Matthew Crooks Head Coach
Coach Matthew Crooks is entering his third year with the Fox Valley Force. It started back in 2016, he was brought on as a defensive coordinator. Which in that year was voted as an assistant coach of the year. Helping lead the Fox Valley Force to the semi finals of the NEFL.
Coach Crooks would then be promoted to Head Coach heading into 2017 season. 2017 had a lot of close games for the Fox Valley Force, with the Force falling short of the playoffs.
2018, is another exciting step forward for Crooks. His love for football, and what it means to him, all the players on the Fox Valley Force and rest of the Northern Elite Football League, Crooks has stepped up as new co-owner of the Fox Valley Force to keep the local players a quality place to play football. He and the Force administrators have their sights on really impacting the semi-pro realm, getting involved with the community and
continue to provide opportunities for players to continue to play the game they love.
Coach Crooks comes from a sports family, and a coach's son to the late Michael "Popcorn" Crooks, who impacted Coach Crooks' love of sports. Michael loved helping the youth and impacting kids' lives to help them develop their athletic ability and teach them life skills along the way. Unfortunately, Coach Crooks lost his father at an early age of 19 years old. But at 33 years old, everyone knows Michael still lives inside Coach Crooks and all his brothers. Who are also coaching to honor their father.
Last fall, Lombardi Middle School announced the shutting down of their football program, which drew national news. Coach Crooks, didn't hear about it until numerous friends and family sent him links of the story before reaching national news. by the time it reached national news, Coach Crooks applied and messaged Lombardi to see what he could do to help keep the program alive. He knows the utmost importance football was to him and can be to kids growing up. After numerous applicants applied for the same reason, Coach Crooks and three other gentlemen stepped up and kept the football program going at Lombardi Middle School. Coach Crooks helped the 8th grade Lombardi team to a 5-0 record. And a total of over 60 kids joining the 7th and 8th grade football team. It would have been a shame for those kids not being able to play for their school and represent their school.
Coach Crooks looks forward to embracing the team concept that is needed in this sport more than most. Only 11 guys can play at once, of a 30-50 man roster. The Force players are expected to accept the role they earn, embrace it, and know each role is important to a team winning a championship, which the Fox Valley Force is eyeing up every year.