Mike Ellis, the boys head basketball coach at Richwoods High School in Peoria, Illinois, for the last seven years, is the new boys head basketball coach at Evanston Township High School (ETHS), ETHS Athletic Director Chris Livatino announced on Sept. 27.

“Mike Ellis is not only an outstanding basketball coach but also the perfect fit for the ETHS basketball program,” said Mr. Livatino. “He sets high expectations for his players on the court, in the class room and in the community. He is one of the top high school basketball coaches in the state of Illinois and was instrumental in building the renowned basketball program at Richwoods High School and he will bring the same type of success and energy to ETHS.”

In seven seasons at Richwoods H.S., Ellis led the Knights to a 156-55 record, including a historic 30-3 mark in 2009-10, the most wins in the school’s history. During his tenure, the Knights won four Mid-State Conference Championships, six IHSA Regional Championships and three IHSA Sectional Championships. This past season, Ellis led the Knights to their second IHSA State Championship game.

Ellis said he is honored at being named the ETHS boys head basketball coach and noted that the high school represented all of the things that are important to him and his family.

“Taking the basketball coaching job in Evanston was the easy part of the decision.  Leaving Richwoods and the Peoria area certainly was the hard part for my family and I. We developed so many good relationships in Peoria and look forward to doing the same in Evanston. 

“My job in Evanston will be to provide the leadership necessary to keep growing the basketball team’s tradition. At the core of my coaching philosophy is the responsibility I feel toward nurturing a sense of community. The basketball program is one of many programs in Evanston High School and this school is an important part of the community. Good basketball teams have the understanding that it isn’t about individuals. It’s about teammates, the program, the school, and the community. Great things can be accomplished, not just in basketball but in life, when players accept the responsibility to achieve for the greater good.”

Mr. Ellis is a three-time Illinois Basketball Coaches Association “Coach of the Year.”