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Football: Boehm promoted to head football coach at De La Salle

Updated: January 16, 2014 6:55AM

The job Mike Boehm has been dreaming of for years became his in a matter of hours.

Dan O’Keefe resigned Friday morning after eight seasons as De La Salle football coach, Boehm was offered the job soon after, and before noon the school announced his promotion via email.

“This has been a dream job of mine since coming to watch De La Salle in the Prep Bowl in 1985,” said Boehm, who graduated from the school in 1992 and has been on the Meteors’ coaching staff since 1996.

He’s been a faculty member at De La Salle since 1997 and now is an assistant athletic director. He’s moved around on the football staff, serving as a varsity assistant from 1997 to 2002 and 2006 to ’08, as sophomore head coach from 2003 to ’05 and as associate head coach since 2009.

Boehm takes over a program that graduates three top-tier recruits — running back Mikale Wilbon (Vanderbilt) and offensive linemen Jamarco Jones (Ohio State) and Aaron Roberts (Syracuse) — from a 6-6 team that reached the second round of the Class 6A playoffs.

“Division I (talent) doesn’t necessarily mean success,” Boehm said. “We were riddled with injuries with that great senior class.”

Still, there is talent coming back. Tom Duddleston, who filled in at quarterback at the end of the season when senior starter Shelby Spence was hurt, will be calling signals from the get-go in 2014. He passed for 647 yards and seven touchdowns with three interceptions this year, while also catching 14 passes for 191 yards and two scores.

Also returning will be center Aaron Rodriguez (6-2, 290 pounds), receiver Bryce Sutherland (66 catches, 934 yards, 8 TDs)and receiver/defensive back Drew Chavarria (18 catches, 181 yards, TD), among others.

Boehm has high hopes for next year’s juniors, who were 8-1 as freshmen and 7-2 as sophomores, winning Catholic League White titles both seasons.

With some key pieces of the passing game returning, look for the Meteors to air it out some next fall.

“I’m a spread guy,” said Boehm, who played offensive line at Elmhurst College. “I like to get the ball out in space. But I’m not an idiot. I know championships in the Catholic League are built on defense.”

And championships are the objective.

“Our base goal is to win our conference,” Boehm said. “If I’m going to take it a step further, it’s going to build a solid, competitive program. I want to compete with the big boys.”

The Meteors were 47-40 under O’Keefe with four IHSA playoff berths and quarterfinal appearances in 2007 and ’09.

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