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Mount Carmel High School (Chicago)

Mount Carmel High School (Chicago)Description : Mount Carmel High School is an all boys, Catholic high school in the city of Chicago. Located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago, the school has been operated by the Carmelite order of priests and brothers since 1900. Several priests and brothers who teach at the school live in the nearby Saint Cyril Priory, though most of the staff consists of lay teachers.Mount Carmel is nationally known for its athletics program, which includes one of the historically best football teams in the s... Page:m204

For other schools with the same name, see Mount Carmel High School (disambiguation). For the other Illinois school with the same name, see Mount Carmel High School (Mount Carmel, Illinois).
Mount Carmel High School
Mount Carmel High School (Chicago) logo.jpg
Zelo Zelatus Sum Pro Domino Deo Exercituum
With zeal have I been zealous for the Lord God of Hosts
6410 S. Dante Ave.
Chicago, Illinois 60637
United States
Coordinates41°46′41″N 87°35′20″W / 41.778°N 87.5889°W / 41.778; -87.5889
School typeprivate
Religious affiliation(s)Roman Catholic
AuthorityArchdiocese of Chicago
CEEB code141045
PresidentNed Hughes
PrincipalMr. John Stimler
GenderMale only
Campus typeUrban
Color(s)     brown
SloganYou came to Carmel as a boy. If you care to struggle and work at it, you will leave as a man.
Fight songThe Mount Carmel Fight Song
Athletics conferenceChicago Catholic League
Team nameCaravan
AccreditationNorth Central Association of Colleges and Schools
NewspaperThe Caravan

Mount Carmel High School is an all boys, Catholic high school in the city of Chicago. Located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago, the school has been operated by the Carmelite order of priests and brothers since 1900. Several priests and brothers who teach at the school live in the nearby Saint Cyril Priory, though most of the staff consists of lay teachers.

Mount Carmel is nationally known for its athletics program, which includes one of the historically best football teams in the state of Illinois. Numerous alumni have gone on to careers in the National Football League such as Donovan McNabb and Simeon Rice, and three former head football coaches went on to notable college head coaching careers. Alumni have won all four major professional team sports championships in North America (Stanley Cup, World Series, Super Bowl, and NBA Championship).

Mount Carmel is occasionally confused with Carmel High School in Mundelein, Illinois, and Mount Carmel High School in Mount Carmel, Illinois. The former is also a Carmelite school, while the latter is the town of Mount Carmel's only public high school.


In the Fall of 1900, the Carmelite order established St. Cyril College at 54th and Jefferson (now Harper) on Chicago's South Side. In the first year there were 13 students and five priest teachers. The following year the college was moved to 64th and Washington (now Blackstone) because of the need for a larger building and better access to public transportation. The St. Cyril College Building at 64th and Star (now Dante) was completed in 1902, and classes began with 137 students and 11 faculty members. The school was consecrated by Bishop Peter Muldoon on August 10, 1902; a delay caused by the death of Archbishop Patrick Feehan.

Upon opening the college had three departments: (1) Academic, which included both a junior high and a high school program; (2) College, a four-year program with emphasis on Greek and Latin; (3) Commercial, a three-year course.

In September 1910, the school hosted Vincenzo Cardinal Vannutelli for lunch during a tour of Chicago Catholic schools; about ten years before becoming Dean of the College of Cardinals.

In 1918, with young men being called to serve in World War I, the college curriculum was dropped while the high school department was enlarged and improved.

Dedication – 1924

In December 1922, Father Elias Magennis, General of the Carmelite Order, and Archbishop Mundelein of Chicago agreed on the need for the immediate construction of a new St. Cyril High School Building. In the spring and summer of 1924, a three story main building was erected by the Thompson-Starrett Construction Company with Zachary Davis (the "Frank Lloyd Wright of Baseball") as the architect. William Lynch, a St. Cyril College graduate, was in charge of construction. Later that fall, the new building was dedicated as Mount Carmel High School.

During World War II, Mt. Carmel began preparing students for wartime employment or military service, offering courses in aerodynamics, meteorology, navigation, and civil air regulations. Countless alumni from the Greatest Generation went on to serve in the United States Military.

In the 1960s and 70s, economic and sociological factors changed Mount Carmel's Woodlawn neighborhood- fewer Catholics were living in the immediate area and the school's enrollment dropped. Mount Carmel's close proximity to the Black P. Stones/El Rukn street gang may have also hurt their ability to attract students. Despite these conditions, improved bus routes permitted many students to continue reaching the school.

Thanks to the efforts of Father David Dillon and numerous other Mount Carmel faithful, the school emerged stronger than ever in the 1980s and 90s. The already storied athletic program rose to dominance, winning state championships in Basketball, Football, Ice Hockey and Wrestling. In more recent history, the campus has been expanded to include modern facilities that support science, technology, performing arts and continued athletic success. The combination of the school's rich history, generous alumni and popular staff has built a promising future for Mount Carmel.


The Mount Carmel campus is located at the intersection of East 64th Street and South Dante Avenue, near historic Jackson Park, Lake Michigan and the University of Chicago campus. The oldest surviving campus structures are the Carmelite Chapel and three-story main building from 1924 (see photo above).

In the 1950s, Mt. Carmel built a Student Center on the north side of the main building. Then in 1968, a grant from the Archdiocese of Chicago's "Project: Renew" permitted the construction of a learning center and library that connected the main building to the student center. The campus would grow again to include Carey Field on the south end of school property.

Thanks to the Capital Campaign Case Study, the Walter Scott School property was acquired- and in 1992, construction began on a new monastery for the Carmelites. The Graham Center was then constructed on the site of the old Carmelite Monastery. Although the old Priory was demolished to make room for the science and computer center, the original Chapel was saved and given a facelift. In 1999, the Scott School property was used to build Haggerty Field for soccer and baseball. The campus again expanded in 2005 by adding the Mt. Carmel Convocation Center on the site of the old student parking lot. This addition is home to offices and meeting areas for alumni and faculty, a student center/dining hall, new computer and science labs, and the Cacciatore Athletic Center. The athletic center features three gyms, an indoor track, locker rooms and a modern weight room. A new student parking lot was built on the north end of the campus.

Ongoing maintenance to existing facilities have included renovations to the original pool and Carey Field, which was converted to a multipurpose Sprint Turf playing surface. The 'Old Gym' is still maintained to host athletic competition, including wrestling and the school's annual Fight Night boxing event. The school has future plans to renovate the main building, while also adding a new library, technology center, auditorium & performing arts center.


Academic excellence is the trademark of Mt. Carmel High School. Mount Carmel has been recognized as a Blue Ribbon and National Exemplary School, and offers four comprehensive programs of study to serve the needs of all college bound students:

The Honors/Advanced Placement Program The Honors Program challenges students to maximize their potential by placing them in accelerated courses, and enriches their experience through Advanced Placement courses in Literature, American, European and World History, Physics, Calculus and Foreign Languages.

Excel Program The Excel Program is for accelerated and above average students who wish to pursue a challenging curriculum which will prepare them for the nation's top colleges and universities.

Foundations Program The Foundations Program is for students with average test scores who have demonstrated a strong academic work ethic and desire to attend a four-year collegiate program.

McDermott-Doyle Program for Developmental Learning The McDermott-Doyle program meets the needs of young men with specific learning disabilities who seek a college education but require accommodations to achieve their goals.

*Renewable tuition reductions, or academic scholarships, are available to incoming freshmen based on their performance on the entrance exam.


Mount Carmel competes in the Chicago Catholic League (CCL). The school's forerunner, St. Cyril, was one of the eight founding members of the league in 1912, and Mount Carmel is one of five remaining charter members. Mount Carmel is a member of the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) and teams are stylized as the Caravan.

Mount Carmel sponsors interscholastic athletic teams in: baseball, basketball, bowling, cross country, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field, volleyball, water polo, and wrestling. While not sponsored by the IHSA, the school also sponsors ice hockey and rugby.

The following teams have won their respective state championship tournament or meet:

  • Baseball (IHSA 4A): 2012–13
  • Basketball (IHSA AA): 1984–85
  • Football (IHSA, multiple classes): 1980–81, 88–89, 89–90, 90–91, 91–92, 96–97, 98–99, 99–2000, 00–01, 02–03, 12-13, 13-14
  • Ice Hockey (AHAI)  : 1979, 86, 87, 88, 90
  • Wrestling (IHSA AA): 1991–92, 92–93, 93–94
  • Water Polo (Illinois Water Polo): 1975

The 12 state football championships are the second highest total in Illinois history, trailing only Joliet Catholic. The football team is also second in all-time in wins amongst Illinois schools, trailing only East St. Louis.

The football team is also credited with a record 14 Chicago Prep Bowl Championships in 1927, 1933, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1960, 1967, 1981, 1983, 1985, 1993, 2001, 2011 and 2015. The 1932 Prep Bowl was not played when the Public League champion refused to play; Mount Carmel claims this as a forfeit championship. The school also claims a Prep Bowl championship in 1939, though the game ended in a tie.

The Ice Hockey Club has amassed a Catholic League record 20 Kennedy Cup awards (1965,'73,'74,'77,'78,'79,'80,'81,'82,'85,'86,'87,'88,'89,'90,'93,'97,'98,'99, and 2000)

In 1908, the first ever basketball game played by DePaul University was a game against St. Cyril's on January 7, 1908.

In 1916, St. Cyril's and Hyde Park High School competed in the first ever dual boxing meet between Cook County schools. The tradition of boxing at Mt. Carmel continues to present day at the annual Fight Night in Spring.

In 1995, Mt. Carmel's wrestling team was in contention for its fourth consecutive state championship. After winning its regional tournament, the IHSA disqualified the team from further participation, claiming the team had violated the cap on tournament participation. Mt. Carmel filed suit in court, and a Cook County judge determined that the IHSA was following its rules arbitrarily, and ordered the Association to restore Mt. Carmel to the state tournament. An hour after the Illinois Supreme Court ruled on an IHSA appeal, and sided with Mt. Carmel, the IHSA suspended the dual team state tournament. The IHSA attempted to appeal to the original judge. When that failed, the tournament was cancelled.

At least three former students have competed in the Olympic Games (Chris Chelios in Ice Hockey, Eric Pappas in Baseball, and Joe Williams in Wrestling).

Notable alumni

Arts, Sciences and Letters

Legendary Author James T. Farrell
  • James T. Farrell was an author of over 40 published works, including the Studs Lonigan trilogy.
  • Jacob "Jake" Matijevic (1947–2012) led the NASA engineering team for the Mars Exploration Rovers (including the "Spirit", "Opportunity" and "Curiosity" rovers) and has several landmarks (including "Matijevic Hill" and "Jake Matijevic rock") named for him on the planet Mars.
  • Richard Anthony Parker was an Egyptologist who studied the mortuary temple of Ramesses III, founded the Brown University Department of Egyptology and was selected as a Corresponding Fellow at the British Academy.


Chris Chelios visits Mount Carmel, displaying the Stanley Cup his team had recently won.
MLB hitting coach John Mallee
5x NFL Pro Bowl Quarterback Donovan McNabb
Craig Robinson
  • Tracy Abrams is a point guard for the Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball team
  • Elmer Angsman was an NFL running back (1946–52), playing his entire career for the Chicago Cardinals. Angsman holds the NFL postseason record for yards per carry (15.9), set in the 1947 NFL title game.
  • Chris Calloway is a former NFL wide receiver (1990–2000), playing most of his career with the New York Giants.
  • Cesar Carrillo is a former Major League Baseball pitcher from the San Diego Padres.
  • Chris Chelios is a former NHL defenseman (1983–2009) who won 4 Stanley cups. He also played on four Olympic and two World Cup teams for the United States.
  • Frank Cornish was an NFL offensive lineman (1990–95). He played for the World Champion Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowls XXVII and XXVIII.
  • Matt Cushing is a former NFL fullback & tight end (1999–2005), playing his entire career with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
  • Ziggy Czarobski was a defensive tackle with the Chicago Rockets of the All-America Football Conference (1948–49). He played for the University of Notre Dame in 1942, 46, and 47 and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1977.
  • Count Dante (John Timothy Keehan) was a martial arts champion and teacher.
  • Steve Edwards is a former NFL offensive guard (2002–07).
  • Glenn Foster is a free agent NFL defensive end who played for the New Orleans Saints in 2013–14.
  • Tony Furjanic is a former NFL linebacker (1986–88), playing most of his career with the Buffalo Bills.
  • Darrell Hill is a former NFL wide receiver (2002–04), playing his entire career for the Kansas City Chiefs.
  • Ross LaBauex is a professional soccer player for the Colorado Rapids of the MLS.
  • Frank Lenti owns the record for most head coaching football wins in IHSA history (in state, and at one school). He also owns the coaching record for most state title game appearances (16) and wins (11).
  • Jordan Lynch was a 2013 Heisman Trophy finalist and NCAA record-breaking quarterback for the Northern Illinois Huskies.
  • John Mallee is the hitting coach for the Chicago Cubs
  • Mel McCants, former NBA forward for the Los Angeles Lakers (1989–90).
  • Denny McLain is a former Major League Baseball pitcher (1963–72), playing most of his career with the Detroit Tigers. He was a two-time Cy Young Award winner, and won the AL MVP award in 1968. He was the last Major League pitcher to win 30 games in a season.
  • Donovan McNabb is an NFL Network analyst who was the second overall pick in the 1999 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. As a player he was named to five NFL Pro Bowls.
  • Erik Pappas is a former Major League Baseball catcher (1991–94), playing major league games for both the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs. He was also a member of the 2004 Greek baseball team which participated in the 2004 Summer Olympics.
  • Simeon Rice is a former NFL defensive end (1996–2007). He was the third overall pick in the 1996 NFL Draft, and was a member of the Super Bowl XXXVII Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
  • Craig Robinson is an ESPN Analyst and former head men's basketball coach at Brown University and Oregon State University. He is the brother of First Lady Michelle Obama.
  • Jack Stephens, former NBA player for the St. Louis Hawks (1955–56).
  • Ed Stewart is the Senior Associate Commissioner of Football for the Big 12 Conference. He was a consensus first team All-American linebacker for Nebraska in 1994.
  • Nate Turner is a former NFL running back (1993–95), playing most of his career with the Buffalo Bills.
  • Antoine Walker is a former NBA forward (1996–2008). He was a member of the 1996 National Champion Kentucky Wildcats and the 2006 NBA champion Miami Heat.
  • Lloyd Walton is a former NBA guard (1977–81), playing most of his career with the Milwaukee Bucks.
  • Joe Williams was a 4-time IHSA state champion wrestler. He also became a 3-time NCAA Champion, 6 time U.S. National Champion, and finished fifth at the 2004 Summer Olympics.

Performing Arts

  • Richard Kiley was a two-time Tony Award and three time Emmy Award winning actor of stage, film, and television. He originated the role of Don Quixote/Miguel de Cervantes in the Broadway premiere of Man of La Mancha.
  • Todd Looby is a film producer and editor, known for Lefty (2009), Son of None (2011), Lollywood (2012) and Be Good (2012).
  • Tim O'Connor is an actor, best known for his work on television (Elliot Carson on Peyton Place, Dr. Huer on Buck Rogers in the 25th century).
  • Daniel Sunjata (Dan Condon) is a Tony Award-nominated actor (Take Me Out) who stars in the television series Graceland. Sunjata has also played significant television roles in Rescue Me, 30 Rock and Grey's Anatomy. His film credits include The Devil Wears Prada and The Dark Knight Rises.

Politics and Public Service

  • Tom Dart is the current Sheriff of Cook County (2006–present).
  • Edward Derwinski was a United States Representative for Illinois' 4th congressional district (1959–83). He served as the first U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs to hold cabinet level status (1989–92), doing so under United States President George H. W. Bush.
  • Dan Duffy (1984) is an Illinois State Senator.
  • John J. Hennessey (August 20, 1921 – March 20, 2001) was a United States Army Four-star general who served as Commander of the 101st Airborne during the Vietnam War.
  • Matt O'Shea is the current alderman of Chicago's 19th Ward.
  • Edward Vrdolyak is a former Chicago Alderman and was President of the Chicago City Council (1977–1983).
  • Bill Cunningham (1985) is an Illinois State Senator (D-18th) representing parts of Chicago's South Side and Southwest suburbs.

Notable staff

  • Terry Brennan was the school's head football coach (1949–53). He later served as head football coach at the University of Notre Dame (1954–58).
  • Wally Fromhart was the school's head football coach (1937–43, 46). He was later coach at the University of Detroit (1954–58).
  • John Jordan was the school's basketball coach. He later became head coach at the University of Notre Dame (1951–64).
  • Ray Lemek was an assistant football coach for one year between starring for the University of Notre Dame and being drafted in the 1956 NFL Draft. He was an All-Pro NFL offensive lineman (1957–65).
  • Frank Maloney was the school's head football coach (1963–68). He later was the head football coach at Syracuse University (1974–80).
  • Ed Mieszkowski was a football coach at the school.
  • Bill Weick is the school's former wrestling coach (1985–2003). He was an accomplished national and international wrestler who also served as a coach for Team USA at several international competitions, including several Olympic Games.
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