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Heartland Community College

Belcher named Head Coach of Esports

June 26, 2024

Heartland Community College has hired a new head coach for an Esports team that has captured multiple individual National Championships. 

Cole Belcher will serve as the new Head Esports Coach at Heartland. 

“I am beyond thrilled and grateful for the opportunity to head the Hawks eSports program,” said Belcher. “It truly is a privilege to join a community that shares my passion for eSports and values the importance of strategic gameplay, teamwork, and sportsmanship. I am committed to harnessing the talent and potential of our players, fostering a culture of excellence, and achieving success in the virtual arena.” 

Belcher fills the slot left by departing coach Jarrod Rackauskas. 

“The bar has been set high by Coach Rackauskas and many of the athletes who will be leaving the program this year, but I am confident that this transition will not be a setback for the team's momentum,” said Belcher.  “My goal is to continue building the program to be one that assists each student involved with further developing the skills they need to be successful in either a future career in competitive eSports or whatever other future endeavors they wish to pursue.” 

Coach Belcher holds an MA in Communication Media and Critical Theory from Eastern Illinois University and a BA in Strategic Communication from Eureka College. He brings a passion for Esports to his first coaching role. 

Established in the Fall of the 2020-2021 academic year, Heartland’s Esports program has captured individual championships in Madden 24 (Jono Edmonson), NBA2K (Jono Edmonson), Street Fighter 6 (Caleb Spicer), Super Smash Brothers Ultimate (Luke Sherman), Super Smash Bros Ultimate Crew (Luke Sherman, Matthew “Bo” Larson, Alex Baccheschi). 

Last year Heartland Esports competed in League of Legends, CoD, Rocket League, Street Fighter 6, Mario Kart 8 1v1, Overwatch 2, Fortnite Build, Hearthstone, Super Smash Brothers Ultimate, NBA2k, and Madden.

Written by: Steve Fast