Waubonsie Valley names Adam Pucylowski the 5th head football coach in school history

Donate Today Buy This Video

 “It’s a school that is really primed to grow. They got better this year, and there is so much potential there. Getting the opportunity to meet Principal Stepp and athletic director Chris Neibch and you know, there is a connection there,” said Waubsonie Valley Football Coach Adam Pucylowski.

Waubonsie welcomes Adam Pucylowski

That is the voice of new Waubosnie Valley football coach Adam Pucylowski who is taking over as the 5th head coach of the Warrior program following the departure of Tom Baumgartner after four seasons. Originally from Wisconsin, “Pooch” as he is commonly known, first came to North Central College in 2005 to play football for the Cardinals under legendary coach John Thorne. After four years as the starting punter for NCC, and seven seasons as an assistant coach under Thorne, he entered the high school ranks as an assistant at Naperville Central in 2016. His familiarity with the local football scene makes Waubonsie Valley, a conference rival for the Redhawks, a perfect fit for his first head coaching position. 

“Waubonsie was always a place that I had circled. The reason is that I felt like it was a place that had athletes in the building. When you’re looking at opportunities, you look at places that have athletes in the building, the right culture, and the right procedure put forth, we could really grow that into something and put a product on the field that looks a little like football,” said Pucylowski.

From one conference school to another

Coach Pooch worked on the defensive side of the ball his entire coaching career, working with the defensive backs at NCC and Naperville Central, eventually becoming the defensive coordinator for the Redhawks. Last season he oversaw a DVC champion Central defense that took the ball away at least one time in seven of the team’s eleven games and held six opponents to two scores or less.

“Being on the defensive side of the ball you get to learn about offense. A really close friend of mine is Brad Spencer at North Central College he helps keep that offense going along so having access to those resources is always beneficial because then I can lean on them and learn from them and reach out to them when I want to talk offensive football,” said Pucylowski.

After years of consistent success, including an 8A state semifinal appearance in 2015, the Waubonsie Valley football hit a speed bump after the retirement of longtime head coach Paul Murphy after the 2019 season. Over the past four seasons, the Warriors went 8-24, but four of those wins came last fall as the green and gold were just one win shy of a playoff spot. Pucylowski was able to meet the current varsity players last week during his introductory and knows the process will take time before the team’s first game in August. 

“We want to be able to look at our players and see what will be the best fit for them. Then how do we need to adjust as coaches to make sure what we’re doing is the best fit for our players, rather than just trying to take our players and fit them in. I think we need to be a little bit more adaptive in choosing what we do based on what we have,” said Pucylowski.

Bright future for Warrior football

Despite the improvement in 2023, Coach Pooch will already have a challenge ahead after the Warriors graduate a large senior class. The next man-up mentality will be pivotal as the Warriors will face teams from the Southwest Suburban Conference following a merger with the DVC that starts in 2024. But the fall will be full of new opportunities, and Pooch is excited to take the field in his first opportunity to lead a program, with the hope of helping a proud Waubonsie football program get back to its winning ways. 

“We’re finalizing summer schedules and getting everything prepped for the summer. I can’t wait to get started in June and get rolling through June, July, and August, and then hopefully, we can put something on the field that looks a little like football,” said Pucylowski.

For more prep sports stories, visit the Naperville Sports Weekly page!