ALTON - Marquette Catholic High School has named Eric Dickerson to be the school’s Head Football Coach. Coach Dickerson served as a Varsity Coordinator for the football program this past season, and previously was a Varsity Assistant Coach and Coordinator at Marquette Catholic from 2002 - 2006. Current Head Coach Leon McElrath will continue to serve on the staff with the Explorers.

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“I am grateful to be back at Marquette Catholic and for this opportunity. I’m thrilled to have the chance to continue to work with Coach Mac and all the great Explorer student-athletes. I look forward to getting things rolling in the off-season,” Dickerson said.

Marquette Catholic football head coach Eric Dickerson.“I want to thank the administration at Marquette Catholic for giving me the opportunity to lead their football program. I’ve talked to my wife and prayed about it, and I just believe it’s time for Marquette to have a new voice in the head coaching role for the players to rally around. I have nothing but love for these players and look forward to continuing to work with them,” said Coach McElrath.

“I want to thank Coach Mac for all the hard work, dedication, and passion he has put into Marquette Catholic football. He is a tremendous ambassador for our school and a great mentor to our student-athletes. I am excited he has agreed to stay on our staff to help us to continue to build our football program,” Athletic Director Brian Hoener said.

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“We believe in Coach Dickerson’s vision and plans for Explorer football. He is an experienced head coach who knows our program very well and we look forward to getting back to work,” Hoener added.

Dickerson is a 1996 graduate of Marquette Catholic. He has earned Bachelor of Science in Education and Master of Arts in Education degrees from McKendree University. He has been a varsity football coach for 22 years, with stints at Marquette Catholic, East Alton Wood River, and Alton High, where he served as Head Coach and led the Redbirds to the playoffs in 2017 and 2018.

Dickerson’s 2017 Redbirds playoff victory was only the second in school history, earning him The Alton Telegraph and Belleville News-Democrat Large School Coach of the Year honors.

“This is a proud program. We are closing in on 500 victories. We have faced adversity before and come back. I am committed to doing all we can to do that again,” said Hoener.

About Marquette Catholic High School

Marquette Catholic is a co-educational, college prep school of 400 students in Alton, Illinois, founded in 1927. The football program has won 489 games overall, and has been in the IHSA playoffs 25 times, including three appearances in the quarter-finals, twice appearing in the semi-finals, and once in the State Championship. Explorers Craig Hentrich, Tom Roth, and Michael Ford have played in the NFL, with Ford currently playing for the Atlanta Falcons. Marquette’s athletic teams have won over 130 IHSA Regional, Sectional, or Super-Sectional Championships, and 7 IHSA State Championships.

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