Brian Doll knows he's walking away from something special.
In three seasons, Doll turned around an Elk Grove football program that had won three games in the three years before he arrived. The Grenadiers reached the IHSA playoffs every year under Doll and finished 10-2 last fall.
Proving there's still talent in the program, Elk Grove went out and won the loaded Red Grange Classic 7-on-7 event at Wheaton Warrenville South last week.
Doll stepped down in May, something he wouldn't have done if he didn't sense he was moving into another great opportunity.
A conversation with Jordan Bressler, president of Deerfield-based sports marketing group TSMGI, led to just such an opportunity.
"We were bouncing around ideas about different things," Doll said recently, "about American football, how to promote it globally. ... They said, 'Would you be interested in spearheading these ideas and going over there and doing it?'"
He was more receptive to the idea of going "there" - to London - than some other high school coaches might be - as was his family. Doll's wife is a native of Australia who lived in London for five tears.
Interest in the American version of football is on the rise in the United Kingdom, according to Doll. "They've gone from the 15th most popular sport to the fourth or fifth most popular sport," he said.
The game is growing at the university level there and some British players are actually earning college scholarships here.
"NFL Europe didn't work, but London has been able to continue to grow American football," Doll said.
Doll's job will be to help keep that growth going, working to develop players and further interaction between U.S. college coaches and their British counterparts.
"The British coaches are behind," Doll said. "They'll admit it."
But then again, the Grenadiers were behind their Mid-Suburban League rivals when he arrived on campus. And look where they are now.