2015 grad Klocek reinvigorates track and field team

Matthew Odegaard , Staff Reporter

As an 18-year old senior sitting at a desk at Bishop Noll, Eric Klocek knew he would once again walk these halls.He was a part of the soccer team, the football team, basketball team, track and field. In fact, the 2015 graduate and athlete was voted
“Most Likely to Return to BNI as a Teacher or Coach”.

He did.

He enjoyed a lot of moments at Bishop Noll and wanted to bring them back.
“But I would have to say that my favorite moments as an athlete here at BNI are being a part of the 4X400M relay team that qualified for the Regional Championship Meet my junior and senior Year, winning the GSSC Conference Championship Meet as a team my sophomore year in men’s track and field, and finally playing on the varsity basketball team that made it to semi-state championship game my Senior Year,.” Said Klocek, who is now Bishop Noll’s head track and field coach.

Although the idea of returning to coach at his alma mater had been percolating in his head since graduation, it really came to fruition when he was a student at Purdue Calumet, and his grandmother asked him to go represent the family at the basketball game where the commemorative golden football was being presented from the NFL celebrating the 50th super bowl. There, he met the former assistant coach of the track team and he managed to talk him into coaching.

In 2018, he stepped back on his former soccer field as assistant coach. He also assisted the boys basketball team under former coach Josh Belluomini. In 2019, he accepted the job as head track and field coach.

Today, he teaches Language Arts at St. Mary’s of Griffith, and he coaches soccer and basketball at Griffith High School but remains loyal to his alma mater as head track and field coach.

With track season coming to a start, it’s time for Coach Klocek to get his team ready. He is ready to start the season out.

They have put a lot of effort into revamping the indoor track. The long jump pit has been remodeled. Klocek wants to keep building on these young athletes and bring Bishop Noll to state.

They have taken all the necessary COVID precautions and have started conditioning at the start of January.

“Conditioning is going to help these kids who haven’t ran or done anything in 6 months,” he said.. “I stress conditioning everyday especially if you’re not in a winter sport.”

This year’s first meet will be a dual meet between Bishop Noll and Andrean. It will be named the Chris Nicolini Invitational. It is named after the late Chris Nicolini who passed away this fall. Nicolini coached at both Andrean and Bishop Noll. He was a big supporter of the Catholic community.
“I have been excited seeing the interest in track. We are trying to bring the team back to what it was before Covid,.” he said.