While attending and playing college football at McKendree University a little more than a decade ago, Bryan Edgar wrote a paper in one of his classes in which he talked about wanting to be a heda coach in Belleville District 201.
On Monday, that became a reality.
An assistant football coach at Belleville West for the past eight years, Edgar was officially named as the Maroons new head coach during the Belleville 201 board meeting.
Edgar, 32, takes over the Maroons coaching duties from Cameron Pettus, who resigned earlier this winter to return to his home state of Georgia. Pettus, who guided the Maroons to a 45-35 record and seven straight IHSA playoff appearances, has since been named as the new head coach at East Jackson, Ga., High School.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to Belleville News-Democrat
Edgar said he’s excited to take over the Maroons program that finished 7-3 and qualified for the IHSA Class 7A playoffs.
“This is truly a dream come true. I’m very excited to be named as the new football coach at Belleville West,” Edgar said. “We have an excellent program in place and I’m looking forward to meeting with my coaching staff and getting to work.
“We’ll make a few minor changes. But we won’t be doing anything drastic. I’m a firm believer that if it isn’t broke, don’ fix it.”
Belleville West Athletic director Lee Meyer said Tuesday that he received more than 25 applications for the job.
“We feel very strongly that Bryan (Edgar) will do an excellent job in leading the football program,” Meyer said. “He’s been here for several years and we felt that with the success our football program has enjoyed in the past years that we were very comfortable staying within the district in hiring our new football coach.’’
Growing up in a military family, Edgar lived in several different places, including Georgia and Alaska. But he calls Belleville home. He attended Belleville East as a freshman when Mike McGinnis was the head coach. After moving away for his sophomore season, Edgar returned to Belleville East where he was both a defensive and offensive lineman under coach Tim Funk.
After graduating from Belleville East, Edgar was recruited by a young assistant named Cameron Pettus at McKendree University, where he played four years of college football.
“I didn’t play for Mike (McGinnis) at Belleville East. I didn’t play varsity when I was a freshman. But coach McGinnis was at McKendree when I was there. I played for coach (Carl Poelker) at McKendree and I learned a lot from all of those coaches,” Edgar said “Then my first year out of college I worked with the freshmen and moved on to coach the offensive line and spent four or five years coaching with the (West) junior-varsity.”
As the Maroons offensive coordinator, Edgar worked with two of the top underclassmen in the St. Louis area this season in quarterback Jack McCloskey and wide receiver Dominic Lovett. Both return in 2019.
“The program is very good,” Edgar said. “The goal is to contend and win a (Southwestern) conference championship and to win games in the playoffs.”