Coaching Staff

Jared Gustafson - Head Coach

Jumps coach - email Coach Gustafson

Photo coming soon!

Coach Gustafson is looking forward to coaching his 2nd season of Girls' Track & Field at VHHS. He is a graduate of Benedictine University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics and a Master’s Degree in Teaching from National Louis University.  He was previously the head girls’ track coach at George Washington High School in Chicago. His previous running experience includes 4 years of running track as a sprinter at Lisle High School. Jared also played soccer for 4 years.  Coach Gustafson is currently teaching Algebra 1 and Precalculus at VHHS and has been loving getting to know the school. He has been married for three years and enjoys playing the bass guitar in his free time.

Matt Clifford – Assistant Coach

Throws coach - email Coach Clifford

Coach Clifford

Coach Clifford graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in History Education from Illinois State University, a Master’s degree in History from Illinois State University, and a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Concordia University.  This is Coach Clifford’s eleventh year as the throws coach with the Vernon Hills Girls’ Track Team. Coach Clifford is a member of the Social Studies Department at Vernon Hills High School teaching World History and AP European History.

Don Proft - Assistant Coach

Distance coach - email Coach Proft

Coach Proft

Coach Proft ran Cross Country and Track at Glenbrook South High School.  He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Studies/History Education from Illinois State University and a Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling from Carthage College.  He is a 6th Grade Social Studies teacher at Woodland Middle School in Gurnee.  This will be his 1st year coaching distance at VHHS after coaching the sprints and relays the previous three seasons. Coach Proft has experience as both an assistant and head coach for Track and Cross Country at Stevenson High School and has been an assistant coach for Track and at Grayslake Central High School and Warren High School.  During the fall he coaches Girls Cross Country at Warren High School.  In his free time, he loves to travel with his wife, Kari and three children, Madison, Noah and Taylor.  

Juan Carlos Avila - Assistant Coach

Sprints Coach - email Coach Avila

Photo coming soon!

Coach Avila is excited to join the team for his 3rd year as an assistant track coach. He is a graduate of Southern Illinois University-Carbondale where he played college football.
After his time as a football player, he worked as a student-assistant football coach, strength & conditioning coach, along as an academic advisor for SIU Athletics.  Before coming to Vernon Hills, Coach Avila was an assistant track coach at Marmion Academy and helped coach his team to a 2A State Championship. Coach Avila is also a School Counselor at VHHS. Outside of coaching, he enjoys spending quality time camping and traveling with his wife Samantha, and their two dogs.