Henricksen’s new position

Henricksen continues coaching at Huntley for his 10th year.


The Henricksen family comes to support the HHS basketball games. (E. McCoy)

By Emma McCoy

Walking into the new school year, Clayton Henricksen, was ready to begin his 10th year at Huntley High School. He is the girls varsity assistant basketball coach, AP European teacher, and a new instructional coach. 

“This particular job is not new, we have had instructional coaches for eight years now. At the end of last year, I wasn’t really thinking about applying for it to be honest. It wasn’t really on my radar,” Henricksen said. 

Teaching at HHS for many years previous, Henricksen helps out many other teachers while being able to still teach a class at Huntley and coach basketball

Being an instructional coach at Huntley High School works similarly but not the same as teaching five of the same classes every day. 

“It was a little bit of an adjustment at the start of the year because teaching is so structured,” Henricksen said. 

The role of an instructional coach is a little bit different; he could be meeting with the administration one day and building professional development the next. He could be in a classroom watching a teacher and then could be prepping his own class. 

Enjoying his new position after getting used to the switch, he enjoys being able to connect with teachers outside of his department who he had traditionally worked with. 

“I have been able to get into classrooms and help support teachers which is something I was really hoping for with this role,” Henricksen said. “It’s really like coaching basketball. It’s a similar role with teachers and supporting teachers in what they need.”

Being able to be in a new position and continue to teach one class allows Henricksen to have a nice balance between structure and professional development. 

Being a fan favorite in the teaching world at Huntley, Henricksen stays a favored teacher by his current and even past students.

“Mr. Henricksen is a teacher I came to school freshman year looking forward to seeing. He always made jokes in class and made it a fun learning environment that I will never forget,” senior Natalie Svendsen said. 

Henricksen was inspired by his high school basketball coach and history teacher, Todd Grunloh, to become both when he grew up. 

“He really empowered me to be the best version of myself in high school like a lot of teachers say they get into teaching because of teachers they had. I would say I got into teaching and coaching because of him,” Henricksen said. 

Starting from when he was young, Henricksen was cut from his freshman basketball team. Between freshman and junior years, he grew and Grunloh encouraged Henricksen to play basketball again, and he did. He had a lot of success and really built a good relationship with his teacher and coach.

“I am even friends with him to this day. I am really thankful for him, and he gave me a ton of opportunities to coach with him after I graduated high school,” Henricksen said. 

Starting up his 10-year coaching at HHS, he was previously a freshman coach for four years, and this is his sixth year as the varsity assistant coach. 

“As a team, we can all go to him because we all trust him equally as much because he looks out for each one of us as a person. Even outside of basketball, I feel like all of us can just go to him when we need him, and he is there for us all of the time,” senior varsity basketball player Jessie Ozzauto said.

Being a varsity coach, Henricksen gets to see growth in his players throughout their whole high school careers. His current team includes eight seniors which is unique, being able to have that much experience on the court. 

“I am just really excited to see us get better each day and to focus on the process and then see how good we can be,” Henricksen said. “My favorite thing about coaching is being with the girls every day and building relationships with them.” 

With background experience from playing basketball himself, he also played baseball. With opportunities to play basketball as well, he chose baseball because the school was the right fit for him.

Opportunities later presented themselves to coach basketball at Huntley, and he enjoyed coaching after high school. 

“I am really happy it worked out that way,” Henricksen said.