A longtime fixture at Illinois College, Coach Ray DeFrisco enters his fifth year guiding Blueboy Football, a program he has been immersed in at every level for 14 years. Coach DeFrisco has been instrumental in building the football program to the winningest stretch in Illinois College history.
Highly respected among his coaching peers for his integrity and loyalty, DeFrisco has worked diligently to instill the culture of FAMILY as the guiding principles for the program's future. The strength of Blueboy Football is bound together by the love and respect that each member of the program has for one another. This environment has been built through honest feedback, intentional relationship building, and clarity amongst every aspect of the program's operation.
DeFrisco was named the head football coach in May of 2016. His passion for Illinois College coupled with his record of success at each level of his career pointed to him being the right man to lead the Blueboys into the future. The 2016 season was one of transition, but one that saw Illinois College win six games and produce seven All-Midwest Conference selections. The 2017 season concluded with a 32-27 win over Macalester College to bring the Blueboys to a 5-5 record led by seven All-Midwest Conference selections along with the Midwest Conference South Division Newcomer of the Year. In 2018, 10 members of the Illinois College team were named All-MWC South Division selections. Despite having a game removed from their schedule in 2019, IC still produced a six-win season and had two of the top offensive and defensive units in the MWC.
Prior to becoming head coach, DeFrisco was highly regarded as Illinois College's Defensive Coordinator from 2008-2015. During this time, the Blueboy record books were rewritten by some of the best defensive football players to ever grace the Hilltop. Coach DeFrisco tutored 44 All-Midwest Conference selections along with three Midwest Conference Players of the Year (Ricky Padilla, 2010; Kurt Frischman, 2013; James Dambacher, 2014) during his time as coordinator. The Blueboys' unprecedented team success also began during Coach DeFrisco's time as coordinator highlighted by the program's first-ever NCAA playoff berth in 2011.
From 2006-2007, DeFrisco served as Special Teams Coordinator and Defensive Line Coach. During this time, the Blueboys led the Midwest conference in KOR & Punt Return in 2006 and were in the top half of the league in all other special teams categories. Before coming to Illinois College, DeFrisco served as an assistant director of admissions and taught physical education and health, while also getting his start in coaching, at St. Patrick High School in Chicago. DeFrisco served as head coach of the sophomore football team and defensive coordinator for the varsity team.
DeFrisco earned a Bachelor of Science from North Park University in 2002 and his Masters degree from Ashford University in 2010. DeFrisco and his wife, Krista, reside in Jacksonville with their children: Peyton, Aiden, Gemma, and Giovanni.