Athletic Hall of Fame 2017: Joe Bunge

Yoo Young Chun, Focus Editor

In an exclusive Q&A with the Central Times, Joe Bunge shares his experiences as a former football coach at Naperville Central.


Q: When did you start coaching?

A: I started coaching at Southern Illinois University in 1971, and started at Naperville Central in 1986.

Q: What was your most memorable moment as a coach?

A: Probably when the Central [football] team won the state championship when I was their coach.

Q: What would you say is essential to being a successful athlete?

A: I would say the will to win.

Q: Were you a football player yourself?

A: Yes I was.

Q: Do you prefer playing or coaching?

A: I prefer playing.

Q: Do you have a role model – someone you look up to?

A: Probably my high school coach. He greatly influenced my coaching.

Q: What would you say makes Naperville Central special?

A: It doesn’t matter if you’re different. It doesn’t matter how much money you have or where you came from, there are people from all different places and they’re seen as equal. Everyone is seen as the same and that makes Naperville Central special.

Q: What are you thankful for?

A: Luck, I mean everyone needs a little luck in my life. I actually have a story. When I applied to be the coach for Central, I wasn’t getting anything back. So I called the athletic director and asked what was going on, and he said I was out of the running for the job! He said they were gonna give it to someone else who had a bigger name. I basically yelled at the athletic director for the job. And guess what? Two days later, I get a call and I got the job!