High School Football

The metro-east will soon have another hall of fame coach

Coach Golliday during practice earlier this year

Cahokia football coach Antwyne Golliday gets into the action during a 2015 practice.
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Cahokia football coach Antwyne Golliday gets into the action during a 2015 practice.

Former Cahokia football coach Antwyne Golliday, who stepped down after 13 years as head coach following the 2015 season, will be inducted into the Illinois High School Football Coaches’ Association Hall of Fame on April 1 at the Hilton Garden in Champaign.

The 55-year-old Golliday, who served two stints as an assistant at East St. Louis Lincoln and was an assistant under Rob Eden at Cahokia for 10 years before taking over head coaching duties prior to the 2003 season, compiled a mark of 81-53.

Golliday said he was notified of the honor by mail Saturday. But even after reading the letter, which came from hall of fame secretary/treasurer Phil Salzar, he still wasn’t convinced.

“Actually I almost threw the letter away. When I saw it, I thought it was a letter about a coaches’ clinic and since I’m not coaching any longer, I don’t go”“ Golliday said. “Then I saw the date, April 1 and I wondered if someone was maybe playing an April Fools’ Day joke. With the things they can do on computers these days, you never know.

“It wasn’t until I called Phil (Salzar) that I was convinced it wasn’t a joke. It’s a great honor. I never thought of myself as a hall of fame coach. I just believed things should be done one way, and that’s how we did them. It’s rewarding to know that the people who nominated me and the nine people on the selection committee feel I’m worthy of the honor and that we ran a program which is respected by coaches around the state.”

The induction ceremony, in conjunction with the annual Illinois High School Football Coaches’ Association Clinic, begins at noon April 1. Golliday said his wife and their six children plan to attend the ceremony. The Gollidays also have 12 grandchildren.

In addition to his 81-53 coaching record, the Comanches reached the Illinois High School Association playoffs in Golliday’s first seven years and reached the Class 5A State semifinals twice, in 2005 and 2008. The 2005 team finished with mark of 9-4, losing to Rock Island Alleman 24-20 in the semifinals. The 2008 team was 11-2 but lost to Metamora 42-13.

Golliday’s job at Cahokia wasn’t easy. With no little league program and only one junior high football program feeding into the high school program, Golliday and his staff taught the basics to many freshmen during early preseason camp.

“And when we did get good, we had kids transfer out. That happened often,” Golliday said. “This is a rich football area as far as talented athletes go, and you’ve got at least 12 schools within a 30-35 minutes radius of each other. Edwardsville, O’Fallon, Belleville East, Belleville West ... they all have really nice stadiums with artificial turf fields.

“That’s why I always said that the kids who are in this football program are here because they want to be here. My job was to coach them to the best of my ability, and I did that. But I was blessed in that I had the chance to work with a lot of great kids and people over the years.”

Golliday said he plans on teaching at Cahokia for four more years. He also said that while he misses coaching, he has no plans to get back into the profession.

“Right now, I’m doing things I’ve never done before. My wife and I, if we want to leave on Friday after school and go someplace for a weekend, we go. For a long time, she put her life on hold so that I could coach. Now it’s my turn to do for her. We’re having a great time,” Golliday said.

“The other day I picked my 4-year-old grandson up from school, and we went out for CiCi’s Pizza. No pressure, no staying up until 1 to 2 a.m. watching film, nobody second guessing me from the stands. Life is good.”

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