What’s the future of Streaks football? AD says ‘Galesburg football hasn’t stopped’ despite lack of a head coach

Galesburg's Cameron Aguirre runs the ball during the Silver Streaks' 48-21 Western Big 6 Conference loss to Sterling on Sept. 9, 2022 at Van Dyke Field.

Galesburg will most likely have an interim head football coach when the Silver Streaks kick off the 2024 season Aug. 30 at Dunlap.

Derrek Blackwell, Galesburg’s head coach the past three seasons, resigned the position effective last Friday. He had been on paid leave since he was arrested April 24 on charges of domestic battery. He immediately entered a diversion program.

District 205 posted a job opening for “Anticipated Head Varsity Football Coach (Interim Position)” on the district website on May 30.

Eric Matthews, District 205 athletic director, said he has received both internal as well as external applicants for the interim position.

Assistants leading the program

Streaks assistant coaches Matt Hawkins and Jacob Carl have overseen off-season activities in Blackwell’s absence.

Matthews tells WGIL, “I feel like at this point we’re probably looking for an interim, just because of the time frame. The assistant coaches, specifically Matt Hawkins and Jacob Carl, have been doing a great job filling in as co-head coaches and keeping things going.

“We’ll see who’s interested, meet with them and see who we can get in here rather quickly.”

He added, “So, Galesburg football hasn’t stopped and we’ve been moving forward. But at the end of the day, we have to have a head coach — whether it’s interim or permanent.”

Matthews said he would like to have an interim head coach by the July school board meeting, if not sooner.

Hawkins and Carl are both former Streaks that went on to play football at Butler University and Illinois State University, respectively. Carl is a junior high school math teacher in Galesburg, while Hawkins works on the family farm.

Matthews said he anticipates Galesburg will post the opening for a permanent head varsity football coach sometime after the 2024 season.

“That way, we’ll better know what teaching positions might be available,” he said.

‘There’s younger talent on way’

Hawkins and Carl are overseeing summer activities that include weight training, speed and agility work, competition at 7-on-7 scrimmages and a team camp at Illinois Wesleyan University. There also will be be a youth football camp in July.

Matthews expects Galesburg Jr./Sr. High School to field five teams this season — 7th grade, 8th grade, freshman, sophomore and varsity teams.

The Streaks went 2-7 this past season.

“Great facilities and a good core of younger coaches who are excited and want to win” make the vacancy attractive, according to Matthews.

“And we have some younger talent on the way in all sports, including football.”

After the season opener at Dunlap, the Streaks will play host to Limestone in Week 2 and to Morrison in Week 3. Morrison replaces Alleman, which is not fielding a team for the second straight season.

2024 Streaks schedule

Week 1 – At Dunlap, Aug. 30
Week 2 – Limestone, Sept. 6
Week 3 – Morrison, Sept. 13
Week 4 – Sterling, Sept. 20
Week 5 – At Geneseo, Sept. 27
Week 6 – Quincy, Oct. 4
Week 7 – At Rock Island, Oct. 11
Week 8 – Moline, Oct. 18
Week 9 – At UTHS, Oct. 25