Auburn introduces new football, girl’s basketball coaches ahead of 2022-2023 seasons

Sean Crary will lead the girl’s basketball program while East alum Willie Tolon takes over the football program
Published: Jun. 2, 2022 at 10:58 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -Auburn High School has added two new varsity coaches to its staff after hiring East alum Willie Tolon to coach football and Sean Crary to coach girl’s basketball.

Tolon takes over after coaching the Boylan sophomore team since 2017. The former E-rab has been a recognizable name in Stateline athletics, after being an all-conference wide receiver for East in 1999 and 2000, and then playing semi-pro football. Even with all the success on the field, Tolon is prioritizing success off the field as head coach.

“It’s very important because I took the long route to be successful and things like that and I want these guys to have a better path than I did and if I can see someone veering off I can notice right away and change it,” Tolon said.

“With Willie, he’s a household name, a lot of people know who he is his connection with our kids here is going to be phenomenal, he’s gone through a lot of the same things that our community goes through, he knows, he grew up here, he knows what they’ve been through so he’s able to relate to them,” Auburn AD Brad Pemberton said.

On the hardwood, Sean Crary earns his first varsity head coaching position after spending the past three years as an assistant for the Governors State University men’s basketball team. Crary is a Crown Point, Indiana native and played two years of college basketball at St. Xavier. The Hoosier will be Auburn’s fifth head coach in five seasons, but both Crary and Pemberton emphasized longevity as Crary will also be a social studies teacher at Auburn.

“I did enjoy being an assistant at the college level, but it was kind of difficult going from the high school that I worked at to the college I was an assistant coach at so the opportunity to be in the building at an established program which was what I kind of jumped on when I saw the availability,” Crary said.

“With Sean, we’re looking to have some stability within our program, as you know we’ve had several coaches over the last several years with girl’s basketball for whatever but Sean he’s moving to Rockford, he’s closing on a house and so that’s really big for me that he’s really invested in being here in the community and he wants to be a part of this and build on something,” Pemberton said.

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