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It didn't take Argenta-Oreana long to figure out who should take over the Bombers' football program.

They had been working with him all along.

Steve Kirk, the Bombers' assistant head coach and defensive coordinator for the last six years, will take over Argenta's program, pending school board approval.

For Argenta athletics director Dan Sheehan, the hire is a no-brainer.

"Absolutely, very excited," Sheehan said. "Back in 2010, when we hired Chad, Steve Kirk was a finalist for the position. He was offered the defensive coach, so they kind of got hired as a package deal."

Kirk's a Rantoul graduate, where he played tight end and defensive end. He then played all four years at McKendree as a center, before coaching the offensive line at Rantoul for a couple years. He then switched to the defensive side in Argenta.

He, along with Eisenmenger, helped the Bombers reach the playoffs three of the six years. That included last season's rebound, where the Bombers finished 8-2.

Kirk said he doesn't plan on changing too much now that he's in the head coaching spot, keeping a similar summer schedule. He noted how much it helps he's already familiar with every player in the program.

"We had a great year last year. The key now is to not get complacent, and build on that," Kirk said. "We can't rest on our laurels."

While Kirk was the defensive coordinator, he said he worked closely with Eisenmenger on the offense as well. While the offense drew plenty of attention by scoring 412 points -- the most in the last six years -- the 196 points allowed was also the least Argenta's had in that time, too.

"We've been able to observe Steve's work with kids for the past six years, and he's got unbelievable knowledge of the game," Sheehan said. "The one thing I'm looking forward to is keeping AO football moving in the right direction."

Eisenmenger resigned from the position earlier in the year, saying he wanted to be able to spend more time with his family. 

Kirk currently teaches physical education at the junior high school.

The next school board meeting is February 13.

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