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Coaching Staff 2019



Head Coach:
Defensive Coordinator:
​The Joliet Thunder are very excited to welcome back one of Coach Thomas's sons! We are proud to announce our new Head Coach LEDWRICK "LUCKY" WILLIAMS. "Coach Lucky is the the throwback we needed" said Chairman Steve Sliwka. "He is everything Terry preached, loyal, hardworking and bleeds blue and gold. This is long overdue." 
Coach Lucky comes to the Thunder with not only a impressive playing career but also coaching with the Thunder and Team USA. "Our Thunder players loved Lucky as a teammate and players will run through a wall for Coach Lucky, my brother is looking down with pride today" Coach Kevin Thomas. We invite you all to welcome Head Coach Williams!

 
Dante Washington:
Offensive Coordinator:
Coach Washington went to High School at Glenbard West, 97-01. He was All-Conference/All-Area in both Track & Field and Football as well as a State Qualifier in 110 Hurdles/Long & Triple Jump. He attended Carthage College 01-05 and was inducted into Hall of Fame in 2011 for Football and Track and Field with All-American Honors. He was named the CCIW Offensive Player of the Year 2004. Wisconsin Player Player of the year 2005.

His post student/athlete career was followed by Arena and semi-pro football as both a player and coach, from 2005 to 2016. Playing for the Milwaukee Bonecrushers 2010, 2003/2004. Kane-County Eagles 2005-2008, National Champs 2007. Racine Raiders 2009, McHenry County Pirates 2010-2011, Chicago Thunder 2011-2016.


Chris Gualano:
Wide Receivers Coach:


Antrien Fisher A.K.A “Fish”:
Special Teams Coordinator: 
“Fish” is a graduate of Proviso West High School and played at the College of DuPage and Arkansas State Univ. He joined the Kane County Eagles where he won National Championships in 2001, 2003 and 2007 before taking the next step of his career as a coach. Fish started Coaching at the Pop Warner level for the Bolingbrook Trojans Windy City Dolphins. He also coached a Women's Football team: Chicago Force as a defensive coordinator. In the Semi Pro world Fish has coached for the Windy City Bucs as a defensive assistant, the Chicago Thunder as a special teams coordinator, secondary coach and now the Asst Head Coach; Antrien has also worked with the Chicago Slaughter in their front office as the Game Day operations asst. At almost every game you will find Fish’s wife Jennifer and children Valerie, Dylan and Madyson. One Team-One family!


Executive Staff:

Terry Thomas:​
Team Owner / Father / Guiding Spirit:


Steven Sliwka:
Chairman of the Board:
Steve Sliwka has been with the Thunder since 2003. As a player Steve was inducted into the Hall of Fame last year. He was instrumental, along with fellow Thunder hall of famer Dane Bik, in locking down the left side of the Thunder line for a decade. Winning multiple Championships. In 2010 with medical complications from surgery and 19 years in the tank, Steve moved up and served as Terry Thomas’s right hand man as General Manager. Steve also served as the Offensive Coordinator for the Chicago Horsemen and line coach for the Thunder for two years. This year Sliwka will move to the Head Coaching spot and when asked why he said “I know how special of a team this was and can be” I had the distinct honor of not only playing for Coach Thomas, but also learning how to run a team and more importantly I was fortunate enough to call that man one of my best friends. I know why this franchise was different from many others and it’s with that experience I will run this team. I will rely heavy on my coordinators and coaches and will let them coach their respective positions. My goal is that as a team no team will be more prepared than the Thunder when we line up on Saturday.

Kevin Thomas:
President:


Steve Gurvis:
Treasurer & Game Day Operations:


Cheryl Kardas:
Secretary & Operations Manager:
Cheri (Cheryl) Kardas has been involved with Semi-Pro Football over 27 years. She has helped several teams starting with the DuPage Eagles (American Football Assoc. National Championships in 1992 & 1993). The Chicago Panthers before owning the Will Co Buccaneers, GM for Lincoln-Way Patriots and Leyden Lions before retiring. She was contacted to help organize the Joliet Thunder Developmental Football Team and she is now Secretary/Operations Mgr. bringing her knowledge and experience.

Cheri has also worked with AFA All-Star games in Orlando with Ron Real and National Football Events with Jim Nugent with Casino Bowl -20 years (All-Star game in NV), National Bowl Weekend (tournaments in Deland, FL), Midwest an Mid-States Tournaments (post season). She is a member of AFA and Minor League Football News Hall of Fame. 


Jason Weathersby:
General Manager:


Ivan Ortega:
Director Of Marketing - Video & Social Media:
Ivan played with the Thunder from '93 until 2000. Winning three championships in that span. He has also been involved in the independent film and video industry since '92. He founded his own video production company in 2006, Scout's Honor Productions. Named after his first daughter. He returned to the Thunder in 2013 to record games. That evolved into broadcasting them LIVE on Youtube as well as managing the online presence of the club. 


​Joe Lemke:
Voice Of The Thunder:


President
Kevin Thomas
Head Coach
Ledwrick"Lucky" Williams
General Manager
Jason Weathersby