Detroit, MI—The Detroit Lions have named Don Jess of Charlevoix High School the week seven recipient of the 2023 High School Football Coach of the Week program. Jess's Rayders defeated Mancelona 64-14 to win their 6th straight game and move their record to 6-1. The Rayders are currently ranked number 9 in Division 7. On Saturday, October 14, Charlevoix travels to Tawas to take on their Northern Michigan Football League-Leaders Division opponent in only the 2nd matchup all-time between these two programs.
Jess, a Charlevoix HS alumnus, has had two stints as Charlevoix High School's head coach. He led the Rayders from 2003-2011 during his first run and returned in 2019 for his second stint and is currently in his 14th year as head coach at Charlevoix. The Rayders have been to the playoffs eight seasons under Jess, including the last 4 years in a row. His overall career record of 78-54 (59.1%).
Detroit Lions Football Education sat down with Jess to talk about the win against Mancelona and winning six in a row, playing a Saturday game the week vs. Tawas, and his love for leading student-athletes through the coaching profession. Jess was also informed of his Coach of the Week 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 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, 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 (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).
This season's program will award $12,000 to aid in the development and promotion of high school football in the state of Michigan, thanks to contributions from the Detroit Lions and the NFL Foundation.
Each winning coach during the regular season will receive a $1,000 donation to his school's football program. At the conclusion of the 2023 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 $3,000 donation to his school's football program. All winners will receive a certificate signed by Lions' head coach Dan Campbell and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
Currently in its' 27th year, the Detroit Lions High School Coach of the Week program has awarded $491,000 to high school football programs throughout the state of Michigan. For more information on the High School Coach of the Week program, contact Chris Fritzsching, Lions' Executive Director of Football Education, at firstname.lastname@example.org.