Tinley Park fills three coaching vacancies
By Pat Disabato firstname.lastname@example.org July 7, 2014 6:32PM
Updated: July 8, 2014 2:12AM
Summer is a time to accomplish many different things for high school athletic directors.
For Tinley Park’s Mike Mongan, filling three varsity coaching vacancies topped his to-do list.
Mongan recently accomplished that task, hiring Josh O’Shea to take over the baseball program, Michelle Beary to head the girls basketball and John Pfeffer to man the wrestling program.
“We’re very excited with the addition of all three coaches,” Mongan said. “We had good interest from candidates for all three openings. We had some tough decisions to make, but the three new coaches bring something different to the table beyond being very knowledgeable and dedicated.”
O’Shea, a 1998 Bremen graduate, succeeds Brian Gibbons, who resigned after eight seasons. The Titans finished 10-18 in 2014.
O’Shea coached Bremen’s sophomore team four seasons (2009 to ’12) before heading to Marian Catholic as a varsity assistant for one season (2013). He returned to Bremen last season as a varsity assistant under Mike Cline.
“I’m really excited and ready to go,” O’Shea said. “Tinley Park is a great community with great kids. I want to be visible in the community and get kids to our youth camps. It’s always been a solid baseball program, but I want to take it to the next level.”
O’Shea plans on achieving that ambition by relying on an aggressive style that focuses more on “small ball” rather than waiting for a player to hit the “long ball.”
“We’ll try to put pressure on the defense by stealing bases, bunting and hitting-and-running,” O’Shea said. “We’re going to be aggressive on the basepaths. Kids enjoy playing that way. We’re going to have fun.”
The hiring of Beary is a sort of homecoming. She was a three-sport standout at Tinley Park, starring in volleyball, basketball and softball, before graduating in 2007. Beary takes over for Jason Becker.
“We love it when we have an opportunity to bring back our alumni,” Mongan said. “Michelle was a great student-athlete when she was here and was able to achieve a great deal both academically and athletically. She brings great passion in whatever she does.
“She teaches and coaches with 110 percent Tinley Park in mind. She’s a true Titan.”
Pfeffer is familiar with the wrestling program, having guided it during the late 1990s. He takes over for Ryan Dolan.
“We’re excited to have John back,” Mongan said. “John was starting a family, which is why he gave up the position years back. He’s in a good situation now and has a great rapport with kids. He’s taking over a program that is very established and has been very consistent. We’re confident he’ll be able to keep the momentum going.”