Hall of Honor inducts Second Class

The Hall celebrates distinguished former athletic faculty


Julia Nagel

Five former NT coaches are honored in the second round of inductees

On Jan. 24, the Athletic Department inducted the second class of former New Trier faculty into the Hall of Honor.

Between the Girls and Boys Basketball games against Evanston, five more distinguished individuals were recognized for their achievements as New Trier coaches, assistant coaches, administrators, or “at-large” faculty.

The inductees this year include the school’s longest standing football coach who coached from 1923-1965 Walter Aschenbach, and football and basketball coach, the first African- American teacher at the Winnetka campus, and a key player in helping the school understand issues of race and diversity.

Also included are 21 year head coach, two-time boys soccer state champion, and Illinois High School Soccer Coaches Association Hall of Fame Inductee Craig Fairbairn, five-sport coach, pioneer of Title IX, and advocator for girls sports in the 1970s Jane “Miss Mac” McNamara, and legendary swim coach and seven-time state champion Mark Onstott.

New Trier Athletic Director and Hall of Honor Chairman Augie Fontanetta highlighted the different eras and sports that are covered by this year’s inductees.

“We want the Hall of Honor to represent all the different coaches that embody the mission statement and the motto of the athletic department and school,” Fontanetta said. “We’re trying to capture and depict the history of a school and athletic program that is over 100 years old.”

A committee comprised of Fontanetta and several coaches voted on all submitted nominations. Applications can be found on the New Trier Athletic Department website and anyone can nominate former faculty. To be eligible for nomination as a coach, the individual must have served at New Trier, either for 10 years as a head coach or 25 years as an assistant.

“There are minimum requirements to be considered as a Head Coach, Assistant Coach, Administrator, or At-Large candidate,” Fontanetta said. “We look at years of service, contributions to their sport, as well as to New Trier Athletics as a whole.”

The wall holding the plaques, located near the Essex Road student entrance, will be added to from left to right with this year’s inductees. The backdrop of the wall represents historic locations on both campuses including the Winnetka Pool, Gates Gymnasium and Robert Naughton Stadium at the Northfield Campus.

“As the years go on, we’ll have less people inducted. Last year we had eight, and it was a big year because we wanted to kick it off.

The next class will be inducted in 2022, and Fontanetta says the inductions will continue biennially with three to four inductions in each class.

Nominations last for five years. Those nominated but not inducted last year were up for induction again this year, and those not inducted this year can still be inducted in 2022.

Fontanetta explained that the Hall of Honor is not the same as the Hall of Fame.

“Hall of Honor is more appropriate because we honor those who really committed their lives and career to New Trier,” he said. “The Hall of Fame is more related to professional sports and college athletics.”

“[The Hall of Honor] is a great way to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments and contributions of those who have dedicated their careers to help develop student- athletes at NT.”