Dear Illinois Handball players,
On behalf of the Illinois Handball Association Board Members, I am honored to be elected as the new Chairman of the IHA. I am extremely excited to be part of this great state of handball. I look forward to not only the challenge ahead but also growing the game we all love so much. We have established a great group of Board Members who are eager to help out in not only running the tournaments, but in all aspects of the IHA to help grow our game in our market. We appreciate all your continued support that helps handball and the IHA thrive. I look forward to getting started right away and appreciate the opportunity to be your Chairman.
I’d like to start out by thanking some of the previous board members who grew Illinois Handball over the past 15 years. We would not be where we are at today if it wasn’t for a few individuals stepping up when no one else was willing to and doing a fantastic job. I’d like to start with our former Chairman, Jake Komsthoeft and former Secretary, Mike Dau. These two individuals have been dedicated to not only the game of Handball but specifically Illinois Handball and the IHA. I’d also like to thank our Vice Chairman, Jamie Simon, who I am looking forward to working with. He has been an integral part of getting Illinois Handball to where it is today. A BIG thank you to these folks mentioned.
Secondly, I’d like to give a brief background of myself and my life as it revolves around Handball. I grew up in Vermont and started playing Handball at age 8 along with my Brother Mike when he was 11. My father Ken also played while we were growing up and we used to travel to local tournaments throughout New England. From 2000-2004 I attended Lake Forest College to play Handball. While there, I learned so many of the fundamentals of Handball from Hall of Fame Coach Mike Dau, and also met my wife Carly who shares my passion for the sport. After college, I continued to play handball and have qualified several times on the WPH Pro Tour along with playing in local tournaments and leagues.
Growing up in Vermont, my father Ken used to run one of the larger Open tournaments in New England. My brother and I always helped out by working at the tournament desk, helping to sell merchandise, updating the draw sheets, etc… I enjoyed meeting all the players, and I knew that I wanted to continue to be involved in handball for years to come.
After being in the Chicagoland area now for over 15 years, I have met so many great handball players and many of them I call friends. Handball in Illinois is such a fantastic community of people and I can’t think of a better place to be and better people to be around. I’d like to give a big thank you to my wife as I am very grateful for her continued support and love, and I’d like to thank the many people who have encouraged me to take this step to become Chairman.
My intentions are to get Illinois Handball back to where we all know it can be. We have seen some of our numbers dip in the recent years but I am confident that we can get back to having Illinois Handball as a dominant group of individuals and have great success in the sport along the way. We also want to showcase our city of Chicago to bring in new players from outside the state to see how awesome Illinois Handball truly is. Again, I am truly grateful for this opportunity and am looking forward to seeing you all on the courts!