New Trier Athletic Department inducts five honorees to Hall of Honor

New Trier High School Athletic Department Hall of Honor

The New Trier High School Athletic Department will induct its second class into the Athletic Department Hall of Honor this month, recognizing five individuals for their significant contributions to New Trier Athletics. The inductees will be honored on Jan. 24 at the Winnetka Campus Gates Gym between the girls and boys varsity basketball games against Evanston Township. The girls game begins at 5:30 p.m. and the boys game begins at 7 p.m.

All five honorees have consistently represented and embodied the department's mission to "provide an experience that fosters an emotional, physical, and intellectual foundation for growth and well-being." The inductees created and supported programs to enhance the quality of students' educational and extracurricular experiences, laying the groundwork for New Trier's exceptional athletic participation and performance.

The Class of 2019-2020 honorees are:

Walter Aschenbach
Aschenbach served as the longest standing Head Football Coach at New Trier from 1923-1965, considered by his coaching peers in the CSL and the state as one of the original masterminds of developing Illinois High School Football. While coaching thousands of student athletes over his years, he focused on helping them play at the college level and attend top tier universities. With a win percentage of .658, Aschenbach is the winningest football coach in New Trier history, and is tied at 40th place for the most wins in Illinois state history. He achieved numerous undefeated seasons before IHSA football playoffs were introduced, and led New Trier to become the top team in the state in 1935 with a record of 11-0. In 1962, his team beat the No. 1 team in the state, Evanston Township, stopping a 26-game winning streak. He passed away in January 1984.

Morris Barefield
During his 32 years at New Trier, Barefield taught math, coached football for the B team, coached freshman basketball, and served as a student adviser. In his freshman coaching assignments, he was known for finding raw talent and helping young aspiring athletes understand and improve their skills. He was the first African-American classroom teacher at New Trier East High School and played a key role in helping the school gain a more sophisticated understanding of issues around race and diversity. Known to some as Morrie, Barefield's warmth, patience, and commitment to student growth made him one of the most popular math teachers and football coaches during his time at New Trier. He passed away in August 2010 due to complications of leukemia.

Craig Fairbairn
Fairbairn coached New Trier Boys Soccer for 32 years and served as Head Coach for 21 years, coaching over 400 young men at the varsity level. He was recognized as a Hall of Fame Inductee by the Illinois High School Soccer Coaches Association (IHSSCA) in 2012, was named the IHSSCA Coach of the Year in 1996, and was the IHSSCA Region Section Coordinator for over 10 years. With a .737 winning percentage, his teams were IHSA State Champions in 2006 and 2008, achieved IHSA Third Place in 1999 and 2009, and played in 16 IHSA Regional Championships, 8 IHSA Sectional Championships, 6 IHSA State Finals Tournaments, and 8 Conference Championships. Since retiring, Fairbairn and his wife Jan have remained faithful supporters of the program.

Jane McNamara
During her 30-year tenure, "Miss Mac" taught physical education, served as an adviser, and coached volleyball, softball, basketball, track & field, and field hockey. In 1967, she guided the New Trier Field Hockey team to a State Championship. A true pioneer of Title IX, McNamara was a part of a group of female coaches who helped initiate girls sports in Illinois in the 1970s. She also served as Assistant Athletic Director at the West Campus, was inducted into the Illinois State University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1977, and in 2014, she received the Friends of Athletics Award from the Illinois Athletic Directors Association. Upon retiring in 1996, McNamara continued her role as Athletic Event Supervisor for 20 years. In 2018, a newly constructed concession building at Robert Naughton Field was dedicated in her honor.

Mark Onstott
With a career spanning over 30 years, Onstott coached at New Trier from 1994-2014, serving as Head Boys Swimming Coach from 1994-2014, Girls Assistant Swimming Coach from 1994-2001, and Girls Head Swimming Coach from 2002-2005. He was named National Coach of the Year by the Boys National High School Coaches Association in 2005, the National High School Athletic Coaches Association in 2005, and the National Federation of State Coaches in 2010, among 30+ other State/District/Sectional Coach of the Year awards. He was added to the Illinois Swimming Association Hall of Fame in 2013, received the NISCA Outstanding Service Award in 1997, and received the NISCA Hall of Fame Award in 2012. Onstott's boys teams were State Champions in 2004, 2006, 2009, 2011, 2012, and 2013, achieved second place in 2001, and third place in 2005 and 2010. His girls teams achieved second place in State in 2002, and third place in 2003 and 2005.

New Trier solicited nominations for the Athletic Department Hall of Honor in three categories: head coach, assistant coach, or at-large candidates (administrators, community members and any individuals, excluding student-athletes) who served New Trier, New Trier East and/or New Trier West during their tenures. Their names will be displayed in the Hall of Honor at the Winnetka Campus.

A selection committee made of the athletic director, assistant athletic directors, Winnetka campus principal and selected head coaches chose the eight honorees from a large field of nominations. More information about the criteria and nomination process can be found at http://www.newtrier.k12.il.us/extracurricular_activities/athletics/hall_of_honor_nominations/