Meet Our Coaches

Tim Cantu – Varsity Golf Coach

Tim has been the golf coach since 2015. He is dedicated to growing the game of golf as evidence by his involvement with the sport. He has chaired the ILS Golf Outing for many years, helps run a golf league through his job at Ford, and plays in a weekend golf league. He’s even managed to lower his handicap into the single digits!

Coach Tim’s coaching philosophy: I’m willing to help you as long as you’re willing to learn. Learning is a process, improve at the step in front of you and don’t worry about the step after that until you get to it.

Tim and his wife Debbie have 4 children; Tea, Joey, Timmy, and Vinny (all ILHS graduates).

Nate Hinz – Varsity Boys Basketball Coach

Coach Hinz has been coaching at ILS since 2001. He has coached basketball, soccer, and softball. He was the junior high boys head basketball coach for 16 seasons. He took over the high school team in 2018.

What are your other interests: camping with my family, umpiring softball, and playing golf.

Coaching Philosophy: I like to teach life lessons and core values through sports along with teaching the basic fundamentals. I love Jesus. I love our school. I love the sports I coach and want the kids to love these three things as well.

Coach Hinz and his wife Ginger have 2 girls, Hannah and Mollie (both ILHS graduates).

Jay Biesterfeld – Varsity Girls Basketball Coach

Coach Biesterfeld has coached the girls since 2018. Previously he coached JV boys basketball at ILS (2002-2004).  Coach B is a graduate of Illinois Lutheran and was a key player for the Cavaliers (before we became the Chargers) back in the day.

Coaching Philosophy: I  place a strong focus on fundamental skills, hard work, and giving 100% effort all the time.  I enjoy the competition of High School Athletics and having the opportunity to help young athletes reach their full potential and learn valuable life lessons along the way.

What you do when you’re not coaching at ILS: I enjoy playing golf, coaching softball (he has coached the varsity team at Providence Catholic for many years to great success) and watching my daughters compete in anything.

Coach Biesterfeld and his wife Kristen are the parents of Isabella, an ILHS graduate, and Sofia, an ILHS student.

David Kenyon – Varsity Softball Coach

Coach Kenny has been involved in the softball program at Illinois Lutheran since 2018, assisting the grade school and varsity teams before becoming head coach in 2020. He previously served as an assistant coach at Michigan Lutheran High School from 2012-2014 and played four sports until attending Central Michigan University to study journalism.

Coach Philosophy: Our players know three things: You’re safe, you’re valued and you’re going to work. I place an emphasis on excelling at fundamentals and enjoy teaching our players to mentally understand and execute the game at a high level. I love building relationships with our athletes and supporting them both in softball and their other sports/activities throughout the year.

What do you do when you’re not coaching at ILS: I serve in several other ways, including as a board member at church. Along with being a sportswriter, I enjoy spending time with friends, golfing and teaching financial literacy.

Coach Kenny is married to Emily, who is the superior athlete in the family.

Rebecca Jahns – Director of the Illinois Lutheran Drama Department

Mrs. Jahns has been at Illinois Lutheran since 2019.

Mrs. Jahns performed in plays, children’s theater and musical theater in grade school, high school, college and community theater. She directed her first play, Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park, in college. Since then she has directed over 25 grade school and high school plays, children’s theater and musicals.

Coaching Philosophy: I provide students with the opportunity to explore, develop and test their dramatic interests in a positive, structured and Christ-centered environment. I encourage and support their growth by offering challenging texts, music, and dance, combined with skill development exercises.  Our groups will always celebrate the successes and encourage through the struggles as we work together to achieve excellence in performance and personal development. I also want to instill a love of theater in young people and encourage them in the uncovering and development of their gifts.

What you do when you’re not coaching at ILS: I enjoy singing, cooking, decorating, and quality time with my family

Mrs. Jahns and her husband Jim have two children, Eliza and Ethan, both students at ILS.

Beth Schuppe – Coach of the Scholastics Team

Miss Schuppe has been involved with extracurriculars at ILHS since the school began. In fact she was the first coach in girls basketball, volleyball, softball and scholastics! She has led the scholastics team for over 20 seasons.

Coach Schuppe loves to see her kids achieve success and beams with pride when her teams do well (which is regularly). She encourages kids to join the team to use their God-given gifts in this exciting competition. Miss Schuppe likes coaching the team because she is a Jeopardy contestant “wannabe”. It’s her favorite game show and she watches it whenever she can.

Miss Schuppe is a favorite teacher at ILS because the way she makes history come alive for her students. She likes playing her guitar, reading historical fiction, and visiting famous places from history. To know her is to know she is a dog-lover.

Andy Biesterfeld – Varsity Soccer Coach

Coach Biesterfeld has been coaching soccer at ILHS since 1995 – head coach since 1998. Before that he played 2 seasons at Bethany Lutheran College where he helped the team with 2 junior college regional titles. While at Northern Illinois University, Coach B played indoor soccer for 3 years. He is a member of the United Soccer Coaches Association and the Illinois High School Soccer Coaches Association. He has attended numerous soccer clinics and is a real student of the game.

Coaching Philosophy: I love sports and competition. Being able to work with young people through sport to teach discipline, commitment, leadership, and working with others from a Christian perspective. So many life lessons can be learned through participation in athletics, especially how to deal with failure and achieve success. Building a foundation of fundamentals in athletics is no different than building a strong foundation for life.

What you do when you’re not coaching at ILS: I enjoy all types of sports, especially those involving my children. I also spend a lot of time with family and friends, cooking, completing projects around the house, and being involved at my church.

Coach B and his wife Laura have 4 children: Trent and Paige (ILHS graduates), Zoe and Tristan (ILHS students).

Ruth Junker – Varsity Volleyball Coach

Coach Junker has been coaching volleyball at ILHS since 2012 when she started as the Assistant Junior Varsity Coach. She then coached Junior Varsity for the next two years before becoming the Varsity Coach in 2015. Prior to coaching at ILHS, Coach Junker coached at Grant Park High School for 8 seasons. She also coached at Grant Park Junior High for 5 seasons.

Coaching philosophy: I try to encourage teamwork, respect and a good work ethic. Working together and encouraging one another, whether on the court or off, is essential for building a team. I emphasize hard work, while still leaving room to have fun and enjoy the sport. Teaching skills and relating them to game situations is also a foundation of my coaching.

What do I enjoy when I’m away from ILHS: I enjoy going to the theatre, reading and listening to music. I also watch my favorite sports teams when possible. I watch a lot of volleyball and especially follow Penn State. My favorite team is the Cubs (I also cheer for the Bears)!

Coach Junker and her husband, Shawn have three children. Josh, Jessica (ILHS graduate) and Emily (ILHS graduate). They are members of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Grant Park, IL.

Tanya Tomfohrde – Head Track Coach

Mrs. T has been the track coach since 2018. She was a track athlete all 4 years during high school and has been to multiple track coaching clinics picking up helping information for her work with the Charger track team.

Coaching philosophy: Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself. Discover and appreciate the individual gifts God has given you. Set goals for yourself, and celebrate when you reach those goals. Encourage your teammates, and celebrate with them as well.

Why do I coach: I am very thankful for the opportunities I had to participate in high school athletics. These opportunities taught me many life lessons, and I wish to provide this same learning experience for my athletes. I also truly enjoy getting to know the students in a capacity other than in the classroom.

Things I like to do when not coaching at ILS – I like to spend time with my family and I like to travel and read.

Family: Husband Matt and children Kaylee, Aaron, and Nathan.

Josiah Willitz – Micahtam Director and JH Drama Director

Mr. Willitz has been directing choirs of various ages in schools and churches since 2012. He sang in choir and musicals during his time at Bethany Lutheran College, and was a part of several events within the theater department. Mr. Willitz has been directing Micahtam since the fall of 2015, and Junior High Drama since the spring of 2017.

What are your other interests: I am into several nerdy things- Board Games, Puzzles, movies and TV shows like Doctor Who, Star Trek, and The Avengers. I enjoy listening to Musicals and Operas, and especially love going to see them. I like 80’s music, and I enjoy studying scripture and theology.

Coaching philosophy: I heavily stress the importance of using all the talents that God has given us, in order to glorify and thank Him for his great mercy. I encourage those talents to be developed through work and discipline, communicating that growth is the key to success, rather than mere talent. The dedication, perseverance, and teamwork required for creating an outstanding musical or theatrical performance, are also the traits of those who go forward to be servant-leaders in society.

Mr. Willitz and his wife Anita are parents to two daughters.