Each week throughout the nine-week Michigan High School football regular season, one coach that best develops his players' character, discipline, and football skill in addition to emphasizing player health and safety in their program, will be recognized for his commitment to the team, school, and community. Each weekly winner is selected 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, ESPN 96.1 FM-Fox 17/Grand Rapids), James Cook (Traverse City Record-Eagle), Scott DeCamp (MLive-Muskegon Chronicle) and the Lions Director of Football Education, Chris Fritzsching.
The 2019 program will award $22,000 to aid in the development and promotion of high school football in the state of Michigan, thanks to contributions from the Detroit Lions, the NFL Foundation, Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan and Gatorade.
Each winning coach during the regular season receives a $2,000 donation to his school's football program. At the conclusion of the Michigan High School Football season, the Lions select the High School Football Coach of the Year. The Coach of the Year receives a $4,000 donation to his school's football program in addition to being the Lions' nominee for the Don Shula NFL High School Football Coach of the Year. All weekly and yearly winners receive a certificate signed by Lions' head coach Matt Patricia and National Football League (NFL) commissioner Roger Goodell, and a personalized game ball as well as recognition at a 2019 Lions home game.
Currently in its' 23rd year, the Detroit Lions High School Coach of the Week/Year program has awarded $433,000 to high school football programs throughout the state of Michigan.
For more information on the Detroit Lions High School Coach of the Week/Year program, contact Chris Fritzsching, Lions' Director of Football Education, at 313-262-2248.
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 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