulters, both male and female, over the course of nearly four decades.
His three most accomplished prodigies came near the beginning and the end of his career: Mark Schick (GHS Class of 1977), who went on to star in the event at Augustana College while quarterbacking and preparing for a medical career; Sarah Landau (Class of 2004), who won two Illinois state titles in the event, was the second-best female prep vaulter in the nation as a senior, and whose ’04 IHSA state record still stands after seven years; and Allie Pace (Class of 2010), who finished second at the state meet in 2009 and won the event at state in 2010.
Both Schick and Landau are previous inductees into the Viking Athletic Hall of Fame.
Vitton and coaches John Barton and Julie Koivula will receive their plaques at the 11thannual induction ceremonies for the Vikings’ Athletic Hall of Fame, scheduled for Saturday evening, Jan. 22, in the school’s main contest gymnasium, during halftime of the Geneva-vs.-Elgin varsity basketball game (set to tip off at 6 p.m.)
Editor's note: This is a press release issued to all media and is not exclusive to Geneva Patch. It carries Kurt Wehrmeister's byline because he wrote the release. As indicated in the release, Wehrmeister and Geneva Patch Editor Rick Nagel are members of the Hall of Fame Committee.