Detroit, MI—The Detroit Lions have named Shane Fairfield of Muskegon High School the 2023 Detroit Lions High School Football Coach of the Year. Fairfield's Big Reds defeated two-time defending state champion Warren De La Salle 33-21 to win the MHSAA Division 2 state championship. The win was the 900th victory all-time in Muskegon football history (900-287-43/74.9%) dating back to 1895. Muskegon is the all-time winningest football program in Michigan. The Big Reds, from the Ottawa-Kent Conference, Green Division, ended their season on a 12-game winning streak, finishing 12-2 and outscoring their opponents 561-207.
Fairfield, who completed his 14th season as head coach at Muskegon, has compiled a 154-29 (84.2%) record during this time and is only three wins away from passing Leo Redmond as the all-time winningest coach in Muskegon High School history. His Big Reds have won eight conference titles, 11 district championships, and nine regional crowns. Fairfield has won two MHSAA State Championships—a Division 3 State Championship in 2017 and the Division 2 State Championship in 2023. He also led the Big Reds to state runner up appearances in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2019 and 2022. In 2012, Fairfield was selected as a Detroit Lions High School Football Coach of the Week during Week 3 of his 3rd season at Muskegon.
Fairfield has been coaching football since 1991 and spent 5 years as a head coach at Holton High School as well as an assistant coach at Muskegon prior to leading the Big Reds. Fairfield was notified of his Detroit Lions High School Football Coach of the Year selection on Head Coach Hangout. See his reaction and the entire interview by visiting www.DetroitLions.com/coachoftheweek.
High School Football Coach of the Week/Year Program
Each week throughout the 2023 high school football regular season, one coach that best demonstrates success on and off the field, develops players' character, discipline, and football skill in addition to emphasizing player health and safety in their program, was recognized for his commitment to the team, school, and community. Each Detroit Lions High School Football Coach of the Week during the regular season received a $1,000 donation to his school's football program.
Fairfield was selected as the 2023 Detroit Lions High School Football Coach of the Year by a panel of high school football media members—Mick McCabe (Detroit Free Press), Hugh Bernreuter (Saginaw News), Bret Bakita (WOOD Radio-106.9 FM, 96.1 FM- The Game, Fox 17/Grand Rapids), James Cook (Traverse City Record-Eagle) and Scott DeCamp (CatchMark SportsNet) and one vote from the public online voting at DetroitLions.com. Fairfield will receive a $3,000 donation to his school's football program and will be honored as the Detroit Lions nominee for the prestigious Don Shula NFL High School Football Coach of the Year award.
Concluding its' 27th season, the Detroit Lions High School Coach of the Week/Year program awarded $12,000 to aid in the development and promotion of high school football in the state of Michigan this year, while the overall program has awarded $503,000 to high school football programs throughout the state of Michigan.
All-Time Coach of the Year recipients:
1997-John Herrington, Farmington Hills Harrison, 1998-Thomas Mach, Detroit Catholic Central, 1999-Don Durrett, Saginaw, 2000-Herb Brogan, Jackson Lumen Christi, 2001-John Schwartz, Mendon, 2002-Mike Boyd, Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes, 2003-Scot Shaw, Three Rivers, 2004-Noel Dean, Lowell, 2005-Jack Pratt, Flint Powers, 2006-Tony Annese, Muskegon, 2007-Jim Reynolds, Detroit Martin Luther King, 2008-Peter Stuursma. East Grand Rapids, 2009-Rich Hulkow, Marshall, 2010-Chris Bell, Lake Orion, 2011-Thomas Wilcher, Detroit Cass Tech, 2012-Terry Hessbrook, Ithaca, 2013-Kurt Richardson, Clarkston, 2014-Dan Rohn, Grand Rapids West Catholic, 2015-John Shillito, Zeeland West, 2016-Elliot Uzelac, Benton Harbor, 2017-Mike Giannone, Warren De La Salle, 2018-Rick Bailey, Reading, 2019-Jim Ahern, Lansing Catholic, 2020-Rob Zimmerman, DeWitt, 2021-Josh Lucas, Chelsea, 2022-Tyrone Spencer, Detroit Martin Luther King, 2023-Shane Fairfield, Muskegon