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Mike Giannone named 2017 High School Coach of the Year

Detroit—The Detroit Lions have named Mike Giannone of Warren De La Salle Collegiate High School the 2017 Detroit Lions/Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan High School Football Coach of the Year.

Giannone led his Pilots to a 41-6 victory over Livonia Franklin on November 24 to win the Division 2 Michigan High School Football State Championship.  The Pilots finished with a 12-2 record, winning 7 in a row to end the season and outscoring their opponents 165-26 in the playoffs.  De La Salle defeated two-time defending state champion Detroit Martin Luther King 14-13 in the state semifinals on their path to the state championship at Ford Field.  This is Warren De La Salle’s 2nd Football State Championship in 4 years (2014).

Giannone is in his 2nd season at De La Salle with a record of 16-7 (69.6%).  Prior to De La Salle, Giannone spent 18 seasons as head coach at Macomb Dakota, compiling at record of 158-51 (75.6%), while leading the Cougars to 16 playoff appearances and winning back to back Division 1 Michigan High School Football State Championships in 2006 & 2007.  In all, Giannone has coached high school football for 37 years, being a head coach for 20 years with a career record of 174-58 (75%) and three State Championships.  He was the Detroit Lions High School Football Coach of the Week for Week #1 in 2009.

High School Football Coach of the Week/Year Program
Each week throughout the nine-week high school football regular season and at the conclusion of the Michigan High School Football State Championships, 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).  Giannone was selected as Coach of the Year by the votes of the aforementioned media members, as well as one vote from the public online voting at DetroitLions.com/coachoftheyear.

This season’s program awarded $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 received a $2,000 donation to his school’s football program and a sideline kit, courtesy of Gatorade.  Weekly winners are honored in a halftime ceremony during the Detroit Lions-Chicago Bears game on December 16.  During the ceremony, the Lions will also recognize Giannone as the High School Football Coach of the Year.  Giannone will receive a $4,000 donation to his school’s football program, a Gatorade sideline kit and will be honored as the Detroit Lions nomination for the Don Shula NFL High School Football Coach of the Year.  Giannone will be invited to the USA Football National Conference and NFL Pro Bowl in Orlando, FL, January 26-28, 2018 where the winner of the Don Shula NFL High School Football Coach of the Year will be announced.

Concluding its’ 21st year, the Detroit Lions High School Football Coach of the Week/Year program has awarded $411,000 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.

<span style="text-decoration: underline;">All-Time Coach of the Year recipients</span>:
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

<span style="text-decoration: underline;">2017 Coach of the Week recipients</span>:
Week 1-Matt Bird, Grand Ledge, Week 2-Kevin Bartz, Edwardsburg, Week 3-Tim Wooer, Traverse City West, Week 4-Tony Kimbrough, East Kentwood, Week 5-Jason Mensing, Ottawa Lake Whiteford, Week 6-Eric Methner, Midland, Week 7-Chris Smith, Utica Eisenhower, Week 8-David Hills, Boyne City, Week 9-Phil Martin, Frankenmuth

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