Legendary Coaches Stepping Down from Saint Viator Golf Program

The highly successful Saint Viator High School golf program will have a new look next year for both the boys’ and girls’ teams. After distinguished careers at the Arlington Heights school, both girls’ coach Mick Drewes and boys’ coach Jack Halpin have decided it is time to step aside.
 
“Both Jack and Mick leave a tremendous legacy for the athletics program at Saint Viator,” said Athletic Director Jason Kuffel. “They have been highly successful as coaches but even far better as colleagues and role models for our student athletes.”
 
Drewes has dedicated 21 years to the Lions program, the last 17 as head coach for the girls. His 2022 team finished 3rd in the state tournament after claiming Regional and Sectional Championships.
 
“Mick has been a tremendous leader for our girls’ program,” Kuffel said. “He established a program that was successful by any measure over the years, sending individual golfers or his team to the state tournament 14 times, and claiming 5 conference and 5 regional titles. He will be missed.”
 
Halpin has been a part of the Saint Viator boys’ program for 29 years. Under his tutelage, Saint Viator sent at least one individual or the entire team to the state championship in 20 different seasons. Included in that period was a 3-year run as State Champions from 2007 through 2009. The 2008 team still holds the record for low team score in the championship series.
 
“Jack’s teams were conference champions 20 times in addition to 9 Regional and 5 Sectional Championships,” Kuffel said. “He also sent 10 young men to play golf in college. He has been a wonderful example of the Viator Way, upholding the standards we set for our athletic program in every way.”
 
Kuffel recounted a conversation with Halpin following the end-of-year team banquet at which Halpin received a standing ovation.
 
“I told him he should retire because it would never get better than that. The next day he came in and said ‘We need to talk.’ I hope I didn’t plant the wrong seed by joking with him.”
 
Halpin’s commitment to the program won’t be ending, however. In addition to serving as interim coach for the girls until a new head coach can be hired, Halpin will establish a new position in the Saint Viator athletic program as Director of Golf Operations.
 
“Jack will lend a hand to me and the new coaches, particularly with all of the administrative tasks associated with running the program,” Kuffel said. “His presence will allow the new coaches to focus on the teaching and on-course aspects of the game.”
 
While the shoes will be hard to fill, Kuffel reached into the Saint Viator program to elevate assistant coach Jon Dean (“JD”) to the top spot for the boys’ team.
 
Dean attended the University of Notre Dame on a golf scholarship after a successful high school career that included winning the individual Michigan Junior Amateur Championship and winning a High School Team Championship. He was a Ping Junior All-American, a Nike Junior Tour member and winner of numerous local, state and national tournaments.
 
“JD will step right into the role as head coach and continue to uphold the standards that Jack Halpin has cultivated for nearly three decades,” Kuffel said. “The future of our golf program is bright.”
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Saint Viator High School

Located in Arlington Heights, IL, Saint Viator High School is a private, co-ed, Catholic school for grades 9-12. Students benefit from a challenging academic program, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.