DETROIT — The Detroit Lions have named David Hills of Boyne City High School the week eight recipient of the 2017 Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan High School Football Coach of the Week Program. Hills' Ramblers defeated Elk Rapids 40-10 to improve to 8-0 on the season. Boyne City is currently ranked No. 7 in Division 5.
Hills has coached a total of 27 seasons, including 20 seasons as a head coach (Alpena and Boyne City). Hills is currently in his 15th season as head coach at Boyne City with a record of 121-38 (76.1%). He has led his teams to two state semifinals appearances, two conference championships and has qualified for the MHSAA playoffs 14 times. Hills' career record is 131-54 overall (70.8%). On Friday, October 20, the Ramblers host the 8-0 Traverse City St. Francis Gladiators for the Northern Michigan Football League-Legends Division title.
Hills and his staff have committed to making player health and safety a top priority. In 2015, Boyne City was awarded the Riddell Smarter Football Grant, which was one of seven provided nationally, for the football program's dedication to safe practices and football techniques being taught at all levels. In 2016, Boyne City was selected by USA Football, with support of ESPN, to receive a Player Safety Coach Clinic for the entire Boyne City football staff. This clinic focused on the certification of coaching staff members in Heads Up Football, USA Football's comprehensive safety program. The classroom and on-field clinic covered critical topics such as concussion awareness, heat and hydration, proper equipment fitting, sudden cardiac arrest, shoulder tackling and blocking.
High School Football Coach of the Week Program
Each week throughout the 2017 nine-week 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. The winner is selected by a panel of high school football media members—Mick McCabe (former Detroit Free Press sports writer), Hugh Bernreuter (Saginaw News), Bret Bakita (WOOD Radio-106.9 FM, ESPN 96.1 FM-Fox 17/Grand Rapids), and James Cook (Traverse City Record-Eagle).
This season's 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, presenting partner, Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan and associate partner, Gatorade.
Each winning coach during the regular season will receive a $2,000 donation to his school's football program and a sideline kit, courtesy of Gatorade. At the conclusion of the 2017 Michigan High School Football season, the Lions will also select the High School Football Coach of the Year. This season's Coach of the Year will receive a $4,000 donation to his school's football program, in addition to the Gatorade sideline kit. All winners receive a certificate signed by Lions' head coach Jim Caldwell and National Football League (NFL) commissioner Roger Goodell, a personalized game ball as well as acknowledgement at an upcoming Lions home game.
Currently in its' 21st year, the Detroit Lions High School Coach of the Week program has awarded $389,000 to high school football programs throughout the state of Michigan. For more information on the Detroit Lions High School Coach of the Week program, contact Chris Fritzsching, Lions' Director of Football Education, at 313-262-2248.