Kaneland developed into a renowned wrestling program a few years after Monty Jahns graduated. The trend continued when he joined his alma mater as an assistant and hardly slinked when Jahns took over as head coach in 2008.
It’s that continuity that leaves Jahns most at peace about his recent decision to leave the program. Citing an increased workload at his day job at Nicor Gas, Jahns announced his plans at the team banquet in early March and confirmed them Monday.
“I really enjoy wrestling, and I wish I could remain there as head coach, but it’s not the career that pays the bills,” Jahns said. “I know I’m going to stay involved in some capacity, I just don’t know what that can be right now. I truly enjoyed every bit of it. I’d do it all over again.”
A 1981 Kaneland alumnus, Jahns frequently sparred with athletes in the Knights’ mat room and served as a coach in the Kaneland youth program for 18 seasons before shifting to high school.
This past season, he left certain hands-on duties to assistant Jeremy Kenny, who tangled with feisty senior Dan Goress, the eventual 2A state champion at 145 pounds.
In 2012, Goress joined three teammates to comprise the Knights’ largest state-bound contingent since the IHSA expanded the two-class system in the mid-2000s. Jahns called presiding over Goress’ 2013 run “like icing on the cake.”
“It was every coach’s dream. If you haven’t been there before, then the grand march and the final is just incredible,” Jahns said. “To have Dan go out and win the tournament on top of being in the top two [and participating in the march] it was unbelievable. … That’s what you shoot for, is the top, and we were lucky enough to have Dan put in the effort and be able to get there.”
Jahns said he was not asked to consult the Kaneland athletic department on a new hire. Kenny and Scott Brewer – whose 1993 state title preceded Goress’ – are former Knights athletes on the staff.