The History of Normal West Football


Welcome to Normal West Football, home of the Wildcats. Our football program has been part of Normal West Community High School since the school opened in 1995. Over the past 19 years, the program has had two head coaches:

  • Coach Jim Baker – 1995 until 2003
  • Coach Darren Hess – 2003 until present
Normal West Football Program Mission

Our mission through football is to provide a positive educational experience for Normal Community West High School.

We plan to teach and motivate young men to:

  • Achieve Academic success
  • Honor Normal Community West High School with Outstanding Citizenship
  • Strive for the Big 12 West Title & IHSA State Championship

Coach Hess has established a leadership development program for all players. Established in 2008, the program is to help our players understand the important role they play as leaders on our football team; we want to be proactive with our athletes in teaching them the values and characteristics needed to be successful at football and life. Our program is designed to give players a better understanding of our team expectations and philosophy as a whole, as well as to help our athletes grow in the areas of goal setting (both personal and team), leadership style, and team building.

Conference Information


Normal West is part of the Big 12 Conference including teams from: Bloomington, Champaign Centennial & Central, Danville, Peoria Manual, Peoria Richwoods

Peoria Notre Dame, Peoria High, Normal Community, & Urbana.

Normal West Big 12 Conference Championships

  • 1998
  • 2004
  • 2011

West achieved an undefeated season in 2011, going 9 & 0 through Big 12 Conference play. The Wildcats were crowned Big 12 Champions.

West has an accumulated record of 116 wins and 89 losses over it’s history; a 57% winning percentage. During Coach Darren Hess’ tenure, West has a 64% winning percentage.

Playoff Appearances

Normal West has been to the playoffs ten (10) times.

  • 1998 – 1st Round Appearance
  • 2000 – 1st Round Appearance
  • 2004 – 2nd Round Appearance
  • 2005 – 2nd Round Appearance
  • 2006 – 1st Round Appearance
  • 2007 – 1st Round Appearance
  • 2010 – 1st Round Appearance vs. Crete-Monee
  • 2011 – 2nd Round Appearance vs. Danville
  • 2012 – 1st Round Appearance vs. Rock Island
  • 2013 – 1st Round Appearance vs. East St. Louis
  • 2014 – First Round Appearance vs. Springfield Southeast
  • 2014 – 2nd Round Appearance vs. East St. Louis
  • 2015 – 1st Round Appearance vs. Peoria Notre Dame
  • 2016 – 1st Round Appearance vs. Springfield Sacred Heart Griffin
Awards and Accolades


West athletes have been selected to the Big 12 All Conference – 1st, 2nd & Honorable Mention teams.

To view a list of all past conference awards, Big-12 All-Conference

West athletes are selected by the Coaching staff and recognized for Normal West Football Team Awards. Award categories include football, academic & leadership.

To view a list of all past player awards, nwf-teamawards


To learn about our recent alumni, click here.