Cardinal Ritter College Preparatory High School has announced Rob Wallace as its new athletic director and Brennan Spain as the new head football coach. They will lead Cardinal Ritter athletics with a strong focus on the mission of the school and future of the programs and players, according to a statement from the school.
The athletic director and coach will assume their new positions in January, but both leaders have started meeting with student-athletes and parents. Wallace brings 21 years of experience in secondary education to Cardinal Ritter, including four years as an athletic director in the public school system. He has coached several high school varsity sports and served as an assistant college basketball coach.
Spain was most recently an assistant coach for the East St. Louis High School football team, where he helped secure two ISHA Class State Championships, as well as two top-20 U.S. team rankings and the No. 1 ranking in the Midwest in 2019.
“The decisions to hire Mr. Wallace and Coach Spain come out of a rigorous selection process, and both gentlemen are committed to maintaining the Cardinal Ritter standard of excellence on and off the field,” said Tamiko Armstead, president of Cardinal Ritter College Prep. “I look forward to working alongside Mr. Wallace, Coach Spain and the entire Cardinal Ritter family to continue building on our school’s 40-plus year legacy and mission of forming strong scholar-athletes and faithful community members who will make a positive difference in our world.”
In October, Armstead announced that the school suspended its football program for the remainder of the school year, and all of its coaches were released from the program and school. Cardinal Ritter’s athletic director, Preston Thomas, decided to retire.
The move came after the school, working closely with the Archdiocese of St. Louis, investigated an allegation involving one of its scholar-athletes who played in the team’s first regular-season football game, for which he was ineligible. Armstead said she immediately reported the incident to the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA), and began a further collaborative investigation with the MSHAA.
Cardinal Ritter’s football team had a record of 7-0 this season and was second in the Class 3 title game last season.