Legendary Naperville North athletic director Neil McCauley passes away following a decorated career

Neil McCauley obituary
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Naperville North High School has been an academic and athletic powerhouse since the school first opened its doors in the 1970’s. One of the architects of the success for the Huskies in the athletic arena was Neil McCauley, who left a lifelong impression on student-athletes and coaches in the Naperville area for decades.

Neil McCauley passed away on March 4th, 2024 at the age of 80.

A lifelong coach, teacher and mentor

Following his graduation from Western Illinois University in 1961, McCauley became a coach football and wrestling and teach Physical Education. at Naperville Community High School. Naperville North first opened its doors in 1970, when McCauley moved over to North to help create the foundation of the school’s athletic programs. In 1977, he became the school’s second Athletic Director, where he helped develop the Huskies into one of the most prominent programs in the state of Illinois.

By the time he had retired in 2003, the Huskies had won 11 team state championships, including football, girls soccer, boys swimming, girls cross country, boys and girls gymnastics and over 50 individual state titles. McCauley was named the Illinois Athletic Director of the Year in 1995. He was also named to both the Illinois Athletic Directors Hall of Fame and the Illinois Wrestling Coaches & Officials Hall of Fame. Naperville North named its entire athletic complex after him upon his retirement after 26 years in the role. He was also an inaugural member of the Naperville North Athletics Hall of Fame.

Current Naperville North Athletic Director, Bob Quinn, who will be retiring himself following the 2023-24 school year is grateful for all that Neil McCauley was able to do for Naperville North as well as his own career as an AD.

“Neil McCauley was Naperville North and the DuPage Valley Conference. I worked with him when I was an assistant AD and the Athletic Director at Wheaton Warrenville South. He taught me how to be an Athletic Director. The successes that Naperville North experiences today can be traced back to the leadership of Neil McCauley,” said Naperville North Athletic Director Bob Quinn.

Upon his passing, Neil leaves behind his wife of 57 years, Lynn (“Penny”). Together they had three children, Sue, Tom, and Patti, along with seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild. The McCauley’s spent Neil’s final years living in Arizona after moving west in 2021. The family is tentatively planning on a Celebration of Life in Illinois in fall of 2024.

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