Brent Pearlman will be pacing the sidelines for Elk Grove football next fall.
The once state championship-winning football coach was named a varsity assistant coach for Elk Grove’s football team, which the program confirmed in a tweet. The move follows the Grenadiers’ most successful season in eight years, as they tallied three wins for the first time since 2013.
Pearlman is best known for his tenure at Prospect, where he took over the Knights football program that had won just eleven games in their previous nine years. Pearlman turned it around and won three state titles in five seasons. In his 12-year tenure as Prospect’s head coach, he accumulated 104 wins and just 34 losses.
“I’m excited,” Elk Grove coach Miles Osei said. “I think that the kids in our program are excited and honored.”
Osei wasn’t short on compliments, calling Pearlman a “future hall of famer.”
“He’s just a coach that understands the bigger picture of things,” Osei said. “He can win at a high level when he has people that believe in what they’re doing.”
This isn’t Osei’s first rodeo with Pearlman. Osei was an all-state quarterback at Prospect during Pearlman’s tenure. As a coach, Osei was Wheeling’s offensive coordinator for Pearlman when the latter became the head coach of the Wildcats. They notched an MSL title before Osei was hired as head football coach at Elk Grove in 2017.
Now Pearlman will be Osei’s assistant.
“He’s a coach that buys into our philosophy and does it the way it’s supposed to be done,” Osei said. “He’s a guy that puts his ego aside. Whatever it takes and is necessary for our kids to be successful, I think he’s willing to put in that time and sacrifice for that.”
Pearlman’s addition comes at the expense of coach Steven Lesniak, who is stepping away from coaching football to focus on his new position as division head for student success, safety, and wellness.
Osei echoed how much Lesniak meant to the team and his staff.
“We lost a really good coach, person, and friend in our program,” Osei said. “The biggest thing is that you can’t replace coach Lesniak. You can move things around and try to fill those shoes but he did some really good stuff for us.”
As for the Grenadiers, they will be trying to use Pearlman’s experience to break through into the playoffs for the first time since 2013. Pearlman could not be reached for comment.
“I think a lot of our players and coaches expect us to get into the playoff hunt for next season, so I think adding [Pearlman] to that dimension helps,” Osei said.