Thomas More Names Defensive Coordinator as New Head Football Coach


Thomas More University announced Monday that defensive coordinator Chris Norwell will take over as head coach of the Saints football program.

Norwell has spent thirteen seasons on the Thomas More sidelines, serving eight as defensive coordinator.

“It is with great enthusiasm and pride that I accept the position of head football coach at Thomas More,” Norwell said in an announcement. “I first need to thank the current and former players, as well as the coaches who make the Thomas More football program special. We will strive to reach excellence in the classroom, on the football field, and in the community!”

Norwell also thanked TMU President Joseph Chillo and Athletics Director Terry Connor.

He replaces Trevor Stellman, whose departure was announced last week. Stellman had spent 17 seasons with the Saints program and served as head coach since 2017.

“My family and I are excited for this next chapter, and we look forward to creating great experiences and making relationships that will last a lifetime,” Norwell said.

Norwell is a graduate of the University of Illinois, where he was a member of the Fighting Illini’s football team. He holds the school record for career starts by a defensive lineman with 46, and was an honorable mention All-Big Ten selection in 2007, the school said.

Norwell’s defensive achievements propelled the Saints to a national ranking of 28th in total defense in 2014, and then 41st in 2015.

“We are excited that Coach Norwell will now lead Thomas More football, “President Chillo said in the announcement. “Over the past thirteen years, Coach Norwell has demonstrated his commitment to the student-athlete experience by exhibiting a strong work ethic, personal character, and commitment to excellence. There is no doubt that Saints football is in very capable hands and will continue to excel as it begins preparations for the upcoming season.”

More news:  Beechwood's bats go cold in state tourney loss

Over the course of the last five games of the 2021 season, Norwell’s defense only allowed 10 points per game. In the interception category the defense ranked 12th in the NAIA with 16 interceptions.

“I am excited for Chris to lead Thomas More football,” said Connor, the athletics director. “He will bring a high level of energy and excitement and lead us into our next chapter.”

-Staff report

Photo via Thomas More Athletics