MACHESNEY PARK, Ill. (WTVO) — A rough season for Harlem High School’s football team had an even rougher ending this past Friday night. Now I’m told by a source that head coach Bob Moynihan and his entire coaching staff have all been dismissed.

Harlem High School lost its IHSA football playoff opener last Friday night to Glenbard East 24-0 in Lombard. It was an emotionally charged game that got chippy.

This happened at the end, with just over a minute to play, Glenbard East’s quarterback in the victory formation took a knee. A Harlem player came flying across the line of scrimmage tackling the quarterback. Tempers flared. There was a lot of shoving, and a few punches were thrown by players on both teams. With the outcome of the game no longer in doubt, the officials ended the game right then and there.

A source told me Moynihan and his entire coaching staff all the way down to the freshmen level have been let go from their coaching positions at the school. I reached out to Harlem principal Jeremy Bois Tuesday. He could neither confirm nor deny the coaching dismissals. He told me that he’s not able to discuss personnel matters at the school.

Coach Moynihan got back to me, but he told me he’s not able to speak at this time.

I am told by someone in the know, that what happened Friday night was the final straw with administrators at Harlem. Administrators have been unhappy with what they feel has been a decline in the culture of the football program. They believe there were times during Moynihan’s tenure when he and his assistants should have dealt more sternly with some incidents that have occurred within the team.

So, in an attempt to clean up the culture, administrators dismissed all of the coaches. Again, that’s according to a source. This has not been confirmed by Harlem Administrators.

Many Harlem players have come to the defense of Moynihan and his assistants. None more so than Tony Paul, a junior lineman on the football team. He has started an on-line petition hoping to have Moynihan retained at Harlem.

“He’s just a really, great person. We could go to him whenever we’d need to at night. We’d just call him. He was just always there for us. People need to know that he’s not a bad coach. He’s an amazing coach. All the coaches are.”

Another Harlem football player Connar Penney agreed with that assessment. “When things were going wrong, we could always talk to him. He was always able to help us no matter what the situation was. Just seeing that this is happening, he’s got a lot of us teary-eyed.”
I asked Penney straight out if the coaches told the Harlem player to hit the Glenbard East quarterback at the end of Friday’s playoff game.

“No, not at all,” said Penney. According to Penney, the player in question simply had a momentary lapse in judgement, and that player is now remorseful for what he did.

Moynihan was Harlem’s head football coach the past five years. His teams made the playoffs every year except for the COVID year when there were no playoffs. That year the Huskies went 6-0 and won the NIC-10 championship game. Last season, Harlem went three rounds deep in the playoffs for the first time in school history.