The Joliet West basketball program will remain in good hands.
Plainfield North coach Nick DiForti will replace Luke Yaklich, who last month took an assistant coaching position at Illinois State.
"I can give you the corny line and say it was a perfect storm," DiForti said of the opportunity to move to Joliet West. "But it really was."
Yaklich was the head basketball coach and social studies teacher prior to departing for Illinois State. DiForti also teaches social studies. So the move, both basketball and teaching wise was a perfect fit. Plus, DiForti's wife Amy is a teacher at Joliet West.
"It was very hard for me to leave Plainfield North," says DiForti. "It was the place I called home for seven years. But from a basketball perspective, I would be a fool not to try for the job. It's a recognized basketball program. It's certainly going to be a major challenge for myself."
DiForti took over the Plainfield North basketball program in 2008 and promptly won 26 games and a regional championship his first year on the job. That year also included an attention-grabbing upset win over Waukegan and Jereme Richmond at the Pontiac Holiday Tournament.
In five years at Plainfield North, DiForti's teams have earned the reputation of being patient and disciplined. Under DiForti, the Tigers have compiled a 74-68 record over the past five seasons.
Plainfield North was returning a large number of players for the 2013-2014 season, including talented junior Trevor Stumpe (15 ppg as a sophomore). Last year's sophomore team won 20 games with Stumpe on the varsity.
Now DiForti takes on the challenge of rebuilding as Joliet West lost virtually its entire team -- seven of its top eight scorers -- from a team that won 19 games and a regional championship.