Courtesy of Concordia University Chicago athletics communications
RIVER FOREST, Ill. – Jason Aubry has been appointed the 19th head coach in the history of the Concordia University Chicago football program. He succeeds Mike Jucsik, who served as the head coach during the 2018 season.
"We are excited to have Jason Aubry as our new head coach," said Pete Gnan, CUC Director of Athletics. "I believe he fits our mission as an institution, and he has an outstanding football background. His relationships in the Illinois high school coaches' community and his faith stood out in our search process. Jason has a tremendous amount of passion and energy, and I believe the student-athletes will relate to Coach Aubry's vision for the program."
Aubry comes to Concordia-Chicago with 20 years of coaching experience, 18 as a head coach. Most recently, he coached at Larkin High School in Elgin, IL, where he was originally hired as the offensive coordinator, but took over as head coach two weeks into the season and led the 2018 Royals to multiple school records in team scoring, passing and receiving yards.
An Illinois native who played running back on Seneca High School's Illinois Class 2A championship team in 1990, Aubry's coaching career began in 1999 at Woodland High School in Streator, IL. He took a beginning program and increased the numbers by over 300 percent in his three-year tenure. After a two-year stint at Lemont High School as an assistant coach and passing game coordinator, Aubry accepted the head coach's position at Johnsburg High School in 2004. He led the Skyhawks to a two-year record of 17-5 and back-to-back second-round appearances in the Illinois Class 5A playoffs. In 2004, Aubry was named the Big Northern Conference Coach of the Year, leading his team to its first 10-win season and first conference championship.
In 2006, Aubry began a 12-year association with the Joliet Township District, serving as head coach for the combined Joliet Township program for four years and later for Joliet West High School. His efforts at Joliet West resulted in the Tigers reaching the Illinois Class 8A playoffs for the first time in 2014 and later making return appearances in 2016 and 2017. Off the field, Aubry's efforts were equally impressive, if not more so. He produced 23 All-State Academic players and raised the football team's graduation rate from 2012-17 to 98 percent (100 percent the final five years).
With the size and scope of the team at Joliet West, Aubry has admitted that "running the program was like running a college team…the thought intrigued me." The thought became more of a possibility last month when Aubry received a text from Rhyen Staley, CUC head men's volleyball coach. The two were good friends and members of the same church congregation in the Joliet area, Staley was familiar with Aubry's football background, and his text informed Aubry that CUC was accepting applications for the football position. Aubry's application became one of over 120 in the pool of candidates. The list was eventually whittled down to eight and later to the five brought to campus for interviews before Aubry emerged as the clear choice.
"There is no doubt in my mind that God puts you on a path and works everything out for a reason," says Aubry. "While I had not anticipated this happening, it's ideal at this point in my life, and I am very excited to be a part of Concordia-Chicago."
Along with Aubry's new position comes the responsibility of recruiting, but his history at the high school level brings perspective. "I've seen a lot of good recruiters over the years, and I've seen some bad ones," admits Aubry. "The good ones know where a kid is at and how to build a sincere relationship. I believe that relationships are what it's all about, and I look forward to experiencing and learning more about that particular aspect of my new position."
As Aubry goes about finding student-athletes for Concordia-Chicago's future, he promises two things: "We're looking to bring in kids that want to be here and stay here for four years, and we are looking to help them not just graduate, but also to leave college having a life plan. All that, and they get to play some football too."
Aubry earned his BS in physical education with a minor in athletic coaching from Illinois State University in 1998 and his MA in education administration and supervision from the University of Phoenix in 2008.